ESOP Administration: 415 Compensation Definition

Posted by Sample HubSpot User on Mon, Apr 16, 2012

ESOPs, like other qualified retirement plans, will define compensation in the plan document for purposes of allocating contributions, determining deduction limits, and nondiscrimination testing.  Depending on your plan design, you may have multiple definitions of compensation for different plan purposes.

415 Compensation

Qualified plans need to define compensation for IRC Section 415 compliance testing.  This definition is also used in identifying highly compensated employees (HCEs), key employees, calculating minimum benefits to non-key employees under top heavy plans, and determining deduction limits for Defined Contribution plans.  There are four possible definitions, as defined in Treas. Reg. §1.415(c)-2:

  • §415(c)(3) Compensation

  • Simplified compensation

  • Section 3401(a) wages

  • W-2 Compensation

 Click me


You must follow the plan document’s compensation definition in the operation of the plan for allocating contributions, determining HCE and key employees, performing compliance testing, and computing deduction limits.  Perform annual reviews of compensation definitions and ensure that the person in charge of determining compensation is properly trained to understand the plan document.

Topics: ESOP Administration, Plan Document

Sample HubSpot User
Written by Sample HubSpot User

Keep Your ESOP On Track and On Time
12 Benefits of Incorporating an ESOP in your Business Exit Strategy

Recent Posts