Executive Compensation Plans

Recruit, Retain, Reward

In today’s competitive business environment, key executives are one of your company’s most valuable assets. Competition to recruit, retain and reward top performers has grown to the point that traditional compensation methods are not enough.

Top executives are seeking ways to cope with tax issues and retirement needs amid restrictive legislation that dramatically limits the amount of income that can be deferred or contributed to the company’s qualified retirement plan. These executives are seeking wealth-building opportunities.

For this reason, a growing number of companies are turning to nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, split dollar plans, phantom stock plans, and golden handcuffs to augment their key executives’ retirement benefits packages and overcome many of the regulatory restrictions that apply to qualified retirement plans.

Professional Guidance

With many years of experience in executive compensation strategies, Smith-Kastner Wealth Management’s role is to serve as your company’s advocate – helping you define your specifications and compare existing programs with your current goals, with recent developments and with the competition.

We help you orchestrate the plan; assemble the required specialists; coordinate arrangements with your legal, accounting and internal advisors; and guide every aspect of your plan’s development.

The intended end result is a custom-built solution structured around your unique requirements – whether it’s:

• Retaining key personnel;
• Restoring executive benefits lost to government limits on qualified retirement plans;
• Rewarding executives and aligning their behavior with the company’s long and short-term goals;
• Recruiting key executives to your company; or
• Retiring executives as part of a well-coordinated succession plan.

Comprehensive Services

Smith-Kastner Wealth Management goes beyond the traditional scope of services in our commitment to ensure that your executive compensation strategies not only meet your company’s financial goals, but are competitive with other companies that may be seeking the same key performers. Our services include:


We work with you to identify your company’s specific executive compensation needs and any underlying issues that may also need to be addressed.


A review of your existing executive plans for performance against goals can help you determine:

• If they provide proper incentive for management to achieve top performance.
• If they are aligned with current compensation plan goals.
• Whether they are performing to expectations and how that performance is being measured.
• If they have remained current with interest and investment rates over time.


Based on a review of your existing executive plans (compared to the industry’s most current data), we will determine if there are opportunities for cost savings or benefit enhancements by identifying strategies and elements that may have been overlooked or not kept current. Our subsequent recommendations can result in substantial enhancements to earnings or cash saving


Our approach to both new and existing plans focuses on three separate but linked elements:

• Non-qualified plan design
• Plan funding
• Plan administration


As part of our planning services, Smith-Kastner Wealth Management offers financial and estate planning services for your high-net-worth executives.