Fulcrum Partners and BDO Report on IRC Section 162(m) Impact on Executive Compensation

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Click to view full report: Rethinking Executive Compensation While Awaiting Section 162(m) Guidance.


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL — (March 14, 2018) As individuals and organizations across the U.S. assess the impact of the federal government Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect on January 1, 2018, some are reaping the benefit of tax reductions, while other corporations and their executives are regrouping, making strategic adjustments to better position themselves in light of the tax code revisions. In many cases, corporations and the top-talent they rely on, are finding that changes to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 162(m), have inspired the need for thoughtful and calculated modifications to executive pay and executive benefit compensation plans.

Fulcrum Partners LLC, an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA, is an executive benefit advisory with more than $6 Billion in assets under management. In seeking to best serve corporations, nonprofit organizations impacted by the tax code changes and highly-compensated executives, Fulcrum Partners has published, “Rethinking Executive Compensation While Awaiting Section 162(m) Guidance.” This detailed report has been prepared in collaboration with BDO USA, LLP, a national professional services firm providing assurance, tax and advisory services.”

Under the new tax laws, the definition of “publicly held corporations” subject to Section 162(m) has been expanded; the group of covered employees in a given year has been enlarged; and exceptions to Section 162(m) for performance-based compensation and commissions have been repealed, thereby eliminating a company’s option to deduct compensation in excess of $1 million paid to any covered employee during a year.

Fulcrum Partners and BDO Report on IRC Section 162(m) Impact on Executive CompensationWhile further clarifications from the Internal Revenue Service are anticipated to address nuances and applications of the 162(m) tax code revisions, organizations are seeking insights and recommendations immediately, given that the new tax laws already are in effect, or will be coming into effect quickly as companies reach their fiscal year end.

“It will be interesting to see,” said Bruce Brownell, a founder and managing director at Fulcrum Partners, “if plan sponsors change the timing and form of incentive and performance compensation from, say, a multiyear term incentive plan which may not be deductible, to a retirement-based plan that offers a multiyear, deductible benefit. For example, a CEO would accumulate $10M in the “incentive/retirement” account and at separation begin annual distributions of $1M each. Although you may not be able to preserve your past levels of deductibility, stakeholders would presumably appreciate preserving as much deductibility as possible.”

G. Scott Cahill, a founder and managing director, who also heads the company’s Orlando office, observed, “Given the reduction in the corporate income tax rate, the broader covered employee group, the elimination of performance-based compensation deductions and preserved deductions for grandfathered plans, companies need to model the costs of their executive compensation arrangements. Visualizing the results helps companies determine the appropriate total compensation strategy suitable for their financial and business objectives. Fulcrum Partners serves clients by guiding them through their options, helping them make the decisions that are best for the organization, their executives and their shareholders.”

You can view the report on the company’s website or download it as a PDF at: Rethinking Executive Compensation While Awaiting Section 162(m) Guidance.The whitepaper report was prepared by Bruce Brownell, CFP, Founder and Managing Director Fulcrum Partners; G. Scott Cahill, CLU, Founder and Managing Director Fulcrum Partners; Joan Vines, Managing Director, National Tax – Compensation and Benefits, BDO; Carl Toppin, Managing Director Compensation and Benefits, BDO; Andrew Gibson, Regional Managing Partner – Tax Services BDO; and Peter Klinger, Partner, Compensation & Benefits, BDO.

Fulcrum Partners LLC:

Fulcrum Partners LLC ( is one of the nation’s largest executive benefits consultancies. A wholly independent, member-owned firm, Fulcrum Partners is dedicated to helping organizations enhance their Total Rewards Strategy. Founded in 2007, today the company has offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Delray Beach, Orlando and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; Honolulu, Hawaii; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California; Portland, Oregon; and Washington D.C. Learn more about the Fulcrum Partners executive benefits advisory team at https://

Fulcrum Partners is an independent member of BDO Alliance USA.

Securities offered through Lion Street Financial, LLC (LSF) and Valmark Securities, Inc. (VSI), each a member of FINRA and SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through CapAcuity, LLC; Lion Street Advisors, LLC (LSF) and Valmark Advisers, Inc. (VAI), each an SEC registered investment advisor. Please refer to your investment advisory agreement and the Form ADV disclosures provided to you for more information. VAI/VSI, LSF and BDO Alliance USA are non-affiliated entities and separate entities from Fulcrum Partners and CapAcuity, LLC. Unless otherwise noted, VAI/VSI, LSF and BDO Alliance USA are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any other company, agency or government agency identified or referenced in this document.


BDO is the brand name for BDO USA, LLP, a U.S. professional services firm providing assurance, tax, and advisory services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies. For more than 100 years, BDO has provided quality service through the active involvement of experienced and committed professionals. The firm serves clients through more than 60 offices and over 500 independent alliance firm locations nationwide. As an independent Member Firm of BDO International Limited, BDO serves multi-national clients through a global network of more than 73,000 people working out of 1,500 offices across 162 countries.

BDO USA, LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, is the U.S. member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO Member Firms. For more information please visit:


Bruce Brownell


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