U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 27, 2020

§ 1.457-11 - Tax treatment of participants if plan is not an eligible plan.

(a) In general. Under section 457(f), if an eligible employer provides for a deferral of compensation under any agreement or arrangement that is an ineligible plan -

(1) Compensation deferred under the agreement or arrangement is includible in the gross income of the participant or beneficiary for the first taxable year in which there is no substantial risk of forfeiture (within the meaning of section 457(f)(3)(B)) of the rights to such compensation;

(2) If the compensation deferred is subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture, the amount includible in gross income for the first taxable year in which there is no substantial risk of forfeiture includes earnings thereon to the date on which there is no substantial risk of forfeiture;

(3) Earnings credited on the compensation deferred under the agreement or arrangement that are not includible in gross income under paragraph (a)(2) of this section are includible in the gross income of the participant or beneficiary only when paid or made available to the participant or beneficiary, provided that the interest of the participant or beneficiary in any assets (including amounts deferred under the plan) of the entity sponsoring the agreement or arrangement is not senior to the entity's general creditors; and

(4) Amounts paid or made available to a participant or beneficiary under the agreement or arrangement are includible in the gross income of the participant or beneficiary under section 72, relating to annuities.

(b) Exceptions. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply with respect to -

(1) A plan described in section 401(a) which includes a trust exempt from tax under section 501(a);

(2) An annuity plan or contract described in section 403;

(3) That portion of any plan which consists of a transfer of property described in section 83;

(4) That portion of any plan which consists of a trust to which section 402(b) applies; or

(5) A qualified governmental excess benefit arrangement described in section 415(m).

(c) Amount included in income. The amount included in gross income on the applicable date under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section is equal to the present value of the compensation (including earnings to the extent provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section) on that date. For purposes of applying section 72 on the applicable date under paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section, the participant is treated as having paid investment in the contract (or basis) to the extent that the deferred compensation has been taken into account by the participant in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.

(d) Coordination of section 457(f) with section 83 - (1) General rules. Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, section 457(f) and paragraph (a) of this section do not apply to that portion of any plan which consists of a transfer of property described in section 83. For this purpose, a transfer of property described in section 83 means a transfer of property to which section 83 applies. Section 457(f) and paragraph (a) of this section do not apply if the date on which there is no substantial risk of forfeiture with respect to compensation deferred under an agreement or arrangement that is not an eligible plan is on or after the date on which there is a transfer of property to which section 83 applies. However, section 457(f) and paragraph (a) of this section apply if the date on which there is no substantial risk of forfeiture with respect to compensation deferred under an agreement or arrangement that is not an eligible plan precedes the date on which there is a transfer of property to which section 83 applies. If deferred compensation payable in property is includible in gross income under section 457(f), then, as provided in section 72, the amount includible in gross income when that property is later transferred or made available to the service provider is the excess of the value of the property at that time over the amount previously included in gross income under section 457(f).

(2) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph (d) are illustrated in the following examples:

Example 1.(i) Facts. As part of an arrangement for the deferral of compensation, an eligible employer agrees on December 1, 2002 to pay an individual rendering services for the eligible employer a specified dollar amount on January 15, 2005. The arrangement provides for the payment to be made in the form of property having a fair market value equal to the specified dollar amount. The individual's rights to the payment are not subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (within the meaning of section 457(f)(3)(B)).

(ii) Conclusion. In this Example 1, because there is no substantial risk of forfeiture with respect to the agreement to transfer property in 2005, the present value (as of December 1, 2002) of the payment is includible in the individual's gross income for 2002. Under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, when the payment is made on January 15, 2005, the amount includible in the individual's gross income is equal to the excess of the fair market value of the property when paid, over the amount that was includible in gross income for 2002 (which is the basis allocable to that payment).

Example 2.(i) Facts. As part of an arrangement for the deferral of compensation, individuals A and B rendering services for a tax-exempt entity each receive in 2010 property that is subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (within the meaning of section 457(f)(3)(B) and within the meaning of section 83(c)(1)). Individual A makes an election to include the fair market value of the property in gross income under section 83(b) and individual B does not make this election. The substantial risk of forfeiture for the property transferred to individual A lapses in 2012 and the substantial risk of forfeiture for the property transferred to individual B also lapses in 2012. Thus, the property transferred to individual A is included in A's gross income for 2010 when A makes a section 83(b) election and the property transferred to individual B is included in B's gross income for 2012 when the substantial risk of forfeiture for the property lapses.

(ii) Conclusion. In this Example 2, in each case, the compensation deferred is not subject to section 457(f) or this section because section 83 applies to the transfer of property on or before the date on which there is no substantial risk of forfeiture with respect to compensation deferred under the arrangement.

Example 3.(i) Facts. In 2004, Z, a tax-exempt entity, grants an option to acquire property to employee C. The option lacks a readily ascertainable fair market value, within the meaning of section 83(e)(3), has a value on the date of grant equal to $100,000, and is not subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (within the meaning of section 457(f)(3)(B) and within the meaning of section 83(c)(1)). Z exercises the option in 2012 by paying an exercise price of $75,000 and receives property that has a fair market value (for purposes of section 83) equal to $300,000.

(ii) Conclusion. In this Example 3, under section 83(e)(3), section 83 does not apply to the grant of the option. Accordingly, C has income of $100,000 in 2004 under section 457(f). In 2012, C has income of $125,000, which is the value of the property transferred in 2012, minus the allocable portion of the basis that results from the $100,000 of income in 2004 and the $75,000 exercise price.

Example 4.(i) Facts. In 2010, X, a tax-exempt entity, agrees to pay deferred compensation to employee D. The amount payable is $100,000 to be paid 10 years later in 2020. The commitment to make the $100,000 payment is not subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture. In 2010, the present value of the $100,000 is $50,000. In 2018, X transfers to D property having a fair market value (for purposes of section 83) equal to $70,000. The transfer is in partial settlement of the commitment made in 2010 and, at the time of the transfer in 2018, the present value of the commitment is $80,000. In 2020, X pays D the $12,500 that remains due.

(ii) Conclusion. In this Example 4, D has income of $50,000 in 2010. In 2018, D has income of $30,000, which is the amount transferred in 2018, minus the allocable portion of the basis that results from the $50,000 of income in 2010. (Under section 72(e)(2)(B), income is allocated first. The income is equal to $30,000 ($80,000 minus the $50,000 basis), with the result that the allocable portion of the basis is equal to $40,000 ($70,000 minus the $30,000 of income).) In 2020, D has income of $2,500 ($12,500 minus $10,000, which is the excess of the original $50,000 basis over the $40,000 basis allocated to the transfer made in 2018).

[T.D. 9075, 68 FR 41240, July 11, 2003]