How is a deferred compensation plan (under section 409A of the tax code) distribution taxed if leaving a job (but not retiring) and elected lump sum distribution?
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New Member

How is a deferred compensation plan (under section 409A of the tax code) distribution taxed if leaving a job (but not retiring) and elected lump sum distribution?

I’m looking at a job opportunity that has a deferred compensation plan that complies with section 409A of the tax code. I’m wondering if I got this job, worked there for a few years, and then voluntarily left the job how much of the distribution would I lose to taxes, given that I elected to have it distributed in a lump sum upon separation of service?

3 Replies
Level 15

How is a deferred compensation plan (under section 409A of the tax code) distribution taxed if leaving a job (but not retiring) and elected lump sum distribution?

See:  <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/409a-nonqualified-deferred-compensation-plans">https://www.irs....>
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
New Member

How is a deferred compensation plan (under section 409A of the tax code) distribution taxed if leaving a job (but not retiring) and elected lump sum distribution?

That doesn’t answer my question. I’ve also read the tax code and I need someone to simplify the language for me. My specific example is not clear anywhere I’ve looked.
Level 15

How is a deferred compensation plan (under section 409A of the tax code) distribution taxed if leaving a job (but not retiring) and elected lump sum distribution?

Distributions to employees from nonqualified deferred compensation plans are considered wages subject to income tax upon distribution. Since nonqualified distributions are subject to income taxes, these amounts should be included in amounts reported on Form W-2 in Box 1, Wages, Tips, and Other Compensation. Most states follow the federal rules for reporting distributions from deferred compensation plans, please consult local regulations.


You don't "lose" it like a traditional 401K ... instead all the distributions are treated like wages on a tax return ... there are no "penalties" like other retirement plans but there are restrictions ... the IRS link above mentions those.  Talk to the plan administrator for more information if needed.  

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