ERISA and Non-ERISA, Options for Owners

Unemployment remains at an all–time low! Which is great for our economy, but it also means employees hold all of the cards. Employers are constantly trying to find ways to differentiate themselves when recruiting for top talent.  We provide health insurance! And dental! And vision! And a 401(k) match!...... and that is the very minimum of employee expectations.  But wait there’s more! We now offer an additional retirement savings plan!

Yes, there are additional options beyond the “old fashioned” pension plans and 401(k) plans to attract top executives to your company.

Non-ERISA plans provide many benefits, but they come with some risks as well. We’ve broken down the key pros and cons to consider below:


  • No IRS limitations on contributions
  • Employer can choose who participates and who doesn’t
  • No DOL compliance testing required
  • No Vesting requirements
  • Employee is not taxed until distribution is taken


  • Tax deduction for Company comes later when employee takes distribution
  • Assets and liabilities are on the books of the employer and are not protected from creditors

Numerous plan design options are available to employers wishing to adopt a nonqualified plan. If you would like to design a plan that fits your Organization’s needs, contact us! 

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2021 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

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