To be successful, your organization must attract top talent with the skills you need to achieve your business goals and objectives. Your compensation plan is among the most important tools you have when hiring, motivating and retaining your most important assets – your people.

Marcum compensation consultants help you arrive at a cost-effective, market-driven compensation plan that’s appropriate for your stage of development. Most importantly, we ensure it’s also aligned with your firm’s larger business objectives.

The proper compensation plan can also help shareholders liquidate their ownership on a tax- advantaged basis, support succession planning, and ensure executives guide the company in accordance with the board’s wishes.

To discuss the full range of possibilities for your company’s compensation plans, ask Marcum.

Much more than a paycheck and a yearly bonus.

Too many key employees walk away looking for more money or a chance to make a bigger impact. Often, instead of proactively managing their employees’ compensation plans, the companies they’re leaving stick to what they’ve always done – keeping raises in line with inflation or whatever employers in their industry are paying, giving employees the national average bonus percentage as a reward for good performance. Today, that’s not enough.

Marcum designs compensation plans that help attract great people— from senior executives and sales people to line staff. Compensation plans are designed to motivate employees on a multi-year basis, to meet or exceed expectations and keep them engaged, valuable team members. We help you:

  • Design cost-effective compensation solutions that work for your company—whether they’re similar to what your competitors are doing or not.
  • Understand the implications of your new plan on your financial statement, cash flow, and tax liabilities.
  • Design and implement the plan so it works effectively.
  • Incentivize key employees to focus on the long-term. In addition to designing a plan aligned with your company’s goals and objectives, Marcum collaborates with your legal counsel on the plan documents and as you communicate the plan to your employees.
  • Determine the nature of the incentive plan rewards (cash, company stock, life insurance or annuities) and model incentive plan projections, so you see the value to the company when your employees achieve their incentive plan objectives.

In addition to helping you design a goal- and rewards-oriented executive compensation plan, you can look to Marcum for assistance with a number of federal tax and labor law issues that employers and executives need to consider, including:

  • Plan payment levels, which may not be deductible by a publicly traded employer [IRC Section 162(m)]. Plans of this type cannot be offered to a large percentage of employees, or they risk violating “top hat plan” provisions [ERISA 401(a) (1)] and become subject to the terms of ERISA.
  • Employment agreements, equity plans, nonqualified deferred compensation agreements and the impact of the “golden parachute excise tax” of IRC 280G upon a change of control of the employer.
  • Whether executives have too much influence over plan awards and deferred compensation agreements, which can cause them to become subject to the excise tax and income acceleration provisions of IRC Section 409A.
  • The impact of different award types, including equity awards (restricted stock and IRC Section 83), stock options (nonqualified or incentive stock options under IRC 422), phantom equity programs, profits interests and funded nonqualified deferred compensation plans (Rabbi trusts, Secular trusts, and COLI).
  • The impact of the awards on the employer’s tax-qualified retirement programs (IRC 414(s)).

Marcum Year-End Tax Guide

Tax Planning for 2023 and 2024


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Theodore R. Ginsburg

Theodore R. Ginsburg


  • Tax & Business
  • Cleveland, OH