Payments under certain employers' plans after retirement, disability, or death.
The term “wages” does not include the amount of any payment or series of payments made after January 2, 1968, by an employer to, or on behalf of, an employee or any of his dependents under a plan established by the employer which makes provisions for his employees generally (or for his employees generally and their dependents) or for a class or classes of his employees (or for a class or classes of his employees and their dependents), which is paid or commences to be paid upon or within a reasonable time after the termination of an employee's employment relationship because of the employee's—
Retirement for disability, or
Retirement after attaining an age specified in the plan established by the employer or in a pension plan of the employer at the age at which a person in the employee's circumstances is eligible for retirement.
A payment or series of payments made under the circumstances described in the preceding sentence is excluded from “wages” even if made pursuant to an incentive compensation plan which also provides for the making of other types of payments. However, any payment or series of payments which would have been paid if the employee's relationship had not been terminated is not excluded from “wages” under this section and section 3121(a)(13). For example, lump-sum payments for unused vacation time or a final paycheck received after retirement are payments which the employee would have received whether or not he retired and therefore are not excluded from “wages” under this section. Further, if any payment is made upon or after termination of employment for any reason other than those set out in subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this paragraph such payment is not excludable from “wages” by this section. For example, if a pension plan provides for retirement upon disability, completion of 30 years of service, or attainment of age 65, and if an employee who is not disabled retires at age 61 after 30 years of service, none of the retirement payments made to the employee under the pension plan (including any made after he is 65) is excludable from “wages” under this section. However, if the pension plan had conditioned retirement after 30 years of service upon attainment of age 60, all of the retirement payments would have been excludable.
The plan or system established by an employer need not provide for payments because of termination of employment for all the reasons set out in paragraphs (a)(1), (2), and (3) of this section, but such plan or system may provide for payments because of termination for any one or more of such reasons. Payments because of termination of employment for any one or more of such reasons under a plan or system established by an employer solely for the dependents of his employees are not within this exclusion from wages.
Dependents of an employee include the employee's husband or wife, children, and any other members of the employee's immediate family.
It is immaterial for purposes of this exclusion whether the amount or possibility of benefit payments is paid on account of services rendered or taken into consideration in fixing the amount of an employee's remuneration or whether such payments are required, expressly or impliedly, by the contract of service.
The application of this section may be illustrated by the following example:
A, an employee, receives a salary of $1,500 a month, payable on the 5th day of the month following the month for which the salary is earned. A's employer has established an incentive compensation plan for a class of his employees, including A, providing for the payment of deferred compensation on termination of employment, including termination upon an employee's death, retirement at age 65 (the retirement age specified in the plan), or retirement for disability. On March 1, 1973, A attains the age of 65 and retires. On March 5, 1973, A receives $5,500 from his employer of which $1,500 represents A's salary for services he performed in February 1973, and $4,000 represents incentive compensation paid under the employer's plan. The amount of $4,000 is excluded from “wages” under this section. The amount of $1,500 is not excluded from “wages” under this section.
[T.D. 7374, 40 FR 30949, July 24, 1975]