(6) Employee may elect salary reduction arrangement (A) Arrangements which qualify (i) In general A simplified employee pension shall not fail to meet the requirements of this subsection for a year merely because, under the terms of the pension, an employee may elect to have the employer make payments— (I) as elective employer contributions to the simplified employee pension on behalf of the employee, or (II) to the employee directly in cash. (ii) 50 percent of eligible employees must elect Clause (i) shall not apply to a simplified employee pension unless an election described in clause (i)(I) is made or is in effect with respect to not less than 50 percent of the employees of the employer eligible to participate. (iii) Requirements relating to deferral percentage Clause (i) shall not apply to a simplified employee pension for any year unless the deferral percentage for such year of each highly compensated employee eligible to participate is not more than the product of— (I) the average of the deferral percentages for such year of all employees (other than highly compensated employees) eligible to participate, multiplied by (II) 1.25. (iv) Limitations on elective deferrals Clause (i) shall not apply to a simplified employee pension unless the requirements of section 401(a)(30) are met. (B) Exception where more than 25 employees This paragraph shall not apply with respect to any year in the case of a simplified employee pension maintained by an employer with more than 25 employees who were eligible to participate (or would have been required to be eligible to participate if a pension was maintained) at any time during the preceding year. (C) Distributions of excess contributions (i) In general Rules similar to the rules of section 401(k)(8) shall apply to any excess contribution under this paragraph. Any excess contribution under a simplified employee pension shall be treated as an excess contribution for purposes of section 4979. (ii) Excess contribution For purposes of clause (i), the term “excess contribution” means, with respect to a highly compensated employee, the excess of elective employer contributions under this paragraph over the maximum amount of such contributions allowable under subparagraph (A)(iii). (D) Deferral percentage For purposes of this paragraph, the deferral percentage for an employee for a year shall be the ratio of— (i) the amount of elective employer contributions actually paid over to the simplified employee pension on behalf of the employee for the year, to (ii) the employee’s compensation (not in excess of the first $200,000) for the year. (E) Exception for State and local and tax-exempt pensions This paragraph shall not apply to a simplified employee pension maintained by— (i) a State or local government or political subdivision thereof, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or (ii) an organization exempt from tax under this title. (F) Exception where pension does not meet requirements necessary to insure distribution of excess contributions This paragraph shall not apply with respect to any year for which the simplified employee pension does not meet such requirements as the Secretary may prescribe as are necessary to insure that excess contributions are distributed in accordance with subparagraph (C), including— (i) reporting requirements, and (ii) requirements which, notwithstanding paragraph (4), provide that contributions (and any income allocable thereto) may not be withdrawn from a simplified employee pension until a determination has been made that the requirements of subparagraph (A)(iii) have been met with respect to such contributions. (G) Highly compensated employee For purposes of this paragraph, the term “highly compensated employee” has the meaning given such term by section 414(q). (H) Termination This paragraph shall not apply to years beginning after December 31, 1996 . The preceding sentence shall not apply to a simplified employee pension of an employer if the terms of simplified employee pensions of such employer, as in effect on December 31, 1996 , provide that an employee may make the election described in subparagraph (A).