top hat plan
 n.— «Supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs), or “top hat” plans as they are often referred to, were created decades ago to get around a government cap in pension payouts that affects managers earning more than $100,000 per year. With the cap in place, managers earning $500,000 receive the same pension payout as an employee with the same tenure earning just $100,000. The top hat plans allow highly paid execs to earn the same percentage of their income in their pension as lower-paid workers. But while regular worker pensions are tightly regulated and the cost of those plans must be disclosed on the company’s balance sheet, SERPs are largely unfunded—and any disclosure of the costs and benefits of the plans is still voluntary.» —“Special Report: Executive Pensions” by John Gray Canadian Business (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) Aug. 15-28, 2005. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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