Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan - SERP


DEFINITION of 'Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan - SERP'

A non-qualified retirement plan for key company employees, such as executives, that provides benefits above and beyond those covered in other retirement plans such as IRA, 401(k) or NQDC plans. There are many different kinds of SERPs available to companies wishing to ensure their key employees are able to maintain their current standards of living in retirement.

SERPs are also known as "top hat plans".

BREAKING DOWN 'Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan - SERP'

Unlike NQDC plans, in which key employees defer compensation in order to receive it later, SERPs are entirely funded by the employer. Because of the high costs associated with funding SERPS, they are criticized by shareholder advocates and labor groups that believe some executives are overpaid for their performance.

  1. Employee Stock Option - ESO

    A stock option granted to specified employees of a company. ESOs ...
  2. Top Hat Plan

    A form of retirement plan available only to selected company ...
  3. Golden Hello

    A signing bonus offered to a candidate from a rival company. ...
  4. Employee Stock Ownership Plan - ...

    A qualified, defined contribution, employee benefit (ERISA) plan ...
  5. Government-Sponsored Retirement ...

    A Canadian retirement plan for individuals who are not employees ...
  6. Camouflage Compensation

    Compensation that is granted to upper echelon employees, directors, ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Financial Footnotes: Start Reading The Fine Print

    Find out what could be hidden in this often-overlooked part of the financial statements.
  2. Options & Futures

    A New Approach To Equity Compensation

    The new financial accounting standard known as FAS 123R could take a bite out of your portfolio. Find out why here.
  3. Options & Futures

    Putting Management Under The Microscope

    We tell you where to find the telltale signs of corporate misdeeds.
  4. Professionals

    Is Delaying Social Security Until 70 a Good Idea?

    Soon to be retirees are often told it's best to wait until age 70 to collect Social Security. Here's why this is not always the best advice.
  5. Professionals

    Top Tips for Maximizing Social Security

    Between delaying filing, claiming strategies and taking advantage of special marital benefits, there are several ways to maximize Social Security.
  6. Options & Futures

    Pick 401(k) Assets Like A Pro

    Professionals choose the options available to you in your plan, making your decisions easier.
  7. Investing Basics

    5 Things To Ask Before Hiring A Financial Advisor

    Choosing a financial advisor isn't an easy task. Here's a list of the most important things to consider when planning for your financial future.
  8. Retirement

    How to Choose 401(k) Investment Options

    401(k) plans have become an integral part of retirement planning for good reason.
  9. Professionals

    Advisors: Clients Want These Three Things from You

    Calmness, transparency and credentials (and more) are the key elements clients look for when selecting a financial advisor.
  10. Investing Basics

    Hiring a Financial Advisor? Look for the CFP Label

    Don’t skimp on the CFP designation. Here's why those three letters show that someone is qualified in financial and investment planning.
  1. What are the risks of rolling my 401(k) into an annuity?

    Though the appeal of having guaranteed income after retirement is undeniable, there are actually a number of risks to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does a Roth IRA grow over time?

    Your Roth IRA account grows over time thanks to two funding sources: contributions and earnings. While your contributions ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can my 401(k) be seized or garnished?

    As long as your retirement funds are held in your 401(k) and you do not take them as distributions, your 401(k) cannot be ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can my IRA be taken in a lawsuit?

    Whether your IRA can be taken in a lawsuit depends largely on your state of residence and the judgment in question. There ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are mutual funds considered retirement accounts?

    Unlike a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), mutual funds are not classified as retirement accounts. Employers ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can my IRA be garnished for child support?

    Though some states protect IRA savings from garnishment of any kind, most states lift this exemption in cases where the account ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!