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Seeking Benefits Owed Under an ERISA Top-Hat Plan: A Primer for Litigators

, New York Law Journal


Michael C. Rakower and Melissa Yang write: Not all benefit plans are treated equally under ERISA. Some are regulated less closely than others, such as "top-hat plans," unfunded employee benefit plans established principally to provide deferred compensation for "a select group of management or highly compensated employees." Although excluded from some requirements, top-hat plans are subject to ERISA's civil enforcement provisions.

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