The PRP provides pension benefits above compensation limits set by the IRS. (Participation is automatic if your annual pay exceeds the IRC Section 401(a)(17) limit in any given year.)
IRS rules are very strict about what is considered a separation from service (including retirement).
If you receive payment of your PRP benefit and return to work for the company on more than a very limited basis (i.e., less than 20 percent of the average time you were spending on the job for the 36 months before your employment ended) as an employee, independent contractor or consultant, your employment will be considered continuous and you will be treated as if you received a payment during employment.
If this happens, you may be responsible for paying:
- Immediate taxes on your PRP lump-sum benefit
- An additional 20 percent tax penalty
- Retroactive premium interest, back to when you first became a participant in the plan or, if later, 2005
The income tax, tax penalty and interest penalty can easily equal or exceed the amount of the PRP benefit.
If you are a PRP participant and thinking of leaving Hess and returning as an employee, consultant or independent contractor, be sure to talk with your tax advisor and your HR representative. It may make sense for you to delay your termination of employment with Hess.
|IF YOU...||YEARS OF VESTING SERVICE||YOUR LUMP-SUM PRP BENEFIT WILL BE PAID AUTOMATICALLY...|
|Are Age 55 Or Older||10 or more||On the first of the month following six months after your retirement date per IRS regulations|
|Are Age 65||1 or more||On the first of the month following six months after your retirement date per IRS regulations|
|Leave Before Age 55||10 or more||When you turn age 55 or six months after your retirement date, whichever is later|
|Leave Before Age 65||Less than 10||When you reach age 65|