Most substantial retailers are continuing to offer nonqualified executive benefit programs.

Clark Consulting L.L.C., Dallas, comes to that conclusion in a summary of results from a wide variety of U.S. employers, including retailers.

Clark looked at use of nonqualified deferred compensation plans and supplemental executive retirement plans. About 90% of the retailers participating in the survey said they sponsor NQDC plans, and about 60% sponsor SERPs. Another 10% are “currently considering” offering a SERP plan.

One aspect of NQDC and SERP administration that Clark studied was access to the plans. Clark found, for example, that about 78% of the NQDC sponsors base eligibility entirely on position level.

At 86% of those companies, presidents, chief executive officers, executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents and vice presidents are eligible. Only 71% of division managers and just 43% of highly compensated sales personnel are eligible.

At employers that have SERPs and determine SERP eligibility by position level, 71% make SERPs available to presidents, CEOs and executive vice presidents, and 57% make SERPs available to senior vice presidents and vice presidents. About 29% said they have “other” position-based criteria for determining SERP eligibility.