Why Goldman Sachs gave an early payday to execs

In a race against looming changes to the tax code, Goldman Sachs handed out nearly $100 million worth of stock awards to some of its top executives.

According to public filings posted Friday, ten Goldman executives -- including CEO Lloyd Blankfein and much of the company's C-Suite -- were each scheduled to receive a batch of stock awards in January.

But the company decided to deliver the stock grants in December instead. The awards are worth a combined $94.8 million, the filings indicate.

Goldman said it moved the awards into 2017 because of "changes in U.S. tax law." By paying them before January, the bank will save money on its tax bill.

The bank did not respond to requests for comment.

The new law marked the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years. It included a big cut to the corporate tax rate, lowering it to 21 percent from 35 percent.

But it made many other changes, and companies are scrambling to adapt. The law was signed by President Trump just before Christmas and most provisions go into effect on January 1.

One provision changes how much companies can deduct for the compensation they pay executives, said Jared Walczak, a senior policy analyst at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Under current law, companies can only deduct up to $1 million per executive, but performance-based pay is excluded from the cap. But starting January 1, that performance-based compensation will count toward the $1 million.

That will effectively remove the tax incentive for companies to tie pay to performance, while keeping base salaries under $1 million.

In a related move, Netflix also reacted to the new tax law by changing its executive compensation plan for 2018.

The company said in a public filing posted Thursday that it's going to start paying some of its top executives higher salaries, and tie less of their compensation to performance, citing the law change.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.

This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.