Another former Salomon Smith Barney broker has won back the money in his deferred compensation package. In October, an NYSE arbitration panel in Providence, R.I., ordered SSB to pay former producing manager Joel Raskin almost $22,000 - roughly the amount he claimed to have contributed to his Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP) account, plus interest.
SSB's CAP program allows brokers to buy Citigroup stock at a discount, through pretax payroll deductions. Raskin managed a satellite branch for SSB in Middletown, R.I.
Attorney Bill Jacobson, who represented Raskin in arbitration, says SSB's position is that a broker who leaves the firm before his CAP account vests forfeits those funds. Although he would not comment on the specifics of the Raskin case, Jacobson says CAP assets are usually taxed as ordinary income when they vest and should therefore be considered part of the broker's compensation package. SSB's refusal to refund CAP money constitutes an illegal confiscation of wages under state law, he says.
SSB has suffered several recent defeats in its attempts to retain unvested CAP assets. In June, an NASDR arbitration panel ordered SSB to pay a former branch manager $730,000 that had accumulated in his CAP account. SSB also faces several proposed class-action suits challenging the legality of the program.
The Raskin case appears to be the second CAP suit to go the distance. SSB has typically settled other CAP cases. But Raskin's complaint didn't last long once it got to a hearing. According to the arbitration award, the case was heard and decided on the same day - Oct. 5.
SSB declined to comment on the case.