Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Trust - 501(c)(17)


A trust or trusts forming part of a plan providing for the payment of supplemental unemployment compensation benefits qualifies as a supplemental unemployment benefit trust exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(17) if the following requirements are satisfied:

  1. The trust must constitute a valid trust under local law, be evidenced by an executed written document, and be part of a written plan.
  2. The plan must be established and maintained by an employer or its employees solely for the purpose of providing supplemental unemployment compensation benefits.
  3. The plan must provide that the corpus and income of the trust cannot be used for, or diverted to, any purpose other than providing such benefits prior to the satisfaction of all liabilities to the employees covered by the plan.
  4. Benefits must be determined according to objective standards, and may not be determined solely in the discretion of the trustees.
  5. The eligibility requirements and the benefits payable must not discriminate in favor of officers, shareholders, supervisory employees, or highly compensated employees.  Benefits payable under the plan will not be considered discriminatory if they bear a uniform relationship to the total compensation of the employees covered by the plan.

Benefits must be paid to an employee because of the employee’s involuntary separation (whether or not such separation is temporary) from employment resulting directly from a reduction in force, the discontinuance of a plant or operation, or other similar conditions.  In addition, sick and accident benefits may be included in the plan if these are subordinate to the unemployment compensation benefits.

An organization will not be treated as exempt under section 501(c)(9) or 501(c)(17) unless it gives timely notice to the IRS that is it applying for recognition of such status.  See When to File in the instructions to Form 1024PDF for more information.