This excerpt taken from the AKS DEF 14A filed Apr 17, 2008.
Reason for Seeking Shareholder Approval and Explanation of Approval Sought
Section 162(m) generally places a $1,000,000 limit on the deductibility for federal income tax purposes of the annual compensation paid to a companys chief executive officer and each of its other four most highly compensated executive officers (other than the Chief Financial Officer). However, qualified performance-based compensation is exempt from this deductibility limitation. Qualified performance-based compensation is compensation paid based solely upon the achievement of objective performance goals, the material terms of which are approved by the shareholders of the paying corporation.
The Companys Annual Incentive Plan, including its performance goals, was approved by the Companys shareholders in 2003 and grants of performance awards under the plan currently qualify as performance-based compensation under Section 162(m). Under Section 162(m), however, in order for performance awards under the Annual Incentive Plan to continue to qualify as performance-based compensation, the material terms of the plans performance goals must be approved by the shareholders no later than the first shareholder meeting that occurs in the fifth year following the year in which the goals last received shareholder approval. Since the last such shareholder approval was received in 2003, we are now asking the shareholders to reapprove the Annual Incentive Plan performance goals in order to preserve the tax status of performance awards as performance-based, and thereby allow the Company to continue to fully deduct the compensation expense related to the awards. We are not amending or altering the Annual Incentive Plan. If this proposal is not adopted, the Compensation Committee may continue to grant performance awards under the Annual Incentive Plan, but if it does so, certain awards to executive officers would no longer be fully tax deductible by the Company.