This excerpt taken from the EQR DEF 14A filed Apr 17, 2006.
Optional Deferred Compensation Plan. The Company has an optional deferred compensation plan in which trustees may participate. The trustees may defer receipt of any percentage of their annual cash compensation, which amount is then deposited in a Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (the SERP) on a tax-deferred basis. These deferred funds (as well as any cash trustee fees that are not deferred) may be used to purchase Company common shares under the Companys Employee Share Purchase Plan (the ESPP) at the applicable discounted purchase price under the plan not to exceed $100,000 per year. Each trustee is immediately 100% vested in his or her acquired ESPP shares held in the SERP and is allowed to begin withdrawals over a one to ten year period following termination of his or her trusteeship. The majority of the trustees participate in the SERP and defer the taxation of all cash trustee fees. The trustees may also elect to defer receipt of their restricted shares to the SERP prior to the vesting of the shares. Non-employee trustees do not participate in the Companys profit sharing or 401(k) plan or receive any matching contributions on any fees or restricted shares.