This excerpt taken from the HPQ DEF 14A filed Jan 27, 2010.
Compensation Alternatives. Within (A) twenty-five (25) days after the beginning of the Director Plan Year, or (B) if the Non-Employee Director elects to participate in the Hewlett-Packard Company 2005 Executive Deferred Compensation Plan (the EDCP) then in the calendar year preceding the first day of the Director Plan Year, each Non-Employee Director may elect to receive his Annual Equity Retainer in the form of restricted stock units (a Director RSU Award) and or in the form of an option to purchase shares of Common Stock (a Director Option Award). If any Non-Employee Director fails to make such an election, then he shall be deemed to have elected a Director RSU Award for the value of his Annual Equity Retainer. Any such election, or any modification or termination of such an election, shall be filed with HP on a form prescribed by HP for this purpose. If a Non-Employee Director does not elect to participate in the EDCP and does not select his or her means of payment within the prescribed time, then such Non-Employee Director shall not be permitted to participate in the EDCP for the applicable Director Plan Year.