This excerpt taken from the HPQ DEF 14A filed Feb 11, 2005.
HP Severance Policy for Senior Executives
Under the HP Severance Policy, which the Board adopted in July 2003, HP will seek stockholder approval for future severance agreements, if any, with senior executives that provide specified benefits in an amount exceeding 2.99 times the sum of the executive's current annual base salary plus annual target cash bonus, in each case as in effect immediately prior to the time of such executive's termination. In implementing the HP Severance Policy, the Board may elect to seek stockholder approval after the material terms of the relevant severance agreement are agreed upon. Senior executives subject to the HP Severance Policy are HP's executive officers for purposes of Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended ("Senior Executives").
For purposes of determining the amounts subject to the HP Severance Policy, benefits subject to the limit generally include cash separation payments that directly relate to salary and bonus and extraordinary benefits that are not available to groups of employees other than the Senior Executives upon termination of employment. However, benefits that have been earned or accrued, as well as prorated bonuses, accelerated stock or option vesting and other benefits that are consistent with HP practices applicable to employees other than the Senior Executives, are not counted against the limit. In particular, benefits subject to the HP Severance Policy include: (a) separation payments based on a multiplier of salary plus target bonus, or cash amounts payable for the uncompleted portion of employment agreements; (b) any gross-up payments made in connection with severance, retirement or similar payments, including any gross-up payments with respect to excess parachute payments under Section 280G of the Code; (c) the value of any service period credited to a Senior Executive in excess of the period of service actually provided by such Senior Executive for purposes of any employee benefit plan; (d) the value of benefits and perquisites that are inconsistent with HP practices applicable to one or more groups of employees in addition to, or other than, the Senior Executives ("Company Practices"); and (e) the value of any accelerated vesting of any stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock or long-term cash incentives that is inconsistent with Company Practices. The following benefits are not subject to the Severance Policy, either because they have been previously earned or accrued by the employee or because they are consistent with Company Practices: (a) compensation and benefits earned, accrued, deferred or otherwise provided for employment services rendered on or prior to the date of termination of employment pursuant to bonus, retirement, deferred compensation or other benefit plans, e.g., 401(k) plan distributions, payments pursuant to retirement plans, distributions under deferred compensation plans or payments for accrued benefits such as unused vacation days, and any amounts earned with respect to such compensation and benefits in accordance with the terms of the applicable plan; (b) payments of prorated portions of bonuses or prorated long-term incentive payments that are consistent with Company Practices; (c) acceleration of the vesting of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock or long-term cash incentives that is consistent with Company Practices; (d) payments or benefits required to be provided by law; and (e) benefits and perquisites provided in accordance with the terms of any benefit plan, program or arrangement sponsored by HP or its affiliates that are consistent with Company Practices.
For purposes of the HP Severance Policy, future severance agreements include any severance agreements or employment agreements containing severance provisions that HP may enter into after the adoption of the HP Severance Policy by the Board and agreements renewing, modifying or extending such agreements. Future severance agreements do not include retirement plans, deferred compensation plans, early retirement plans, workforce restructuring plans, retention plans in connection with extraordinary transactions or similar plans or agreements entered into in connection with any of the foregoing, provided that such plans or agreements are applicable to one or more groups of employees in addition to the Senior Executives.