This excerpt taken from the HPQ 10-K filed Jan 14, 2005.
Section 6. Payout to the Participants.
6.1 Time of Payment of Deferred Amounts.
6.1.1 Deferrals Made in 2004 and Thereafter. On each deferral election form filed by a Participant, such Participant shall specify the Deferred Payment Date on which benefit payments under the Plan are to be made or commence with respect to the Deferred Amount covered by such deferral election. In making such designation, the Participant may designate any January of a specified year as a Deferred Payment Date, so long as the specified year is at least three (3) years after the year in which the deferrals are being made. Additionally, on such form the Participant may elect that in all events payments shall commence as soon as practicable following the date on which the Eligible Employee terminates employment with the Company (which, in the case of installment payments, shall be as of the January following the date of such Employee's termination of employment). If for any reason the Eligible Employee fails to make an effective Deferred Payment Date designation, his Deferred Payment Date for the amount that is the subject of the deferral election shall be as soon as practicable following the date on which the Eligible Employee terminates employment with the Company and related entities, with such amount paid in a single lump sum. Except as otherwise provided in this Section 6, all benefit payments under the Plan with respect to Deferred Amounts shall be made to the Participant on the Deferred Payment Dates as specified in his applicable deferral election forms.
6.1.2 Special Election for Pre-2004 Deferrals. With respect to the portion of their Deferral Account attributable to Base Pay and Bonus deferrals that occurred prior to 2004, Participants shall be entitled to a special one-time election to specify a new Deferred Payment Date on which benefit payments under the Plan are to be made or commence. In general, such election shall follow the process described in Section 6.1.1 above and shall apply so long as the Participant's Termination Date occurs on or after January 1, 2005, and in accordance with rules established by the Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, in the event that a Participant's Termination Date occurs prior to January 1, 2005, the portion of his Deferral Account attributable to contributions made prior to 2004 shall be distributed to him as described in Section 7.
6.2 Forms of Payment of Deferred Amounts. On each deferral election form filed by a Participant, such Participant shall specify the form of payment for the amounts attributable to the Deferred Amount covered by such deferral election. In making such designation, the Participant may designate payment in the form of a single lump-sum payment or payment in the form of annual installment payments payable for not less than two (2) but no more than fifteen (15) years. Annual installment payments will be paid once a year beginning on the date specified on the applicable deferral election form, as provided in Section 6.1. If for any reason the Participant fails to make an effective designation under this Section 6.2, payment of the amount that is the subject of the deferral election shall be made in the form of a single lump-sum payment on the date as specified in Section 6.1. Except as otherwise provided in this Section 6 or in Section 7, all benefit payments under the Plan with respect to a Participant's Deferred Amounts shall be made to the Participant in the payment forms as specified on his applicable deferral election forms.
6.3 Death Benefits. If a Participant shall die with a balance credited to his Accounts, such balance shall be paid to his applicable designated Beneficiary or Beneficiaries as provided herein. With respect to all amounts that have not been paid as of the Participant's death, the then-current balance of each such amount payable to a designated Beneficiary shall be paid to the designated Beneficiary in a single lump-sum payment as soon as practicable following the Participant's death.
6.4 Minimum Distributions. If a Participant's employment with the Company has terminated, and if such Participant has elected (or is entitled) to receive installment distributions from the Plan, and the Participant's Account balance is equal or less than $15,000, the Committee in its sole and exclusive discretion may pay to such Participant, in lieu of such installment distribution, the total balance in such Participant's Account immediately upon termination. If a Participant's employment has terminated, and such Participant's Account balance is greater than $15,000 and the Participant has elected (or is entitled) to receive installment distributions from the Plan, the Committee in its discretion may increase such Participant's annual payments to $15,000 and reduce the total number of payments to be paid in proportion to such increased payment, but may not otherwise accelerate the time of the payments. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a Participant's Termination Date precedes his Retirement Date, then the Participant's Account balance will be distributed in a single lump sum immediately upon termination.
6.5 Method of Calculation of Payments. For purposes of computing the amount of any distribution to a Participant or a Beneficiary, the balance in such Participant's or Beneficiary's Account (as of the date preceding the payment date) shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which equals one and the denominator of which equals the number of years that such Participant or Beneficiary has elected to defer payments under this Section 6 less the number of payments such Participant or Beneficiary has previously received pursuant to this Section 6.
6.6 Automatic Payment. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, if it has been finally determined that funds held pursuant to this Plan and the relevant Earnings are includable in the taxable income of a Participant or his Beneficiary, such funds shall be immediately distributed to such Participant or Beneficiary. For purposes of this Section, a final determination shall occur when a decision is determined by the highest court which could otherwise render a decision (or the Participant and the Internal Revenue Service have reached a final agreement) in this regard.