This excerpt taken from the IBM 10-Q filed Apr 29, 2008.
Election of Payment Option. A Participant shall elect a payment option for his or her NG Deferred Shares in the form and manner prescribed by the Plan Administrator and during the special election period in 2007 (except as provided in Article 9.07, below, with respect to a separation during the first quarter of 2008). During the special election period designated by the Plan Administrator and ending no later than December 31, 2007, an Eligible Employee may elect the payment option that will apply to his or her NG Deferred Shares under the Plan in the event his or her 409A Separation from Service occurs on or after April 1, 2008, if the Eligible Employee:
(i) is eligible to make elective deferrals under the Excess Plan in 2008;
(ii) on October 31, 2007, had a balance in his or her Accounts; or
(iii) on October 31, 2007, had a valid election on file for Deferrals in 2007.
Accordingly, an individual who first became an executive after October 31, 2007, and who is not eligible to make elective deferrals under the Excess Plan in 2008, is not eligible to make a payment election under this paragraph (a), even if he or she deferred pay under the Plan in 2007.