This excerpt taken from the PCG DEF 14A filed Apr 1, 2009.
Severance Payments and Benefits
PG&E Corporation Officer Severance Policy. The PG&E Corporation Officer Severance Policy provides enhanced "change in control" severance benefits to covered officers, i.e., officers of PG&E Corporation at the Senior Vice President level or higher, and the principal executive officer of any entity listed in the Officer Severance Policy, which typically includes PG&E Corporation's primary subsidiaries. If other officers are terminated in connection with a Change in Control, they will receive standard severance benefits as discussed in the section entitled "Potential Payments Upon Termination Without Cause."
These Change in Control severance payments and benefits apply only upon a "double trigger," i.e., after (1) the covered officer's termination without cause or constructive termination, and (2) in connection with a Change in Control (which may include following a Potential Change in Control, as defined in the Policy). Constructive termination includes certain changes to a covered officer's responsibilities, compensation, or place of employment.
If a covered officer is terminated without cause or is constructively terminated in connection with a Change in Control, the Policy provides for a lump sum payment equal to the total of:
For these purposes, "cause" means:
Change in Control termination benefits also include reimbursement of excise taxes levied upon the severance benefit under Internal Revenue Code Section 4999. In addition, benefits conditioned upon continued future employment will accelerate in full.
Officers also are entitled to receive accrued pension benefits and the aggregate balance in the officer's deferred compensation account, as described in the narrative accompanying the Pension Benefits table and the Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation table.
PG&E Corporation Golden Parachute Restriction Policy. Benefits provided under the Officer Severance Policy also are subject to the Golden Parachute Restriction Policy, which was adopted on February 15, 2006, in response to a shareholder proposal that was approved by shareholders at PG&E Corporation's 2005 annual meeting.
The Golden Parachute Restriction Policy requires shareholder approval of executive severance payments provided in connection with a Change in Control of PG&E Corporation, to the extent that those payments exceed 2.99 times the sum of a covered officer's base salary and target annual bonus.
The policy applies to the value of cash, special benefits, or perquisites that are due to the executive following or in connection with both (1) a Change in Control, and (2) the termination or constructive termination of an officer covered by the Officer Severance Policy. It does not apply to the value of benefits that would be triggered by a Change in Control without severance, or to the value of benefits that would be triggered by severance in the absence of a Change in Control. The Golden Parachute Restriction Policy also does not apply to certain enumerated payments, including, among others, compensation for services rendered prior to termination, tax restoration payments, and accelerated vesting or settlement of equity awards.