This excerpt taken from the ROST DEF 14A filed Apr 12, 2006.
Summary of the Amended Plan
The following summary of the Amended Plan is qualified in its entirety by the specific language of the Amended Plan. Copies of the Amended Plan are available to any stockholder upon request addressed to Investor Relations, Ross Stores, Inc., 4440 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, California 94588-3050. The Amended Plan may also be viewed without charge on the Securities and Exchange Commission website at www.sec.gov.
Administration. The Amended Plan generally will be administered by the Compensation Committee or other committee of the Board of Directors or, in the absence of such committee, by the Board of Directors. In the case of awards granted to covered employees, the Amended Plan must be administered by a committee comprised solely of two or more outside directors within the meaning of Section 162(m). The Compensation Committee may delegate to the Chief Executive Officer of the Company the authority to grant awards under the Plan to eligible employees who are not executive officers of the Company, subject to the provisions of the Plan and guidelines established by the Compensation Committee. For purposes of the Amended Plan, an executive officer means a person who, on the last day of a fiscal year, is the Chief Executive Officer, President, an Executive Vice President or Senior Vice President of the Company. For purposes of this summary, the term Committee will refer to the Compensation Committee or other duly appointed committee, the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer to the extent of any authority delegated by the Compensation Committee.
Subject to the provisions of the Amended Plan, the Committee determines in its discretion the persons to whom and the times at which awards are granted and all of their terms and conditions. The Committee may, subject to certain limitations on the exercise of its discretion required by Section 162(m), amend any award or waive any restrictions or conditions applicable to any award. The Amended Plan provides, subject to certain limitations, for indemnification by the Company of any director, officer or employee against all reasonable expenses, including attorneys fees, incurred in connection with any legal action arising from such persons action or failure to act in administering the Amended Plan. The Committee will interpret the Amended Plan and awards granted thereunder, and all determinations of the Committee will be final and binding on all persons having an interest in the Plan or any award.
Eligibility. Awards may be granted under the Amended Plan to employees of Ross Stores, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries or other affiliated entities, who are managers or key employees designated by the Committee as participants. The Prior Plan limited participation solely to employees of Ross Stores, Inc. During the fiscal year ended January 28, 2006, a total of 1,503 employees would have been eligible to participate in the Amended Plan had it then been in effect.
Grant of Awards. The Committee may grant awards under the Amended Plan subject to such conditions and the attainment of such performance goals over such performance periods as the Committee determines in writing. However, no award may be granted under the Amended Plan that would enable a participant to receive more than $4 million for each fiscal year contained in the performance period applicable to the award. Under the Prior Plan, the performance period applicable to each award was fixed as the Companys fiscal year and the maximum payment that could be received under an award was $1,522,000.
Prior to the beginning of the applicable performance period or such later date as permitted under Section 162(m), the Committee will establish one or more performance goals applicable to the award and the formula providing the basis for computing the value of the award at one or more target levels of attainment of the applicable performance goals at the end of the performance period. Performance goals will be based on the attainment of specified target levels with respect to one or more measures of business or financial performance of the Company and each subsidiary or other affiliate consolidated with the Company for financial reporting purposes, or such division or business unit as may be selected by the Committee. The Committee may base performance goals on one or more of the following measures of performance: revenue; sales; expenses; operating income; gross margin; operating margin; earnings before stock-based compensation expense, interest, taxes, depreciation and/or amortization; pre-tax profit; net operating income; net income; economic value added; free cash flow; operating cash flow; stock price; earnings per share; return on stockholder equity; return on capital; return on net assets; return on investment; employee retention; market share; customer satisfaction; completion of an identified special project; and completion of a joint venture or other corporate transaction. Under the Prior Plan, the sole measure of performance was Company pre-tax earnings.
The target levels with respect to performance measures may be expressed on an absolute basis or relative to an index, budget or other a standard specified by the Committee. The degree of attainment of performance measures will be calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, but prior to the accrual or payment of any performance award for the same performance period, and, according to criteria established by the Committee, excluding the effect (whether positive or negative) of changes in accounting standards or any extraordinary, unusual or nonrecurring item occurring after the establishment of the performance goals applicable to an award.
Payment of Awards. Following completion of the applicable performance period, the Committee will certify in writing the extent to which the applicable performance goals have been attained and the resulting value to be paid to participants. The Committee retains the discretion to adjust the amount that would otherwise be payable on the basis of the performance goals attained to a participant who is not an executive officer to reflect the participants individual job performance or other factors determined by the Committee. If the threshold level of performance goal attainment required for payment of awards having a performance period consisting of a fiscal year is not achieved, but the Company is profitable for the fiscal year, those participants (excluding executive officers) who receive an individual performance rating of exceptional will be eligible, at the discretion of the Committee, to be paid the amount that would otherwise have been payable had 100% of the applicable performance goals been achieved and had the individual received a performance rating of good. Unless otherwise required by law or Company policy, the award value otherwise payable to a participant who has taken an approved leave of absence in excess of 30 days during one or more fiscal years contained in the applicable performance period will be prorated. The final value of all awards under the Amended Plan is paid in cash.
Except in the event of a change in control of the Company as described below, a participant whose employment terminates for any reason prior to the date of payment of the participants award under the Amended Plan will immediately forfeit the award and be entitled to no payment. Under the Prior Plan, a participant whose employment terminated prior to the end of the performance period due to death, disability or involuntary termination other than for cause was entitled to receive a pro rata portion of the award payment that the participant would have otherwise received.
Change in Control. Except as otherwise provided in an agreement between a participant and the Company, in the event of a change in control of the Company and provided that the participants employment has not terminated prior to the date of the change in control, the participants award under the Amended Plan will become payable in an amount determined as if 100% of the applicable performance goals had been attained for the performance period, prorated, however, for the period of the participants service during the performance period prior to the change in control. For this purpose, a change in control occurs upon (a) a person (as such term is used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), other than an employee benefit plan or a corporation owned by the Companys stockholders in the same proportion as their ownership of company stock, becoming the direct or indirect beneficial owner of more than 50% of the Companys voting stock, or (b) the occurrence of any of the following events upon which the stockholders of the Company immediately before the event do not retain immediately after the event direct or indirect beneficial ownership of more than 50% of the total combined voting power of the outstanding voting stock of the Company, its successor or the entity to which the assets of the Company were transferred: (i) a sale or exchange by the stockholders in a single or series of related transactions of more than 50% of the Companys voting stock, (ii) a merger or consolidation in which the Company is a party, or (iii) the sale, exchange or transfer of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company (other than a sale, exchange or transfer to one or more subsidiaries of the Company).
Termination or Amendment. The Compensation Committee may terminate or amend the Amended Plan at any time; subject, however, to any stockholder approval required in order to continue to qualify amounts paid under the Amended Plan as performance-based compensation under Section 162(m).