The general manager of a country club resigned from employment and then sued the country club for mishandling and commingling benefits under a “deferred compensation plan” and an “employment agreement plan.”  The court determined that both plans were top-hat plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), because they were unfunded and provided deferred compensation for “a select group of management or highly compensated employees.”  The court then reviewed the benefit determinations under a de novo standard because the Firestone deferential standard of review does not apply to top-hat plans.  The court summarily disposed of the ERISA fiduciary claims because top-hat plans are exempt from ERISA’s fiduciary standards.  The claims that the country club interfered with the employee’s ERISA rights were denied because there was no evidence of constructive discharge.  The recovery of benefits claims were upheld but limited under a factual analysis.  Finally, the failure to supply ERISA documents claims were denied because there is no requirement for a top-hat plan to provide a participant with such disclosures if the plan complies with the top-hat registration statement requirement.  Van Gent v. Saint Louis Country Club, No. 4:08-cv-00959-FRB (E.D. Mo. Nov. 27, 2013).