Pros and Cons for Offering a Restricted Stock Program

At Hall Benefits Law, we help employers develop effective executive compensation plans and the subject of adding a restricted stock program may arise. When deciding upon how to attract, retain and motivate your employees through your executive compensation program, it’s crucial to understand their complexities. In this article, we will look at the pros and cons for offering a restricted stock program to your employees.

Pros for Offering a Restricted Stock Program

It is common for corporations to give key executives or managers stock options. A restricted stock program is similar, except:

  • Employees actually own the restricted stock.
  • Stock options merely grant the employee a chance to buy stock at a later time.

Companies may want to add equity compensation in the form of a restricted stock program for some or all of the following reasons:

  • Rewards key employees, promoting loyalty.
  • Aids in retention of employees.
  • Causes the employee to be more invested in the success of the business.

In addition, income taxes are fairly straightforward as the employee is taxed on the fair market value of the shares when they vest.

When a company considers implementing a restricted stock program, it may realize there are some disadvantages.

Cons for Offering a Restricted Stock Program

Components of executive compensation or employee benefit plans can be great for the employer, great for the employee, or not-so-great for either. It’s important to weigh pros and cons carefully. With restricted stock programs, employers may be concerned about the following issues:

  • Cash compensation is usually easier to manage and administer than equity-based compensation.
  • It’s possible to give away too much of the company and lose a controlling interest.
  • Potential buyers of the company may not be interested in the stock program.
  • Tax implications to the company and the restricted stockholder can become complicated.
  • Employee stock owners have rights, which may include the right to review the company books.

Your company is too important to merit a shallow review of the consequences of a restricted stock program. It helps to have experienced, knowledgeable advisers at your side.

Will a Restricted Stock Program Suit Your Company?

At Hall Benefits Law, we work closely with clients like you to make sure your employee benefit plans meet your goals. Please call 678-439-6236 to discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney. Our website contains more information about our firm, a Contact Form, and free resources for your review. From our home office in Georgia, we assist clients throughout the United States, from New York to New Mexico to California.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.
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