Employees value being able to participate in their company’s share plan programs, as they can be significant parts of their pay, bonuses and benefits packages.
Company share plans give employees the opportunity to purchase shares of the company through payroll deductions and can be a great attraction and retention tool. But too many employees are being priced out, according to data from Computershare, an Australian-based stock transfer company. The average U.S. worker must set aside around one-third of their monthly disposable income in order to take part in one of these plans.
To ease this burden, employers should consider a fractional share purchase program instead, says Sheila Frierson, president of U.S. plan managers at Computershare. The company provides a platform for the employee to make the share selections, view their shares and subsequently sell or transfer them to another account.
“High value stocks can represent a very large proportion of workers’ disposable monthly income,” Frierson says. “By offering employees the option of purchasing fractional shares on a regular basis, employers can enable greater employee equity plan participation, empower more staff members to feel part of their company’s fortunes, and retain talent.”
Frierson connected with Employee Benefit News to discuss the benefits of offering employees a fractional share option.
What is the value of a company share plan to employees?
An employee stock purchase plan is when a company gives the employees the opportunity to purchase shares of the company through payroll deductions. Often times these plans are offered with some kind of discount or a match. Employees are given the opportunity to purchase stock at a lower price than somebody who did not work at the company.
From an employee benefit perspective, it’s the ability to have an additional stake in the company you work for and another way to build equity towards retirement. It is also an easier way for someone to get into share ownership, facilitated by the company, without potentially having to figure out how to invest on your own.