What GAO Found Fundamental changes over the past 40 years have led to various risks and challenges for the three main pillars of the U.S. retirement system. For example, current projections indicate that by 2034, the Old-Age and Survivors trust fund for Social Security’s retirement program—the first pillar—will only be sufficient to pay 77 percent…

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It can, but given that virtually all 100% ESOPs are S corporations and pay no tax, there is no tax benefit to doing so. This may be a way, however, to get shares to new employees. Say a company wants to borrow money to buy a building (or any other asset). Shares would be allocated…

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Can a leasing company (also called a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO) have an ESOP for its employees? A PEO employee working for a client organization (CO), known as a “worksite employee”, is often considered a common-law employee of the CO, as is the case for a worksite employee works full time at the CO,…

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The trustee is the shareholder of record for corporate law purposes. As a fiduciary for these shares (or as directed by the entity or person acting as fiduciary), the trustee has all the rights any other shareholder would. These rights vary from state to state as corporate law is a state law issue. They include…

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U.S. Government Accountability Office GAO-19-447R: Published: Jul 12, 2019. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2019. What GAO Found Over the past 20 years, corporate restructurings, particularly mergers and acquisitions (M&A), tended to happen more frequently during periods of economic expansion. GAO’s analysis found that from 1999 through 2018, M&A activity comprised the largest share of corporate…

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What does the term “due diligence” mean? Due diligence essentially is the process of investigating if there are any potential problems that could make a transaction problematic. Generally, the buying party (such as the ESOP trustee) requires due diligence work to uncover potential problems in the company whose stock is being bought. Examples of difficulties…

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How long does it take to set up a leveraged ESOP? Typically, the set-up process taxes anywhere from six to nine months. We have heard of plans being set up in several weeks; some take as long as two years. Several steps are necessary to set up a plan. First, a valuation is needed for…

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The cost of setting up an ESOP varies considerably, and costs can range from $60,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars (in 2015). There are several issues to consider: Attorney fees: The basic design of the plan itself – filing initial forms with the government, negotiating with lenders, performing due diligence, drawing up trust documents,…

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Just about every ESOP company wants to have employees who think and act like the employee-owners. Compelling research and decades of experience show that employee ownership is in fact a powerful tool to improve corporate performance – but only when companies have “ownership cultures” in which employees think and act like owners. There is a…

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