As many of you are wrapping up another year’s ESOP administration (or soon to be), you may be breathing a sigh of relief that you made it through another administration cycle. Because ESOPs are complicated and unique, they can be particularly challenging to manage. While you have outsourced the recordkeeping to SES, there are other ways we can partner with you to ease your administrative responsibilities. Regardless of whether you are a new ESOP, or have been around awhile, consider the following ways that the SES consulting team can support you in ensuring the long term success of your ESOP.
• Plan Design – if no one at your company can explain why certain, unique provisions are in the ESOP, if parts of your plan do not seem to be working together in sync, or if your company has evolved in a direction and the ESOP has not moved with it, SES Consulting can perform a plan design and compliance review and provide recommendations for solving these issues and maximizing your ESOP’s potential.
• On-site training – if your ESOP was recently adopted and your ESOP committee is trying to get up to speed on all things ESOP, if it seems like you have not been able to stop and catch your breath since the ESOP was implemented let alone document any procedures, or if the person at your Company who handled the ESOP has retired along with all of his or her ESOP knowledge, SES Consulting can prepare administration guidelines and procedures specific to your ESOP and provide on-site training for your committee.
• Employee Communications – if you are a new ESOP trying to foster an employee culture at your company, if you recently acquired a company and are trying to educate the newly acquired employees on the ESOP while conveying a cohesive message company-wide, or if you are a mature ESOP that could use a refresher course to get employees excited about the ESOP again, SES can provide employee education materials and lead participant communication meetings to help you meet these objectives.
• Repurchase Liability – if you need to make sure cash flows will be sufficient to meet future repurchase obligations, if you are curious the impact the repurchase liability will have on stock price, if the benefit levels you are providing participants in the ESOP seem too high (or maybe too low), or if you would like to know what account balances might look like in the future, SES Consulting can prepare a repurchase liability and/or sustainability study. A repurchase liability study can and should provide more than just a dollar amount due, it should answer all of the above objectives.
• Distribution Policies – if your current document provisions are the default “latest of” ESOP rules and you are not sure that is the best methodology for your company, or if you just completed a repurchase liability study and realize that now is the time to make changes to your current distribution policy, SES Consulting can develop an ESOP distribution policy in coordination with the repurchase liability study results and company objectives.
To discuss ways that the SES Consulting Team can help your Company and ESOP flourish together, please contact Tina Fisher at (215) 508-7717 or Doug Cannon at (215) 508-7711.