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Coordinating an ESOP with Other Qualified Plans

May 15, 2018

It is very common to have other qualified retirement plans in addition to an ESOP.  However, you need to take into consideration the many plan compliance and administrative issues when sponsoring more than one type of plan.

ESOP Cash: Investing cash in the trust doesn’t have to be painful

April 26, 2018

Are you unsure if the ESOP trust is the right place to maintain a “significant” cash investment? This article provides insights on this common question.

ESOP: Starting fresh

April 10, 2018

Starting a new ESOP and need to get the word out? 3 tips to jump start your thoughts.

Communicating in the digital age

March 29, 2018

ERISA requires certain disclosures be given to participants and beneficiaries of employee benefit plans. The most common are: Summary Plan Description, Summary of Material Modifications, Summary Annual Report, and Participant Statements.

Communicating in a time-driven world

March 13, 2018

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven life, we’re all on information overload. With our brains focusing on what’s most relevant, how do we move ESOP up on the priority list? Here are 4 factors that may help.

No shortage of recent activity related to ESOPs

February 8, 2018

Learn what the experts are saying the impact tax reform may have on your ESOP. Get up to speed on the latest developments with ESOP fiduciary regulations and ESOP legislation.

Are you new to ESOPs or new to repurchase obligation?

November 6, 2017

Are you confused about how the differences between "recycling" or "redeeming" shares from your ESOP impacts ESOP repurchase obligation? This article provides a high level overview that identifies some pros and cons of both methods.

Your ESOP as a recruitment tool

September 18, 2017

An investment in educating prospective employees on the value of your ESOP may help retain the candidates you desire.

ESOP design: Eligibility basics

September 7, 2017

Since “eligibility requirements” can apply to multiple plan features, there is often confusion by plan sponsors in these areas, and even more misunderstanding by plan participants. To help, here are some basics on eligibility.

Re-evaluating your ESOP

August 18, 2017

Joseph Marx talks about when a mature ESOP begins to pose potential challenges. Bring the ESOP back in sync with company/participant goals and objectives with these alternatives, and ensure the ESOP is still delivering the right value.

The board of directors responsibility in addressing ESOP repurchase liability

August 3, 2017

In order to plan for ESOP repurchase liability, the corporation must quantify the liability and implement a strategy to fund it. These functions are the responsibilities of the board of directors of the corporate sponsor of the ESOP.

Reinvigorating ESOP Communication

July 6, 2017

As a company evolves, the ESOP communication should, too. Recently, Clif Bar & Company teamed with our ESOP communication consultants to reinvigorate its communication.

Restating your plan document: Minus the IRS determination letter

June 23, 2017

Learn more about the IRS five-year determination letter application filing process for individually-designed plans which became effective on January 1, 2017.

5500s: Your questions answered

June 9, 2017

Before you are finished with your ESOP plan  year administration you must complete Form 5500. We answer your questions about the 5500 and how to file it.

Year of participation for diversification

May 25, 2017

Get details on diversification rules that apply to privately-held ESOP companies.

What is your strategic vision for your ESOP?

May 10, 2017

As ESOPs mature, the issues that need to be addressed change.

Communicating your ESOP distribution policy

Apr. 3, 2017

Many companies say that a key challenge facing their ESOP participants is understanding the distribution policy. Find out how to provide answers in a clear and concise manner.

Handling ESOP Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

Mar. 28, 2017

Learn more about Domestic Relations Orders and determining if they are Qualified.

Why architecture, engineering and construction firms are choosing to be ESOP owned

Mar. 16, 2017

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) are proven to be a successful company ownership structure for a wide variety of architecture, engineering and construction companies (AEC).

Much ado about RMDs

Mar. 1, 2017

RMD regulations can be complicated and confusing, these basics can help.

Importance of accuracy in ESOP data collection

Feb. 23, 2017

The secret to ESOP recordkeeping is all about being very careful when submitting your initial census data. Find out what some key items are to consider when getting ready to gather your employee records for the year.

Timing of refunds – What every plan sponsor should know

Feb. 17, 2017

Employers who sponsor both an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and a 401(k) plan should be aware how various compliance tests interact with one another.

2017 ESOP State of the Union

Jan. 12, 2017

A deep dive into DOL fiduciary regulations. What’s all the fuss? Plus, get details on how Missouri is spurring the development of new ESOPs with state incentives.

Prohibited Transaction Exemption 80-26 loans

Dec. 29, 2016

Learn more about Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 80-26 loans and when they might be right for your business.

Ugh – The missing participants...

Dec. 16, 2016

Many plan documents often have a section that discusses missing participants and how their funds should be handled.

Commitment to community

Nov. 23, 2016

Being employee owned is often about more than just the company or the employees. For many ESOP-owned companies it is also about the community. A great example of this is Torch Technologies, headquartered in Huntsville, AL.

Take a look around: The “Plan Sponsor Website” has a new look

Nov. 3, 2016

Our plan sponsor website underwent some key changes. In the digital age we live in today, so much information is available at our fingertips—it can simply feel overwhelming! We’ve identified key features we believe will help make your life easier.

S corporation ESOP cost basis: Should it be updated each year?

Oct. 5, 2016

Even if you aren’t currently making distributions to ESOP participants when they leave employment in company stock, calculating the cost basis of the shares each year could save you time and money and minimize the potential for costly tax reporting errors.

Review results – Save time and money

Sept. 27, 2016

Would you like to save time and money and avoid costly mistakes in the administration of your ESOP? One way you may accomplish this is to work closely with your Client Service Associate (CSA) throughout the annual administration process for your ESOP.

Fixing mistakes under government correction programs

Sept. 16, 2016

It happens to all of us, we make mistakes. Often times the consequences of the mistake are less severe if we are proactive in correcting it. This is true when a mistake is made in a qualified retirement plan.

WHAM! Employee Ownership Month will hit before you know it

Sept. 04, 2016

Principal® ESOP communication team created an Employee Ownership Month kit exclusively for our clients. Being employee owned is a big deal, and this cool, digital kit can kick the celebration up a notch…or three.

ESOP administration report enhancements

Aug. 30, 2016

Your ESOP administration reports are getting a facelift.  You will soon see some enhancements when you log in. See what's changed. 

Hello world…we’re employee owned!

Aug. 1, 2016

Learn more about out why communicating that your business is Employee Owned to customers should be part of your external marketing strategy.

Built to fit: A new generation of owners

July 1, 2016

After celebrating 40 years in the building materials industry, Franklin Building Supply knew they needed to plan for the next 40 years. To continue their success, they decided their next chapter should be as a 100% employee owned company.

Think you know ESOPs?

June 29, 2016

We are breaking down Employee Stock Ownership Plans to look at the benefits an ESOP can bring to your business.

Stock distributions and net unrealized appreciation

June 22, 2016

Find out more information on stock distributions and net unrealized appreciation when participants take a distribution.

Reminder: Final ESOP IRS determination letter filing cycle about to end

June 6, 2016

In 2015 the IRS announced that the staggered five-year remedial amendment cycles will be eliminated effective January 1, 2017.

Overview of DOL final fiduciary regulatory package

June 6, 2016

Find out what our business leaders and legal team have found that impacts ESOPs thus far from analyzing the DOL fiduciary regulation package.

Understanding the nuances of your plan language: Forced/involuntary distributions

May 26, 2016

Do you know when you are required to make distributions to terminated participants under the terms of your ESOP document? Review some examples of when ESOP distributions can or must generally be made without the consent of the participant.

Company stock in ESOPs: What should a fiduciary do?

May 18, 2016

ESOP trustees are compelled to consider specific steps to help manage their fiduciary liability. Review those steps here.

Introduction to ESOP video wins Gold Quill award!

May 5, 2016

Our Introduction to ESOP video has won a Gold Quill award from the International Association of Business Communicators.

Forfeitures - To restore or not to restore? That is the question!

Apr. 6, 2016

Here are some questions and answers to get you started on investigating your defined contribution plan's forfeiture restoration provisions.

Matching contributions in your ESOP: Things you should know

Mar. 25, 2016

Did you know you can add a matching contribution provision to an existing ESOP allowing the employer to match employee deferrals in company stock? Many ESOPs choose to do just that for a variety of reasons.

ESOP repurchase liability with no surprises

Mar. 20, 2016

The enhanced My Principal ESOP Repurchase Liability Solution® (My PERLS® 2.0) enables ESOP clients of Principal to project repurchase liabilities and provides yet another way to help ease their ESOP fiduciary responsibilities with repurchase liability forecasting.

ESOP repurchase liability – A funding and fiduciary obligation

Mar. 14, 2016

Repurchase obligation is the liability a company incurs when terminated participants are entitled to receive distributions from an ESOP. How and when payment is due varies by plan design, specifically the timing, method, and form of distributions defined in the ESOP document.

Ask an ESOP consultant

Mar. 14, 2016

Find out some insight and answers to a question posed to our ESOP consultants.

Required minimum distributions (RMDs)

Mar. 10, 2016

With proper ESOP repurchase liability planning, a plan sponsor can avoid or at least be prepared to manage a situation where the ESOP doesn’t have enough cash available to pay its RMDs. Another approach would be to have a well-designed ESOP distribution policy.

ESOP loan terms – How long should they be?

Mar. 8, 2016

How should a plan sponsor decide the term of an ESOP loan? Review employee benefit considerations, financial considerations, and external factors.

The “trickle-in” ESOP

Jan. 15, 2016

A "trickle in" ESOP strategy can accomplish the goal of getting stock into the accounts of employees but often at a fraction of what it costs to implement a more complex leveraged ESOP transaction.


Guidelines for communicating a second stage transaction

Dec. 17, 2015

Many ESOP transactions occur at or near the end of the year.  Follow these guidelines for communicating a second stage transaction.


Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) news diversification information recently discussed by the IRS

Nov. 2, 2015

Recent information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided some needed insight on the ESOP diversification rules that can help ease some of the timing pain experienced in this area.

Communication is key to the life – and success – of your ESOP

Oct. 19, 2015

Effective communication when delivering ESOP mesages is important because it supports employee awareness, engagement, and an overall understanding of the ESOP.

Humble roots: A co-ownership story

Oct. 15, 2015

When Odell Brewing Company decided to implement an ESOP, it was all about making a co-ownership culture – reality.

Achieving sustainability in an ESOP company

Oct. 12, 2015

Sustainability is the ability to thrive as a viable business entity, whether as an ESOP owned company or in another form of ownership.


Help your employees take notice of an ESOP through communication campaigns

Sept. 10, 2015

ESOP is an investment in the future of the company, you can harness its power to help benefit both the company and the employees.


Advocating for your retirement

Sept. 8, 2015

Participation in regional and national ESOP conferences is a part of a continuous effort to expand our depth of industry knowledge and better serve our clients.


Culture connection - How your committee can help

July 20, 2015

Communication committees can help employees embrace their role in an employee-owned company.


Subchapter S Corporation Cost Basis

July 1, 2015

Answers regarding how the Subchapter S Corporation Cost Basis should be adjusted in an ESOP.


Determining the feasibility of an ESOP

July 1, 2015

Completing a feasibility study can help to make informed decisions.


Are your employees retirement ready?

July 1, 2015

How an employer can help ensure retirement readiness among its employees.


Get engaged with an emotional ESOP

April 1, 2015

Engaging employees isn't quick or easy - but it is totally possible, learn more here.


Can ESOP companies continue to hold employer stock?

April 1, 2015

What are the due diligence requirements of ESOP fiduciaries and company Board of Directors following 2014 Supreme Court findings?

Join us at an upcoming conference!

Get more information about conferences, events and connect with our ESOP industry experts.

Want the ESOP to POP?

Get your employees excited about the ESOP using a kit with 3 engaging activities. It includes instructions, emails and some swag.

Celebrating employee owners

Jerry Ripperger, VP of Consulting, shares his unique perspective on ESOPs several times a month.  

Think you know ESOPs?