Q&As

What is the definition of retirement for share scheme purposes and does a company have to provide back-dated payments for employees who would have been entitled to a share award if the policy was implemented before they retired?

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Published on LexisPSL on 11/10/2018

The following Share Incentives Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the definition of retirement for share scheme purposes and does a company have to provide back-dated payments for employees who would have been entitled to a share award if the policy was implemented before they retired?

As a general comment, share incentive schemes are normally introduced in order to encourage employees to remain working in the business rather than to encourage them to retire. However, a share plan will often provide that a participant’s awards will receive a more beneficial treatment when they leave due to retirement (so that, for example, they may be permitted to exercise some of their share options when they leave), as compared to if they had left in other circumstances (such as when they simply resign—in which case it is more likely that the share plan will specify that their options will lapse without being capable of exercise).

In response to the first part of this Q&A: where the share scheme does provide for a particular treatment for a retiree’s awards, it is important to check the specific terms of the award in order to establish what will need to have occurred in order for the employee to be treated as retired for the purposes of the scheme. The award terms may be prescriptive on this point, although this would be unu

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