The NASPP Blog

Category Archives: Administration

November 30, 2017

CEO Pay Ratio: Planning for Employee Reactions – Part 2

A few weeks ago, in the NASPP Blog entry “CEO Pay Ratio: Planning for Employee Communications,” I wrote about planning to communicate with employees on the topic of the upcoming CEO pay ratio disclosure. Since my initial post on this subject, I’ve come across some helpful content that is further food for thought when contemplating a communication strategy.

I keep hearing that companies have a range of emotions about communicating around the disclosure. In particular the concept of discussing the median employee aspect of the disclosure seems to trigger words like “panicked,” “petrified,” and “concerned.” It seems many companies do worry about how their employees will react to information about the median employee’s compensation.

Two recent blog posts by Margaret O’Hanlon, CCP further explore what you should and shouldn’t say to employees about the CEO pay ratio disclosure (thanks to the’s Advisor’s Blog for leading me to this information.) Some of the ideas O’Hanlon explored are:

In her first post (“Imagine CEO Pay Ratio Communications Going Well“), O’Hanlon suggests that instead of focusing on a panicked state or reluctance to communicate about this (and asking yourself the question “What good can come of this?”), ask yourself “What can I make of this?” Changing your focus should pave the way to different insights.

She also suggests imagining employees approaching the disclosure with the following reactions:

  • Not immediately overreacting to the numbers
  • Being willing to listen to the rationale for the numbers with an open mind, even though they are skeptical (or more)
  • Being able to spend a limited time mulling over with their colleagues what they have heard
  • Not going on social media to comment on the announcement

In her second post (“Imagine CEO Pay Ratio Communications Going Well – Part 2“), O’Hanlon offers a number of concrete suggestions for talking about the ratio with employees. Here are a few of her suggestions:

  • Prepare your employees. If you don’t, the CEO Pay Ratio and median employee information is bound to be a shock.
  • Use end-of-the-year focal review and merit pay communications. Articulate, repeat and reinforce what you do to make sure employee pay is competitive, how your practices are fair and how employee salaries are only one part of your company’s whole reward package.
  • Use people not technology. Distancing the message from the personal will leave your company open to employee claims that leadership is ducking responsibility. Identify a spokesperson to present the details of the CEO Pay Ratio, back it up with email or intranet information, but be sure that your communication strategy gives employees a chance to discuss their reaction with someone that they can open up to.

O’Hanlon mentions some other important idea in her blogs; they are definitely worth a read.

The CEO Pay Ratio disclosure time frame will be here before we know it, and companies are running out of time to take advantage of some of these proactive communication opportunities. It’s time to get ahead of the disclosure, imagine this going over well with your employees, and take realistic steps in advance to ensure the messaging results in a positive experience for employees, rather than a communication fail.

– Jennifer

November 2, 2017

CEO Pay Ratio: Planning for Employee Reactions

There’s been much buzz around the first round of CEO Pay Ratio disclosures, to occur beginning in the upcoming proxy season. While many companies are busily preparing for the disclosure itself, attention must also be given to other important tasks that stem from the disclosure – like preparing to communicate with the media, shareholders and internal employees.

According to a recent Willis Towers Watson poll, while most companies said employee reaction to the Pay Ratio disclosure is a concern, 48% of respondents said they had not taken any action to prepare for employee communications. Willis Towers Watson summarized their findings as follows:

“Despite the concern, nearly half (48%) of respondents haven’t considered how or even if they will communicate the pay ratio to employees. Only 14% have created a detailed communication plan to educate employees, and a similar number are not planning to say anything to employees. Just 16% are prepping managers to be able to discuss the results of their pay ratio with employees, although 39% are preparing leadership to respond to employees’ questions.

This gap between concern and communication comes as the SEC pay ratio disclosure rule’s implementation date in early 2018 quickly approaches.”

We are entering a time of year when many stock plan administrators and corporate compensation professionals spruce up their employee communications. There are year-end tax withholding and reporting communications, some companies provide communication around annual compensation, new benefits, and other information. Many companies may be thinking that they will communicate about the CEO Pay Ratio disclosure after the disclosure is made, if at all. May I suggest that now is the time to start laying the groundwork for those communications. If you’re already going to be communicating to employees about various aspects of their compensation and benefits, this is a prime opportunity to raise more awareness about what they have, why they have it, and the basis for their current compensation. Here are some ideas to consider in crafting a communication strategy around the disclosure (now is not too early to think about this!):

Use existing planned communications to include messaging about the CEO Pay Ratio before the disclosure.

Communicating pre-proxy filing is going to lend a key opportunity to share information about the basis and rationale for current pay before employees digest the actual CEO Pay Ratio figures. Education about existing compensation and corporate compensation philosophies ahead of time could aid in providing the employee the means to better understand why they may fall above or below the median, rather than leaving it to “surprise” them and filling an information void with imagination or assumption. Additionally, employees will have access to data about peer companies at the same time you do, likely well before you have time to craft further communications post-disclosure. Without a foundation of information and understanding in place to foster a belief that their current pay is fair, employees may be more likely to perceive differences to peer companies as negative.

Plan for post disclosure communications that will incorporate comparisons with other companies into your broader pay story. 

You won’t know about the ratio of peer companies until after the disclosures are made. Once you have that information in hand, it will be time integrate that information into your own messaging to employees. Pay is most often not just about dollars in a paycheck and employees will need to hear more about about what makes their pay package fair compared to peer companies that may have different CEO Pay Ratios. Is there a large equity component? Does your company’s ESPP discount stand out above other companies? Are there other benefits that need to be considered in understanding the overall package – including the parts not incorporated into the Pay Ratio calculation?

With year-end communications on the horizon, this is a great opportunity to integrate messaging that will help employees understand their bigger compensation picture.



Tags: ,

May 11, 2017

Catching Up

For today’s blog entry I have a couple of recent developments that don’t really warrant a blog entry of their own.

T+2: It’s Happening

The SEC has adopted an amendment to the Settlement Cycle Rule (Rule 15c6-1(a) of the Exchange Act) to move to T+2. The new settlement cycle will commence on September 5 (the day after Labor Day). I already blogged about this—twice—so I don’t really have any more to say on the topic (see “T+2: What’s It to You” and “Progress Towards T+2“). We hosted a great webcast on it in April (“Be Prepared for T+2“); if you aren’t up to date on this development, be sure to check it out.

FASB Issues Modification Accounting ASU

Yesterday the FASB issued ASU 2017-09 (not to be confused with ASU 2016-09—right, no one is going to get these confused), which redefines when modification accounting is required under ASC 718.

All companies have to adopt the ASU by their first fiscal year beginning after December 15, 2017. Early adoption is permitted. Once adopted the ASU applies prospectively. Unlike with ASU 2016-09, if ASU 2017-09 (yep, not confusing at all) is adopted in an interim period, prior interim periods in the same year are not adjusted.

For more information on the ASU, see my blog entry “FASB Votes on Modification Accounting ASU“).

– Barbara


Tags: , , , ,

April 18, 2017

6 Things I’m Excited to Learn

As announced yesterday, we’ve extended the deadline to participate in the Domestic Stock Plan Administration Survey that the NASPP co-sponsors with Deloitte Consulting. For today’s blog entry, I have six things I am excited about learning from this year’s survey.

  1. Domestic Mobility Compliance: New this year, we’ve added questions on tax compliance for domestically mobile employees. This is an area of increasing risk and I’m curious to learn how far companies have come in their compliance procedures.
  2. ESPP Trends: This survey takes an in-depth look at the design and administration of ESPP plans. I hear rumors of increased interest in ESPPs—both in terms of companies implementing new plans and enhancing the benefits in their existing plans; I’m excited to see if this plays out in the survey results.
  3. Stock Plan Administration Staffing: This is the only survey I’m aware of that collects data on how stock plan administration teams are staffed, the department that stock plan administration reports up through, and how companies administer their plans. It is always intriguing to see the trends in this area.
  4. Ownership Guidelines: The prevalence of ownership guidelines has increased dramatically in the last decade, with 80% of respondents to the 2014 survey reporting that they have these guidelines in place. Has this trend topped out or will we be reaching near universal adoption of ownership guidelines in this survey?
  5. Rule 10b5-1 Plans: These trading plans have become de rigueur for public company executives, with 84% of respondents to the 2014 survey allowing or requiring them. We’ve expanded this area of the survey to capture more data on policies and practices with respect to these plans.
  6. Director Pay: The survey reports the latest trends in the use of equity in compensating outside directors. I’m particularly interested in seeing what percentage of respondents indicate that they have imposed a limit on the number of shares that can be granted to directors. This is a best practice to avoid shareholder litigation but adoption of it was low in the 2014 survey—have we made progress on this in the past three years?

If you are interested in these trends, too, you’re going to want to participate in the survey so that you’ll have access to the results. It’s not too late to participate, but you have to do so by the end of this week. We’ve already extended the deadline once; we can’t extend it again. Register to participate today!

– Barbara

* Only issuers can participate in the survey. Service providers who are NASPP members and who aren’t eligible to participate will receive full access to the published results.

Tags: , , , , , ,

April 6, 2017

5 Trends in Tax Withholding Practices

For today’s blog, I feature five trends in tax withholding practices for restricted stock and units, from the 2016 Domestic Stock Plan Design Survey (co-sponsored by the NASPP and Deloitte Consulting):

  1. Share Withholding Dominates; Sell-to-Cover Is a Distant Second. The majority (79% of respondents for executive transactions, 77% for non-executive transactions) report that share withholding is used to fund the tax payments the majority (greater than 75%) of award transactions. Most of the remaining respondents (17% of respondents for executive transactions, 18% for non-executive transactions) report that sell-to-cover is used to pay the taxes due on the majority of award transactions.
  2. Rounding Up Is the Way to Go. Where shares are withheld to cover taxes, 75% of respondents report that the shares withheld are rounded up to the nearest whole share. Most respondents (62% overall) include the excess with employees’ tax payments; only 13% refund the excess to employees.
  3. FMV Is Usually the Close or Average. The overwhelming majority (87%) of respondents use the close or average stock price on the vesting date to determine taxable income. Only 12% look to the prior day’s value to determine taxable income, despite the fact that this approach provides an additional 24 hours to determine, collect, and deposit the tax withholding due as a result of the vesting event (see “Need More Time? Consider Using Prior Day Close“).
  4. Form 1099-B Is Rare for Share Withholding. Although share withholding can be considered the equivalent of a sale of stock to the company, only 21% of respondents issue a Form 1099-B to employees for the shares withheld.
  5. Companies Are Split on Collecting FICA from Retirement Eligible Employees. Where awards provide for accelerated or continued vesting upon retirement, practices with respect to the collection of FICA taxes are largely split between share withholding and collecting the tax from employees’ other compensation (41% of respondents in each case).

– Barbara

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 30, 2017

Need More Time? Consider Using Prior Day Close

For today’s blog, we have a special guest entry from Emily Cervino of Fidelity Stock Plan Services on a subject near and dear to my heart: defining FMV as the prior day close for purposes of determining taxable gain on award vesting events and the price of shares purchased under your ESPP.

What a Difference a Day Makes! Considering Prior Day Close

By Emily Cervino of Fidelity Stock Plan Services

At the recent NASPP Annual Conference in Houston, I had the opportunity to present “This Ain’t My First Rodeo: Lessons Learned about Equity Compensation.” I took advantage of the new format introduced at the conference: laser-focused, 20-minute sessions during breaks—as an alternative to the traditional, more in-depth breakout panels. I love this format. Short sessions appeal to conference-goers who are looking to cram in as much learning as possible, as well as those whose shorter attention spans make an hour-long, detailed session a hard sell.

I broke this micro-session into even smaller bits and used it as an opportunity to talk about four concepts that can make equity professionals’ lives easier. One concept, which I’d like to review here, is reconsidering the fair market value (FMV) definitions used for equity awards. FMV is an important concept used to set the price on stock options, calculate the taxable income on cash exercise and restricted releases, and determine the purchase price for ESPP.

Back when I started out, things were simpler. FMV was used for grant pricing, and, when it came to calculating taxable income on stock option exercises, where the vast majority of transactions were same-day sales, the actual sale price was utilized. Today, the equity landscape has changed dramatically. The majority of grants now come in the form of restricted stock, which doesn’t include an exercise. Rather, as a time-based vehicle, restricted stock releases (creating a taxable event) are based on a preset schedule.

According to the NASPP Stock Plan Design Survey, 87% of companies use close or average as the FMV to calculate taxable income on restricted stock.(1) Among clients of Fidelity Stock Plan Services, we see very similar results, with 85% of companies using close or average.(2) Which means, for most companies, taxable income can’t be calculated until the market closes on vest date. The exceptions (12% of NASPP responses, 13% of Fidelity clients) are using prior day close (or average), a better option that provides them with a full additional day for calculations! That means on the day before vest date, the FMV is determined as of market close, and the restricted release process can begin, allowing shares to be delivered to participants sooner.

And the benefits don’t end there. This is also a great strategy for ESPP. NASPP doesn’t specifically ask about FMV for ESPP, but in the Fidelity client base, while close and average still rule, we see 5% using prior day close, and a full 20% using current day open price as FMV, providing the benefit of extra hours to one-in-four companies processing their ESPP.

So why do most companies stick with close or average? This may be one of those things that falls into the “we’ve always done it this way” category. While many companies have changed the award types they grant, their FMV definition hasn’t yet evolved.

Plan Sponsors should check out their plan documents. It may be that FMV is only defined for grant pricing, where close or average is a great strategy. The plan document may provide flexibility with respect to the FMV used for tax purposes and/or ESPP. Even if the plan prescribes close or average FMV for tax and/or ESPP, a switch to prior day close (or current day open price) could be effected at the board or committee level and would not require shareholder approval.

Check it out! The gift of time is priceless.


[1] 2016 NASPP Domestic Stock Plan Design Survey (co-sponsored by Deloitte Consulting LLP)

2 Fidelity client base, as of 9/30/2016

cervino_outdoor_landcape2-crop_webEmily Cervino is a Vice President at Fidelity Stock Plan Services. She has been an active participant in the equity compensation industry since 1998, and now focuses on strategic marketing initiatives, thought leadership, and building Fidelity’s strong industry presence.

Emily is a frequent speaker at equity compensation events, past president of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the NASPP, a member of NASPP, GEO, and NCEO, and a 2015 recipient of the NASPP’s Individual Achievement Award. Emily is a Certified Equity Professional (CEP) and she holds Series 7 and 63 securities registrations.

Views expressed are as of the date indicated and may change based on market and other conditions. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments.

Links to third-party websites may be shared on this page. Those sites are unaffiliated with Fidelity. Fidelity has not been involved in the preparation of the content supplied at the unaffiliated site and does not guarantee or assume any responsibility for its content.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917. 780300.1.0

Tags: , , , , , ,

March 9, 2017

What Can Social Media Teach Us About Communication

At the CEP Symposium later this month, I am part of a panel that will present on social media strategies that we can leverage in stock plan education programs. Recently, one of my co-panelists, Emily Cervino of Fidelity Stock Plan Services, wrote an article about this topic. I’m so excited about this idea that I asked Emily if we could publish her article as a guest blog entry.

3 Social Media Tricks to Make Stock-Plan Communications Irresistible

By Emily Cervino, Fidelity Stock Plan Services

Did you click on this article because, surely, you have the time to read just three things? And who doesn’t want “irresistible” communications? A quick read could make you a certified hero at work!

I hope you found the title catchy, compelling, and irresistible, because that was my intention. The title is my attempt at “clickbait”—a title that tempts you with information you need and want—but that you have to click to get. The main purpose of clickbait is to attract attention—simply by getting readers to click on it.

I’m gearing up for the CEP Symposium, where I’ll join Aftab Ibrahim, T-Mobile, and Barbara Baksa, NASPP, for a session on using social media tricks to make stock plan communications compelling. No, we aren’t talking about using actual social media for stock plan communications—that’s a no-go from the get-go for many companies. But we are interested in taking the tricks that make social media so addictive and applying them to stock plan communications.

If you are reading this article, you’re on social media and I’d wager that this isn’t your first foray into social media today. I can’t honestly say that I check social media every morning before I get out of bed, but it is a safe bet that by the time I’m done with my 2 minutes of teeth brushing (as recommended by the ADA) I’ve peeked at social media. Sometimes I brush even longer because, you know, one thing leads to another and I clicked here and then there, and then there’s a 30-second video I just have to finish!

Imagine a world where your employees eagerly gobble up your communications, clicking on videos and racing from article to article to absorb the nuggets of stock plan wisdom. Envision employees gathered in the break room sharing ESPP videos on their phone screens. And, treat yourself to the thought that employees look forward to this stuff, rather than approach it with the same enthusiasm as completing their tax return. It isn’t that outlandish.  There are some simple, easy things that you can do. While you can go all out with expensive and custom work, there are a number of impactful changes—surefire tricks, as promised—that you can implement today.

  • Clickbait. Rethink your titles and subject lines to get your audience’s attention. Remember: You want them to open an email or click on a link. The words you choose need to drive action. Which are you more likely to read: “ESPP enrollment window closes on Friday. Enroll today” or “Top benefits you’ll miss out on if you don’t enroll in ESPP by Friday”?
  • Listicles. No, this is not a made-up word to try to get another click. A “listicle” is an article in a list format. It is easy to organize thoughts into lists, and short lists are tempting to read. Which sounds more compelling, “Equity plan: frequently asked questions” or “5 critical things to know about your stock grant”?  When you use listicles, keep them short. Trying to tempt employees to read “36 Tips for Tax Time” is a tough sell. Admit it—you’ve scrolled through an article to check the length before you committed to reading it, haven’t you? Bonus tip: Listicle titles make great clickbait.
  • Interactive quizzes. I’m sure many of us have been lured in by these social media gems: quizzes that rate us on whether we can identify more movie stars than the average person or spot grammar errors or identify exotic foods. Try this out on stock plan topics with a simple five-question quiz. Don’t make it too hard—people like to succeed—and be sure to connect your participants with more information. For example, reward those who score 4-5 with “Congrats! You are a Stock Plan Pro. You are ready for our advanced topics (with a link to deeper content)” or, for those who score less than 4, “Looks like you could benefit from our video on stock plan basics. (with link to video).”

When you are browsing through different forms of social media, take note of what attracts your attention and contemplate if those attention-grabbing tricks can be integrated into your stock plan communications.  And, if you are in the Silicon Valley, please try to join us for the CEP Symposium on March 28. We have a session packed full of examples and activities designed to get all attendees to rethink their approach to communications. #ThisSessionRocks.

cervino_outdoor_landcape2-crop_webEmily Cervino is a Vice President at Fidelity Stock Plan Services. She has been an active participant in the equity compensation industry since 1998, and now focuses on strategic marketing initiatives, thought leadership, and building Fidelity’s strong industry presence.

Emily is a frequent speaker at equity compensation events, past president of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the NASPP, a member of NASPP, GEO, and NCEO, and a 2015 recipient of the NASPP’s Individual Achievement Award. Emily is a Certified Equity Professional (CEP) and she holds Series 7 and 63 securities registrations.

Views expressed are as of the date indicated and may change based on market and other conditions. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments.

Links to third-party web sites may be shared on this page. Those sites are unaffiliated with Fidelity. Fidelity has not been involved in the preparation of the content supplied at the unaffiliated site and does not guarantee or assume any responsibility for its content.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917. 791858.1.0


Tags: , , , ,

March 2, 2017

T+2: What’s It to You?

Barring some sort of unforeseen obstacle, T+2 settlement is scheduled to go into effect on September 5 of this year. (That’s the Tuesday after Labor Day—what better way to cap a holiday weekend than with a major change in the US securities markets? I guess they didn’t want to wait until December 26).

On Tuesday, I blogged about why the securities industry is moving to T+2 (“Progress Towards T+2“).  For today’s blog entry, I have a list of six things you need to think about with respect to T+2.

1. Be prepared to shorten processing time for any stock plan transactions that involve open market sales. This includes same-day-sale and sell-to-cover transactions. The broker will need to receive the shares and know the funds to be transferred to the company to cover the cost of the transaction and tax withholding in time to settle by T+2. That means you’ll have one less day to process the transaction.

2. Other types of transactions may be affected as well. Cash and net exercises and share withholding don’t involve open market transactions and, thus, theoretically aren’t subject to the mandated settlement period. But, in recent years, many companies have begun allowing employees to conduct these transactions using the automated, self-service tools provided by their brokers. Some (many? all?) brokers may subject these transactions to the same two-day settlement period simply because that is how their systems will be designed to work.

3. Watch out for complicated transactions.  It may be no sweat to calculate the tax withholding for US employees and get that information over to your brokers in 24 hours. But for non-US employees, where you may have to contact local payroll (possibly in a time zone that is half a day off from yours) for the appropriate tax rate, this might not be so easy.  And then there are your mobile employees. Withholding at the maximum tax rate and refunding the excess through local payroll might be the only way to manage this process.

4. Beware the IRS deposit deadline for same-day sales.  Where the company’s cumulative deposit liability to the IRS exceeds $100,000, the deposit needs to be made within one business day. But for same-day sale exercises, an IRS field directive considers the deposit timely if made within one day of the settlement date. If settlement occurs on T+2, that means the deposit now needs to be made by T+3.

5. Talk to your brokers. Contact your brokers to find out what they are doing to prepare for T+2 and what testing opportunities will be available to you.  Think about what you’ll need from your brokers and communicate this to them. Don’t wait for your brokers to contact you; get out in front of this.

6. Don’t forget about employee communications. Your brokers are going to be communicating this change to your participants. Make sure you know what they will be communicating and when, so you aren’t caught off guard. And review your own educational materials for any mention of the settlement period.

Some of the panelists in the NASPP Conference session on this encouraged the use of the term “settlement period” without explaining how long this period is, so that if/when the period is reduced to T+1, you don’t have to change it again. I hate that idea. It makes a confusing concept even more confusing for employees. And it could be decades before we move to T+1 (moving from T+3 to T+2 took 20 years). By then, you’ll probably have been promoted (or retired) and updating the educational materials will be someone else’s problem.

– Barbara


Tags: , , , , , ,

February 28, 2017

Progress Towards T+2

In early February, the SEC approved of rule changes by the NYSE and Nasdaq that are necessary to shorten the settlement cycle to T+2. The approved rule changes relate to the calculation of ex-dividend dates and several other administrative procedures that I don’t understand. The exact rules that were changed aren’t particularly important; what is important however is that yet another task on the T+2 to-do list has been checked off.

I recently listened to the recording of the session “Be Prepared For T+2” from last year’s NASPP Conference. (This was a great panel, by the way. So great that we’ve asked the panelists to give a repeat performance for our April webcast. Be sure to check it out.) Here are a few things I learned from the panel.

Why T+2? It’s All About Risk

The move to T+2 is industry driven, rather than a push from regulators, with the goal being to reduce risk in the settlement process.  Currently trades are settled through a central counter-party, which you know as the DTCC (Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation).  One of the DTCC’s roles is to guarantee delivery of shares to the buyer and cash to the seller.  If, over the three-day settlement period, either one of these parties flakes out, the DTCC steps in to make the non-flaking party whole.

This requires cash. With securities worth $8.72 billion changing hands every day on the US markets, it requires a lot of cash. The panelists described it as a big suitcase of cash held by the DTCC that can’t be used for anything else. But the DTCC isn’t your rich uncle; this cash is provided by various market participants (such as brokerage firms).

If we can shorten the settlement cycle, the inherent risk is reduced, and less cash is needed to guarantee settlement. This frees up cash that market participants can use for other, presumably better and more profitable, purposes.

Remember Y2K?

The process of changing to T+2 is not dissimilar to what we all went through back when we were preparing for the new millennium. It’s not terribly complex, but there are a lot of rules and processes that have to be reviewed, updated, and tested.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Investment Company Institute (ICI) have formed an Industry Steering Committee to define the path to T+2. (They even have their own website and a nifty logo, because any self-respecting industry-wide initiative needs a logo.) The steering committee commissioned Deloitte & Touche to prepare a T+2 Playbook detailing all of the changes that have to take place to shorten the settlement period by a day. Europe moved to T+2 in 2014 and apparently there were some lessons learned during that process.

What About T+1? Or T+0?

The consensus of the panel is that T+1 is a long ways off.  Moving to T+2 merely requires that the current processes speed up.  Moving to T+1 would require real-time clearance; that’s a fundamental change to the entire settlement process. You can rest assured that you’ll have plenty of time to get use to T+2 before having to worry about T+1.

Wait, There’s More!

Stay tuned! On Thursday I’ll discuss the steps you should be taking to prepare for T+2. Also, don’t miss our April webcast, “Be Prepared for T+2.”

– Barbara

Tags: , , , , ,

February 22, 2017

Stock Plan Administration Rated One of Top Jobs for Business Majors

It’s not often that the job of stock plan administrator shows up in a list of top jobs; this is no reflection of the quality of the job but more because few people outside of the stock plan community know this job exists. I have commiserated with many stock plan administrators about the difficulties of trying to communicate what they do to the uninitiated. It is not dissimilar to trying to explain my own job (sometimes it feels like no one has ever heard of the concept of a membership association).

So imagine my surprise when Andrew Schwartz of Computershare forwarded me an article from ThinkAdvisor that ranks stock plan administrator as #6 on a list of best paying jobs for business majors (“15 Best Paying Jobs for College Business Majors: 2016.”

The list was compiled using data from, including their list of most popular jobs for business graduates and their College Salary Report (which considers a sample of 1.4 million college graduates). According to the article, the salary listed is comprised of base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, and other forms of cash earnings (ironically, equity compensation isn’t included). It’s also not a starting salary; it’s for someone who is mid-career (about 44 years old with 15 years of experience).

The article reports that the median mid-career pay for business administration majors working as stock plan administrators is $120,000. Some of the jobs that stock plan administrator came in ahead of include tax compliance manager; treasurer; and payroll, accounting, finance, and budget directors.

As an English Lit major, however, I take issue with the article’s suggestion that humanities majors need to change majors. I know plenty of liberal arts majors who have ended up in stock plan administration.  So if you know any soon-to-be college graduates (business or humanities majors), you might want to suggest they follow in your footsteps.

– Barbara

Tags: , , ,