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It Takes a Village

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December 19, 2019 | Jennifer Namazi

It Takes a Village

It takes a village to run a stock plan. Stock plan administration is a collaboration of many functions within an organization, combined with the supporting services of additional partners and resources outside of the organization. The NASPP is proud to be part of so many of your villages!

In thinking about our NASPP community and the collaboration involved in bringing the best resources to our members, I feel the need to highlight one of the flagship NASPP resources: our series of Country Guides. Each country-specific guide is authored by practitioners in local jurisdictions around the world, and subject matter edited by Louis Rorimer (Retired Partner, Jones Day) and Shoshana Litt (Counsel, Jones Day), both based in the US.

Each country guide features in depth analysis of local regulations, including securities, tax, labor and other local laws.

It takes a significant effort to author each guide – so much that we’ve been recognizing a contributing author each year for their efforts in providing such in depth, quality content for our NASPP members. This year, our Country Contributor of the Year Award has been given to Ms. Chan Yuen Leng, author of our Singapore Country Guide.  Please join me in (virtually) applauding Ms. Chan for her diligence and dedication in developing this valuable resource. If your equity plans have made it to Singapore, or such a rollout is on the horizon, you’ll want to check out the Guide.

Tip: One of my favorite accents to our guides is an editor’s preface for each that paints a “lay of the land” picture to give you a flavor for the local landscape that may not be apparent from simply reading a set of requirements. Here’s the editor’s note for Singapore:

Singapore is no stranger to employee stock plans. An array of modern tax incentives favors both broadly based plans and entrepreneurial startups. Singapore even permits optionees to defer payment of taxes past the time of exercise for qualifying options. Special rules coordinate the various tax incentives and offer relief from double taxation, although certain tax favorable schemes have been phased out in the last few years.

Moreover, Singapore was one of the first jurisdictions—if not the very first—to turn its attention to favorable tax treatment for RSUs and other full-value awards. Don't get too comfortable, though. With its "deemed exercise rule," Singapore has also been in the forefront of a number of jurisdictions that have developed mechanisms to tax the gains on stock incentives for employees who leave the country. The government-sponsored retirement system, the Central Provident Fund, must also be taken into account, and filing an application for pre-approval of a plan is sometimes required.

Tip: In a hurry? Sometimes questions come up on the fly, and a quick analysis is needed. Each Guide is accompanied by a “Summary Table” document that covers must-know information. Check out Singapore’s Summary Table to get an idea on format.

The Research Center on our NASPP website contains dozens of country guides, including those for countries such as Argentina, France, Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. To view them, simply visit the “Countries” section of our Research Center and select a specific country.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge contributions from additional people who comprise the team that brings these country guides to life: Marlene Zobayan (Partner, Rutlen Associates) and Paula Szocik (Copy Editor) both make valuable contributions to the process of publishing each Guide. See, it really does take a village.

Wishing you and your villages a wonderful holiday season.



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