The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

Legislative Update: H.R. 2096 & S. 1212

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, provides a legislative update to members regarding new pro-ESOP bills introduced in the  House of Representatives and the Senate, H.R. 2096 and S. 1212.

More information can be found in the ESOP Bulletin.

 

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, , ,

ESOP Company News Edition

The following news from ESOP Association members ran in the April 2015 ESOP Report and we wanted to share with readers here. If you have ESOP company news to share, please send an email to media AT esopassociation.org.

Gibson Named Best Places to Work in Indiana for Third Consecutive Year

Gibson-Insurance-Logo-300x116Gibson, an ESOP Association member, was recently named as one of the 2015 Best Places to Work in Indiana.  The statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Indiana, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses.  The 2015 Best Places to Work in Indiana list of 100 companies is made up of four different size categories.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process first by evaluating each company’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics.  This part of the process was 25% of the total evaluation.  The other 75% consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience.  The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.  An independent firm, Best Companies Group, managed the process, analyzed the data, and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Gibson will be recognized at the Best Places to Work Awards Dinner in May. Gibson is a 100% employee-owned (38% ESOP), regional insurance broker and risk management services firm with offices in South Bend, Plymouth, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and National Association of Manufacturers Honor Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers

On March 10, 2015 the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) awarded Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence at an event hosted by NAM member Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, Washington.

“American manufacturing is critical to the strength of our nation’s economy,” said Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, president of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. “We applaud Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’ efforts in support of a free, flat, and fair environment that enables manufacturers to grow, create jobs, and keep ahead of global competition.”

“Contributing almost 290,000 jobs to Washington state, manufacturers help grow our local economy from the bottom up,” said Congresswoman McMorris Rogers. “As a representative of the most trade-dependent state in the nation, I am proud to support this innovative, expanding industry that strengthens our opportunity economy. Our exports are critical to men and women across the state, and manufacturers understand that better than anyone.”

You can see more on the company’s Facebook page.

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Filed under: Government Affairs, Member Services, TEA Members, ,

NEWS: Pro-ESOP Bill, S. 1212, Introduced in Senate

The ESOP Association sent out the following press release today.

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2015

Pro-ESOP Bill, S. 1212, Introduced in Senate

May 11, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The ESOP Association expresses strong support for S. 1212, introduced on May 6, 2015 by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and co-sponsored by 13 Senators.

S. 1212 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) in S corporations in America. S. 1212 is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 2096 which was introduced on April 29, 2015 by Congressmen David G. Reichert (R-WA).

“Needless to say, it is extremely pleasing to see these Senate leaders, representing bi-partisanship, stand up for employee stock ownership through ESOPs. The ESOP Association notes its appreciation for these members who have joined in support of employee ownership and taken the lead to address issues that relate to increasing ownership shares among average pay Americans,” stated ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “Research proves that ESOPs are more profitable, more productive, and provide sustainable jobs. We need policies to encourage employee stock ownership, and the proposed policies in S. 1212, should address core social issues such as adequate retirement security and making sure working Americans have an ownership stake in our capitalistic system.”

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The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

 

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski

202/293-2971

amy@esopassociation.org

@ESOPAssociation

Filed under: Government Affairs, , ,

NEWS: Pro-ESOP Bill, H.R. 2096, Introduced in House

The ESOP Association sent out the following release this morning.

esop-logo-large1.jpgFor Immediate Release: April 30, 2015

Pro-ESOP Bill, H.R. 2096, Introduced in House

April 30, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The ESOP Association expresses strong support for H.R. 2096, introduced on April 29, 2015 by Congressmen David G. Reichert (R-WA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ).

H.R. 2096 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) in S corporations in America.

“Research proves that ESOPs are more profitable, more productive, and provide sustainable jobs. We need policies to encourage employee stock ownership, and the proposed policies in H.R. 2096, should address core social issues such as adequate retirement security and making sure working Americans have an ownership stake in our capitalistic system,” stated ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling.

Keeling continued, “It is extremely pleasing to see this bi-partisan group of members of the House Ways and Means Committee stand up for employee stock ownership through ESOPs. The ESOP Association notes its appreciation for these members who have joined in support of employee ownership and taken the lead to address issues that relate to increasing ownership shares among average pay Americans.”

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The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski

202/293-2971

amy@esopassociation.org

@ESOPAssociation

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

The ESOP Association Signs Savings and Investment Working Group Letters Regarding Tax Reform

As a member of the Coalition to Protect Retirement (CPR), The ESOP Association recently signed on to a group letter that was sent to the Senate Finance Committee’s Savings and Investment Working Group. The letter commended the Finance Committee for their work to reform the tax code and noted that “Congress should encourage retirement savings for American workers though the preservation of current tax incentives.”

The mission of the CPR is to encourage and support retirement savings for American workers through the preservation of tax incentives critical to American workers’ retirement security. The Association is one of ten members of the Coalition.

In addition to the letter from the CPR, the Association, as a member of the Retirement Savings Network, signed on to another letter that will be sent to the Working Group on Savings and Investment as well. The letter notes that “Eliminating or diminishing the current tax treatment of employer-provided retirement plans and individual savings arrangements would jeopardize the retirement security of tens of millions of American workers, impact the role of retirement assets in the capital markets, and create challenges in maintaining the quality of life for future generations of retirees.”

As noted earlier on this blog, The ESOP Association also submitted comments to Senate Working Groups regarding comprehensive tax reform.

On March 25, 2015, The ESOP Association submitted comments on comprehensive tax reform to three of the Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Groups: Savings & Investment, Individual Income Tax, and Business Income Tax. The Association specifically stated how employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are in accord with the seven principles outlined by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for comprehensive tax reform — Economic Growth, Fairness, Simplicity, Permanence, Competitiveness, Promoting Savings and Investments, and Revenue Neutrality.

As noted by ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling: “Current ESOP tax policy should be viewed with objectivity and considered fairly during the process. As ESOPs meet, and exceed, the seven principles outlined by Senator Hatch for comprehensive tax reform, we feel it is reasonable to ask that ESOP laws to promote the creation and operation of employee-owned companies be preserved, and expanded.” He went on to say, “Research proves that employee-owned companies provide more sustainable employment and preserve locally-controlled jobs in today’s global economy. We need to encourage broad-based, inclusive capitalism and increase employee ownership to ensure sustainable employment for U.S. workers, and more income for average pay employee owners.”

Read the full statements on The ESOP Association’s website.

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

RELEASE: The ESOP Association Submits Comments to Senate Working Groups Regarding Comprehensive Tax Reform

The ESOP Association sent the following release this morning. We wanted to share with readers here.

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2015

The ESOP Association Submits Comments to Senate Working Groups Regarding Comprehensive Tax Reform

April 1, 2015 (Washington, DC) – On March 25, 2015, The ESOP Association submitted comments on comprehensive tax reform to three of the Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Groups: Savings & Investment, Individual Income Tax, and Business Income Tax. The Association specifically stated how employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are in accord with the seven principles outlined by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for comprehensive tax reform — Economic Growth, Fairness, Simplicity, Permanence, Competitiveness, Promoting Savings and Investments, and Revenue Neutrality.

As noted by ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling: “Current ESOP tax policy should be viewed with objectivity and considered fairly during the process. As ESOPs meet, and exceed, the seven principles outlined by Senator Hatch for comprehensive tax reform, we feel it is reasonable to ask that ESOP laws to promote the creation and operation of employee-owned companies be preserved, and expanded.” He went on to say, “Research proves that employee-owned companies provide more sustainable employment and preserve locally-controlled jobs in today’s global economy. We need to encourage broad-based, inclusive capitalism and increase employee ownership to ensure sustainable employment for U.S. workers, and more income for average pay employee owners.”

Read the full statements on The ESOP Association’s website: http://www.esopassociation.org/advocate/esop-bulletin.

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The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski

202/293-2971

amyATesopassociation.org

@ESOPAssociation

Filed under: Government Affairs,

The Department of Labor Seeks Comments on Proposed Regulation on the Definition of Adequate Consideration

In lieu of mandating that appraisers of private company stock held, or stock held by an ESOP, be ERISA fiduciaries, the Department of Labor is seriously considering reissuing the May 17, 1988, proposed “Adequate Consideration” regulation. In turn, a senior official of the Department has asked that The ESOP Association provide its thinking as to what a re-proposed Adequate Consideration regulation should provide in terms of ensuring ESOP appraisals be in accord with the laws governing private company ESOP appraisals.

The Association’s Washington office committed to the Department to honor its request for input. Thus, the Association’s Advisory Committee on Legislative and Regulatory Issues, and its Advisory Committee on Valuation, are developing a response for the Association to the Department’s request.

Discussion about content of the proposed 1988 Adequate Consideration regulation were a focus of the recent Professional Forum held in New Orleans in February 2015.

A copy of the proposed 1988 regulation is available on the Association’s website on the Legislative and Regulatory Issues Committee’s page. You will need to login to access the file. Once logged in:

Go to -> About the Association

On left side menu click -> Advisory Committees

Then -> Legislative & Regulatory

It’s posted under the section titled ESOP Regulations Needed Guidance

In 1988, The ESOP Association included information in the ESOP Report on this proposed regulation. To read that story, ESOP Report Adequate Consideration Article Feb 1988.

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

February 2015 Wrap-Up

Miss something? We’ve got you covered.

We shared a list of upcoming Chapter events for March.

Don’t forget — the Edmunson Scholarship deadline is March 6!

Find your ESOP Chapter.

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, talked about the importance of inviting your member of Congress to visit your ESOP company.

The ESOP Association submitted comments to the Senate Committee on Finance Tax Reform Working Group regarding tax reform.

Déjà Vu? Tax Reform in the Senate?

Download your copy of the February 2015 ESOP Report.

Edmunson Scholarships are open for applications.

We shared some ESOP company news.

Updated publication –> Your ESOP: It’s for all of us.

A thank you to Chapter leader, Gale Marett

The Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest opened for submissions.

The ESOP Association submitted comments to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the state of the U.S. economy and policies that can promote job creation and economic growth.

We shared some tips for winning AACE.

The ESOP Association expressed disappointment once more over a provision in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget that pertains to ESOPs.

Filed under: Chapter News, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, Employee Ownership Month (EOM), Government Affairs, Publication, TEA Members,

Congressional Visits & ESOP Companies

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, discusses the importance of inviting your member of Congress to visit your ESOP company.

 

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

RELEASE: The ESOP Association Submits Comments to the Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Group Regarding Comprehensive Tax Reform

The ESOP Association sent out the following release this morning.

For Immediate Release: February 19, 2015

The ESOP Association Submits Comments to the Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Group Regarding Comprehensive Tax Reform

February 19, 2015 (Washington, DC) – On February 18, 2015, The ESOP Association submitted comments to the Senate Committee on Finance regarding tax reform, specifically stating how employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are spot on with the first six principles outlined by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for comprehensive tax reform, and arguably exceeding the seventh principle. The statement was directed to Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chair and Ranking member of the Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment.

As noted by ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling: “I ask only two things of the Committee members — for current ESOP tax policy to be viewed with objectivity and to be considered fairly during the process. As ESOPs meet, and exceed, the seven principles outlined by Senator Hatch for comprehensive tax reform (Economic Growth, Fairness, Simplicity, Permanence, Competitiveness, Promoting Savings and Investments, and Revenue Neutrality) we feel it is reasonable to ask that ESOP laws to promote the creation and operation of employee-owned companies be preserved.”

Read the full statement on The ESOP Association’s website: http://www.esopassociation.org/advocate/esop-bulletin.

###

The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

 

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski

202/293-2971

amy AT esopassociation.org

@ESOPAssociation

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

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