The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

2013 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner

Since many have asked, we thought we’d share a photo of the 2013 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner.

Congratulations to ComSonics, Inc. for designing the winning poster! You can read The ESOP Association’s press release here. The winning poster design was unveiled at the Association’s 36th Annual Conference in Washington, DC during the 22nd Annual Awards Ceremony on May 8, 2013.

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Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Conference Information, Employee Ownership Message, Employee Ownership Month (EOM), TEA Members, , , , ,

36th Annual Conference – Legislative Information

If you’re attending the Association’s 36th Annual Conference this week in Washington, DC, and will be meeting with your member of Congress, below are a few highlights on recent pro-ESOP legislation and information concerning a negative ESOP proposal in the President’s 2014 FY Budget.

You can find additional information in the Lobbying Kit which will be available at the Conference and in the 2013 Spring Advocacy Kit which is available on the website.

Senator Kelly Ayotte Renews Work to Protect Employee Ownership: Introduces Pro-ESOP Bill, S. 273

Press release here.

On February 13, 2013, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced S. 273, a bill to modify the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to exclude appraisers of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Co-Sponsors

Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO

Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-MN

Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-LA

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-KY

This bill is a response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed anti-ESOP regulation mandating all private ESOP company appraisers be ERISA fiduciaries.

While the original proposal was withdrawn, if any regulation was finalized to make appraisers ERISA fiduciaries there would be extreme confusion over whether the appraiser or the trustee[s], and other current fiduciaries, make the decisions about acquisition of shares on behalf of average pay employees. More troubling, it would leave private ESOP companies open to lawsuits by aggressive class action trial lawyers. Leaders at the DOL say a new proposal will be issued in July 2013. It is expected DOL will not alter the proposed regulation’s mandate that all appraisers of ESOP stock be ERISA fiduciaries.

Pro-ESOP Bill Introduced in Senate, S. 742

Press release here.

The ESOP Association expresses strong support for S.742, the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2013, introduced April 17, 2013 by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of Senators. Co-sponsors include:

Original Co-Sponsors

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Senator John Thune (R-SD)

Joined as Co-Sponsors as of April 23

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D- OH)

S. 742 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 and expand opportunities for existing S ESOP corporations.

The ESOP Association Disappointed with ESOP Proposal in President Obama’s Budget

Press release here.  Additional information here and here.

Today, The ESOP Association expressed disappointment over a provision in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget that pertains to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Included in the budget document is a provision to eliminate Internal Revenue Code section 404(k). This incentive for ESOP creation and operation permits a C corporation to deduct the value of dividends paid on ESOP stock passed through to employees in cash, deductions used to pay the ESOP acquisition loan, or when the employee reinvests in more company stock in his/her ESOP account balance.

“This is a major proposal to reduce an incentive to create and operate an ESOP; we are disappointed it has been included in the President’s budget,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “It is counter-intuitive to eliminate an incentive for a policy that resulted in fewer layoffs during the Great Recession. According to the 2010 General Social Survey, employee stock owned companies laid off employees at a rate of 2.6% in 2010, whereas the rate for conventionally-owned companies was 12.1%.  It’s baffling to hear the Administration preach about creating jobs and then take away a proven policy that sustains jobs.”

Filed under: Conference Information, DOL Proposed Fiduciary Regulation, Government Affairs, , , , ,

Annual Awards Ceremony to Honor AACE Award Winners

Will you be joining us for the 36th Annual Conference in Washington, DC on May 9th and 10th this year? If so, don’t forget about the Awards Ceremony on the evening of May 8th to honor the 2013 AACE Award and ESOP Award winners.

This year, each registrant for the 36th Annual Conference is entitled to one ticket to the Awards Ceremony; the ticket price is included in the registration fee. Come celebrate employee ownership with employee owners from across the nation.

In advance of the 2013 Awards Ceremony, we thought we’d take a look back at the 2012 AACE Award winners. Click on the video below to view a brief re-cap of some of the 2012 winners.

We hope to see you at the Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC on May 8th.

Details on the 2013 Annual Conference:

36th Annual ESOP Conference

“ESOPs: Your Job, Our Job, America’s Job”
May 9 & 10, 2013

Awards Ceremony the evening of May 8th
Renaissance Washington Hotel
Washington, DC
Contact Rosemary Clements or Maya Van Buren (202) 293-2971 or meetings@esopassociation.org

More information here.

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Conference Information, TEA Members, , ,

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