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Ten Financial-Planning Rules You Should Know About Restricted Stock And RSUsThis is premium content Editorial Team
While grants of restricted stock and RSUs are conceptually simple, financial planning for them can be complex. This article presents the essential financial-planning points that you should consider before your restricted stock or RSU grant vests.

Restricted Stock: Tax, Financial, Estate, And Retirement Planning (Part 1)This is premium content

Richard Friedman
Podcast included! Understand financial planning for restricted stock and RSUs. Part 1 discusses the growing popularity of these grants, their special features, and the related tax planning.

Stockbrokers' Secrets: Restricted Stock And Performance SharesThis is premium content

John P. Barringer
Many companies have turned away from stock options and begun to make outright stock grants that must vest before the shares can be issued. For employees, these grants have added a new layer of complexity to their equity compensation. This article presents six questions I get all the time from clients who have received restricted stock, restricted stock units, or performance shares.

How Tax Rate Changes Impact Your Stock Grant Strategies (Part 2): Restricted StockThis is premium content

Stanley Trotta with Robert Gordon
With tax increases in mind, now may be a good time to re-evaluate your current financial-planning strategy for equity compensation and company stock holdings to determine whether action is required. Part 2 looks at restricted stock and restricted stock units.

Restricted Stock: Tax, Financial, Estate, And Retirement Planning (Part 2)This is premium content

Richard Friedman
Podcast included! Careful planning can help you maximize the value of restricted stock and RSUs by preparing you for decisions you must make. Part 2 covers complex issues in financial, estate, and retirement planning.

Restricted Stock Versus Stock Options: Making A Rational Choice (Part 1)This is premium content

Alan B. Ungar
In a growing trend, your company may let you choose between stock options and restricted stock. Which is better for you? Learn techniques to analyze your financial situation and goals so that you can make the right choice.

Restricted Stock Versus Stock Options: Making A Rational Choice (Part 2)This is premium content

Alan B. Ungar
As noted in Part 1, many companies are developing employee-choice programs that allow you to choose between stock options and restricted stock. Part 2 provides a method of analysis to help your decision-making.

Decisions At Vesting With Restricted Stock (Part 2): Hold Or Fold?This is premium content

Tom Davison
Vesting is another crucial time for making decisions about your restricted stock. Decisions include what tax-withholding method to use, whether you should hold or sell the stock, and what account to keep the shares or cash in after vesting.

Presentation! Restricted Stock And RSUs: How To Have Effective Employee Education And Communications

Bruce Brumberg
This PowerPoint presentation (in PDF) provides tips and suggestions from on explaining restricted stock and RSUs to employees and executives.

Presentation! Restricted Stock, Performance Shares, And Trends In Equity Compensation: What Financial Advisors Need To KnowThis is premium content

Bruce Brumberg
This PowerPoint presentation provides financial and wealth advisors with an overview of trends in equity compensation grants that can affect their clients and their practice.

Year-End Strategies For Restricted Stock, RSUs, And Performance Shares: Seven Ideas To ConsiderThis is premium content

Bruce Brumberg
As part of your year-end and year-beginning tax planning, don't forget to review your holdings in restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), and performance shares. This article presents strategies that many experts suggest.

Stockbrokers' Secrets: Year-End Planning For NQSOs, Restricted Stock, And RSUsThis is premium content

John P. Barringer and Michael Beriss
Learn about year-end ideas that apply to NQSOs and restricted stock/RSUs, and consider the impact of recent tax-rate changes.

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My restricted stock will vest soon. Should I sell the shares at vesting or hold them?

When restricted stock, restricted stock units, or performance shares vest, whether you sell or hold the shares depends on various factors. Some of them are under your control...

Can you calculate whether it is better to be granted stock options or restricted stock?This is premium content

The outcome depends on how well your company's stock price does in the years after the grant date and on the ratio of stock options to restricted shares, among other factors. To calculate whether the appreciation of stock option gains equals or exceeds restricted stock gains, you need to...

Why do companies grant fewer restricted stock shares (or units) than stock options? Are there any trends in the ratios of shares for options?This is premium content

Restricted stock has full value to you at vesting, regardless of whether the stock price has dropped after the grant date. This leads companies to grant fewer shares of restricted stock (or restricted stock units) than stock options. The ratio used to give a restricted stock grant an equivalent "value" to that of existing stock option grants depends on different factors. Common ratios are...

What would happen to my unvested restricted stock or RSUs if I were to die or become disabled before the vesting date?This is premium content

The treatment of unvested restricted stock and RSUs upon death or disability depends on the terms of your stock plan and the specifics of your grant agreement. In its 2013 Stock Plan Design Survey, the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals observed the following related practices among the companies in its survey group...

UPDATES! What do surveys and examples reveal about the effects of expensing, stock market trends, and other developments on equity compensation?This is premium content

A summary of data in surveys from major consulting and research firms shows that...

Does my company take an earnings charge on its income statement for my restricted stock grant? Does it matter if my vesting is performance-based?This is premium content

For restricted stock with vesting based on the length of time you are employed (i.e. time vesting as opposed to performance vesting), your company...

What is the difference between variable and fixed restricted stock grant guidelines?This is premium content

With variable grant guidelines your company determines grant size according to...

What is the difference between restricted stock and performance shares or units?This is premium content

Shares of restricted stock are issued up front at grant, but you do not own them outright and cannot sell or transfer the shares until the time-based restrictions lapse. With standard restricted stock units the situation is basically similar, while with performance shares your company sets goals that must be met, such as...

UPDATES! What types of company goals are most commonly set for performance shares and units? What do surveys show about the performance metrics and periods that companies use?This is premium content

Stock-based performance plans have targets that, when reached by the end of the measurement period, trigger vesting or payout according to the structure of the plan. Various surveys show that the most common metrics are...

UPDATES! How common are stock options, restricted stock, performance shares, and ESPPs outside the United States? Do surveys show trends?This is premium content

Stock plans can be global, and in some countries they are more popular than they are in the United States. Consulting firms and other groups have conducted surveys about the use of stock compensation in both developed and emerging economies...

Can stock compensation affect my other employee benefits, such as 401(k) contributions?This is premium content

With a few exceptions, the grant, vesting, or exercise of stock options, or the vesting of restricted stock, should not affect your other retirement-plan benefits. One notable exception...

Any data on vesting schedules for restricted stock?This is premium content

Several surveys report data on vesting periods for restricted stock and RSUs at many companies. These studies find that graded vesting and cliff vesting are almost equally used. The most popular...

If my restricted stock vests on a holiday or a weekend, is its value based on the stock price on the day before or the day after the vesting date?This is premium content

Usually, if the vesting date falls on a non-business day...

What happens to my stock grants if I become temporarily disabled?

Under some stock plans, if you are temporarily disabled and your employment is not terminated, you...

After I retire, will my company let my stock options or restricted stock continue to vest, or will it accelerate the vesting?This is premium content

Retirement is a type of termination of employment...

Is the original vesting schedule ever accelerated by reaching performance milestones or special goals?This is premium content

Some companies accelerate the vesting schedule of restricted stock or RSUs if...

What is an example of a performance goal that triggers or accelerates vesting?This is premium content

Successful completion of venture financing is a typical performance goal for a startup company. A public company might...

What could happen to my restricted stock in an acquisition of my company?This is premium content

The treatment of the restricted stock (or restricted stock units) in the acquisition or merger depends on various factors. The possible treatment of your unvested shares includes...

How do "change of control" and trigger provisions in stock plans generally work to accelerate vesting?This is premium content

Provisions vary according to the terms of your grant and stock plan. These provisions can be triggered when...

If my company is bought for stock of the acquirer, will I be able to purchase the same number of shares in the buyer as I am allowed to with my current options and restricted stock?This is premium content

Not necessarily. If an acquirer is using its stock to pay for shares of your company, then the purchase will be denominated in stock according to one of several methods...

Can I transfer or pledge restricted stock before vesting?This is premium content

Most stock plans do not permit this for restricted stock or stock options. Lenders would also not accept restricted stock as collateral because...

When I am still working at my company, can it rescind, cancel, or reduce the size of my grant before vesting instead of firing me?

Not unilaterally. Although no law specifically addresses this question, courts have examined...

Can grants of restricted stock or RSUs have noncompete provisions?This is premium content

Noncompete provisions are not as common with restricted stock as they are with stock options. However, watch out for restrictive covenants in "clickwrap" agreements...

Can options or restricted stock be granted to my IRA instead of to me?This is premium content

Perhaps, but this would be unwise, and the shares received at exercise or vesting may not be covered by...

UPDATES! Can my company require me to retain a certain amount of company stock from a stock option exercise or a restricted stock grant?This is premium content

Although stock ownership guidelines are more common, retention mandates and requirements for CEOs and senior executives have become popular, as shown by survey data and corporate proxy statement disclosures. Supporters of share retention rules believe they show...

If my company requires me to have a foreign bank or brokerage account because of the stock plan, what do I need to know about the FBAR and FATCA reporting rules?This is premium content

Under the FBAR and FATCA rules, you may have special IRS reporting requirements if you hold assets in a bank outside the US. This FAQ explains the requirements and the severe penalties that the IRS imposes for noncompliance...

How does a dividend affect the value of stock options, restricted stock, and restricted stock units?This is premium content

In theory, when a company pays a dividend, particularly a large special dividend, its stock value declines by...

Does receiving dividend payments on my restricted stock before it vests mean I automatically get the stock even if I leave the company before vesting?This is premium content

Dividends and the shareholder voting rights that go with restricted stock do not...

Can I use restricted stock in a stock swap to exercise my options?This is premium content

Not until the restricted stock vests. Then the stock is...

If my restricted stock vests during a blackout period or when I know secret stock-price-moving information, can I be charged with insider trading?This is premium content

You cannot be charged just for the vesting of restricted stock, as no sale of securities occurs. However...

I am a senior executive. When and how do I make my Form 4 filing for restricted stock, restricted stock units, and performance shares?This is premium content

Within two business days of any grant, you file Form 4 electronically under the SEC's Section 16 rules. However, while the filing rules for these grants are similar, there are some important differences...

I am a senior executive and plan to sell enough restricted stock at vesting to cover the taxes I will owe. Is this sale still subject to the short-swing profit rules under Section 16?This is premium content

Yes. Assuming the company's grant meets the rules for exemption under Section 16, the grant and vesting are not matchable...

When did stock option expensing become mandatory? How does this affect and change my stock grants?This is premium content

Expensing became mandatory for calendar-year companies several years ago. Because companies take an earnings charge for the "fair value" of stock option grants on their income statements, companies have changed their grant practices by reducing the number of stock options, moving to grant more...

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