If you are seeking to finance your business transition, ESOPs provide a qualified market of buyers for your business: your employees. Experienced and skilled employees can help your business continue to thrive after you sell. This is a crucial edge for business owners who don’t have qualified family or partners to succeed them, but it isn’t the only advantage of an ESOP.
In survey after survey, employers cite benefits as one of the most important factors in attracting and retaining a qualified workforce. In a 2016 survey of 2,000 people by Fractl, 88% of respondents said health, dental, and vision insurance are the most desirable employee benefits.
As a qualified retirement plan, an ESOP has tax-friendly features, and they compare favorably to other qualified plans. Companies make virtually all contributions to an ESOP – they cost employees nothing. These payments generally range between 6% to 8% of pay, compared to an average 4% contribution by non-ESOP plan sponsors. ESOPs also sport higher rates of return, lower volatility and, consequently, much higher account balances. The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)offers more information.
One final edge ESOPs seem to give business owners is increased productivity. An ESOP Association survey reports that about 77% of companies say ESOPs increased productivity. About 68% reported increased profitability, and about 78% reported increased revenue. Not surprisingly, about 92% said creating employee ownership through an ESOP was a good business decision.