Equity Insurance Group offers flexibility as share incentive plan is opened to all UK staff

Equity Insurance Group has introduced a share incentive plan (Sip), which opened to all its 1,100 UK employees on 5 March.

This is the first employee share scheme launched by the company since it was bought by Insurance Australia Group in January 2007. The last time Equity Insurance Group had a share scheme in place was 2005 when it was a public limited company.

The new scheme, provided by share plan administrator Equiniti, allows staff to contribute between £10 and £125 each month or as a lump sum payment of up to £1,500 within the tax year. Staff contributions, which are taken from pre-tax salaries, allow them to buy partnership shares, while parent company Insurance Australia Group UK (IAG UK) will provide free matching shares.

Ricky D’Ash, remuneration specialist at Equity Insurance Group, said: “The IAG UK share incentive plan forms part of IAG UK’s overall remuneration offering and is designed to provide eligible employees with an opportunity to buy IAG shares in a tax-effective manner and benefits from a potentially tax-free gift of IAG shares provided by IAG UK.

“Joining the plan is completely voluntary. However, the scheme offers flexibility to employees as they can stop, start, amend or continue with their contributions each month during the tax year.”

Equity has used a number of methods to communicate the Sip to employees. The scheme was first introduced at employee roadshows held around the country in February before staff were sent information booklets by post during the first week of March. The final step will be presentations held in the company’s offices throughout the UK.

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