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Equity Plan Solutions

Motivating, aligning, and inspiring your employees.

Overview

Whether you’re awarding shares directly, providing options, or delivering the ability to purchase shares through a plan, leveraging equity-based compensation helps your company retain the best talent and create a long-term commitment to the company’s success. TSX Trust is an industry leader in providing comprehensive equity plan solutions to a company’s HR, Finance, and Plan Administration teams, as well as offering strategic guidance in the form of best practices from our extensive client base.

Our services are aligned with the specific needs of Canadian companies. We provide a dedicated bilingual Relationship Management team that will ensure your equity plan strategy is easily understood and aligned with your company’s goals and objectives. Our call centre, based in Canada, will support the rollout of your equity-related communications, handling calls in both English and in French. Additionally, all records and data are stored in Canada to ensure our services comply with clients’ legal requirements.

We are ahead of the curve in our client-relationship management, our technology-based approach, and our ability to support the changing landscape of equity services. It is our commitment to provide customized solutions that offer flexibility and as much -- or as little -- support as you need.

Our solutions include, but are not limited to, the administration of the following types of plans:

  • Employee Share Purchase Plan
  • RRSP Shares/Cash
  • TFSA Shares/Cash
  • Employee Benefit Plan
  • Stock Options
  • Restricted or Performance Share Award
  • Deferred Share Unit Plan
  • Stock Appreciation Rights (Cash and Share Settled)

Capabilities

EMPLOYEE SHARE PURCHASE PLANS

An Employee Share Purchase Plan is one of the best ways to provide incentives to your employees and make them feel invested in your company’s performance. Not all plans are the same. Each company must carefully determine which approach to equity compensation makes sense for its goals. This is precisely the type of experience-based guidance that TSX Trust has offered for over 40 years to public and private companies alike.

We help our clients build the best plans for their companies, communicating clearly and often with their employee shareholders and helping them derive maximum value from their Employee Benefit Plan, including the following:

  • Convenient and regular investing through payroll deduction
  • Complete administration and trustee services for a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Compounding benefits of automatic dividend reinvestment
  • Management of blackout periods, including associated approvals (preclearance)
  • Single sign-on to existing plans under administration
  • Online participant enrollment
  • Real-time warning functionality
  • Real-time trading with limit orders (day or 30 days)
  • Process delivery by direct deposit (EFT), cheque, or wire in various world currencies (as available)
  • Preparation of tax slips

Every TSX-administered plan is based on innovation and efficiency made possible through technology. We maintain a proprietary technology platform – designed with our customers’ unique objectives in mind – that can be adapted to meet your specific needs.

Registered Retirement Savings Plans

Registered Retirement Savings Plans, or RRSPs, are a significant way to save and should be considered when planning for retirement. Through your Employee Share Purchase Plan, TSX Trust can help you add a Group RRSP component to support your employees well beyond their time with your company.

With an RRSP account:

  • your employees will benefit from being able to purchase shares using pre-tax income, and
  • income saved in an RRSP account is not taxed until withdrawn, which will allow its value to grow and the tax to be deferred for your employees.

Since a Group RRSP requires a trustee, there would be no need to attain third-party trustee services as TSX Trust is a Canadian Trust Company and may act as trustee and administrator for your plan. With our experience and technology-based solutions, TSX Trust represents the best choice for outsourcing your plans. We support your efforts to empower your employees and to invest in their future.

Tax-Free Savings Accounts

This Employee Share Purchase Plan component allows taxpayers to earn tax-free investment income inside their TFSA account. Subsequently, the resulting income and capital gains are tax-exempt. With this account, your employees can look toward larger goals, such as growing their savings, planning for retirement, or investing.

TSX Trust is here to help your employees reach these goals. If you would like more information about Tax-Free Savings Accounts, please reach out to your Client Services Manager.

Employee Share Purchase Plan

Through an Employee Share Purchase Plan (ESPP), employers can increase employee productivity and engagement by offering employees the opportunity to invest in the company.

We help our clients build the best plans for their companies. With our experience, technology-based solutions and dedicated client-servicing team, we can administer various Employee Share Purchase Plans.

We offer single sign-on, making it easier for participants to enroll, view their balance and transact from their account in real time. With online participant enrollment, we can also ease your administrative workload by collecting the payroll deductions and changes from employees to regularly invest. If your company pays dividends, we offer automatic dividend reinvestment.

Participants may trade in real time, set limit orders (day or 30 days), and receive their proceeds via direct deposit (Electronic Funds Transfer), cheque, or wire in various world currencies (as available).

We manage various plan rules, such as withdrawal restrictions, offering real-time warning. Additionally, we have the functionality to impose trading blackout and/or preclearance for trading.

Former Employee Plan

TSX Trust continues to engage with former employees of a company through the Former Employee Plan. When an employee leaves a company or is terminated from an Employee Plan, they may keep their shares.

The Former Employee Plan provides the following advantages:

  • RRSP and TFSA shares remain registered, eliminating the tax impact that would result if shares were to be sold or certificated out of the plan
  • Yields no annual administration cost to the plan sponsor
  • Allows former employees to transact at any time

STOCK OPTIONS, RESTRICTED SHARES & PERFORMANCE AWARDS

Recognizing superior employee performance with performance awards allows a company to invest in and retain top talent, and to align employee, company, and shareholder goals. Once in place, plans must be managed with high levels of communication to participants, full compliance with all reporting and regulatory mandates, ongoing plan assessment, and flawless execution of all administrative functions.

Companies entrust their equity plan strategy and delivery to TSX Trust. Our technology-based plan administration, real-time reporting processes, customized solutions, and tenured expertise help you implement equity-based plans that motivate and drive your organization forward.

Regardless of the type of plan your company has in place, TSX Trust will work with you to create a highly efficient administrative solution tailored to your company that ensures an exceptional experience, including plan education and professional service for all participants.

We start by assigning a dedicated client-management team whose industry-wide expertise and experience allow them to identify the nuances of your business and offer guidance to help develop your strategy. Their efforts are realized through our proprietary technology platform, which ensures the highest levels of data integrity, flexibility, and administrative support for your plan management.

Your employees can expect exceptional support; participants have full access to our bilingual call centre representatives. Plus, your plan administrators can benefit from a white-glove-level service that ensures optimal handling of their awards and navigation of the regulatory and reporting hurdles unique to this industry.

Stock Options

An employee stock option plan can provide real value to employees and has long served as a successful tool to attract top executives and to retain and motivate rising talent. There are various avenues available to both public and private businesses looking to pursue an employee stock option plan and Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs). We offer expertise across all products to help companies develop a complete understanding of the options available to them along with the implications of each.

TSX-managed stock option plans include the following features:

  • Online grant delivery and acceptance
  • Manage blackout and window periods, including associated approvals (preclearance)
  • Comprehensive tracking of all grants and transactions
  • Exercise modeling and valuation
  • Release or holding of shares in an account, allowing for future sale
  • Exercise and execution support for you and your participants, including withholding calculation
  • Collect payment of option cost/taxes for cash exercises via direct debit processing
  • Process delivery by direct deposit (EFT), cheque, or wire in various world currencies (as available)
  • Online real-time administrative reports
Restricted Shares & Performance Awards

Performance Share and Restricted Share Units (RSUs) have become an increasingly popular vehicle for rewarding top-performing employees while helping companies control the volume of shares allocated. Yet detailed records must be maintained, including individual vesting information, payment records, and tax and reporting mandates.

Both public and private companies rely on TSX Trust for their comprehensive management of their restricted share and performance award plans, offering both administrative and trustee services. We take an "all-of-the-above" approach and can purchase/hold securities for the benefit of employees until the assets become vested, and we oversee the initial grant process, including online award acceptance and tax election. Upon vesting, TSX Trust is able to handle tax withholding obligations, remit and report, as well as disburse assets to the employees.

What can you expect when you enlist TSX Trust as your partner?

  • We set up an account for the participant, disseminate detailed information about the unit, and simplify the restricted-share awards acceptance process via our comprehensive online tool TSX Trust Employee Central.
  • We notify the participant that a taxable event will occur on the award’s vesting/release date. Our participant site provides models that can help a participant determine which tax and share option will best fit his or her personal situation. Once a participant makes a determination, TSX Trust records the election and executes based on employee instructions.
  • We also ensure timely release of vested shares and any associated tax payment information.

TSX-managed restricted share and performance unit plans include the following features:

  • Online grant delivery and acceptance
  • Administration of blackout and preclearance
  • Processing of dividend equivalents
  • Deferral processing
  • Online release processing, for both participants and issuers, that includes multiple tax payment and share distribution methods
  • Comprehensive tracking of all units and transactional histories, including real-time access for you and your plan participants
  • Customizable vesting and termination schedules, both for performance-based and service-based vesting awards
  • Vesting support, including withholding calculation
  • Release or holding of shares in an account, allowing for future sales in real-time trades with limit-order capability

Administrative & Financial Reporting

Administering and reporting employee plans can be complex, demanding, and time-consuming.

But with TSX Trust as your partner, you gain access to a financial reporting platform that provides you with real-time access to the information your business requires.

We work directly with members of your company to understand the requirements of your various plans. From there, we handle all corporate administrative services and develop a technology-based solution to ensure seamless and timely compliance with all reporting timelines.

Valuation & Financial Reporting

Beyond traditional plan administration, companies must comply with internal and external reporting requirements. For some companies, this can be a recordkeeping nightmare. But for an TSX Trust customer accustomed to our technology-based capability, compliance is a completely integrated component of our financial reporting services.

To satisfy disclosure and expense accounting, TSX Trust provides a comprehensive and detailed financial reporting solution. Some of the key features include the following:

  • Comply with IFRS 2 and ASC 718
  • Support both equity and liability accounting
  • Expense mobility and allocation tracking
  • One-click disclosure table reporting
  • Full award modification capabilities
  • Maintain all equity expense reporting in one platform
  • Reduce audit costs through detailed source reporting
  • Maintain an audit trail of any changes by authorized users
Administrative Reporting

TSX Trust has long recognized the value of technology to improve your experience. We are industry leaders in meeting the unique needs of our customers, offering a customized technology platform and reporting tool designed to provide optimal flexibility and support for your business.

With a reporting tool that’s integrated within the TSX Trust Equity Plan Solutions administration system, information to support your reporting needs is at your fingertips. This platform has proven to be highly effective in several areas, including the following:

  • Scheduling: Through the system’s “report scheduler,” reports can be generated and delivered based on your needs (i.e., daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly). Report requests can be added to the system’s calendar so that they are automatically generated based on the programmed schedule.
  • Multiple Formats: Reports can be accessed and downloaded into a variety of formats, including HTML, Excel, PDF, and Comma-Separated Value (CSV).
  • Customization: Reports can be customized by adding or removing specific data elements from any core report.
  • Ad Hoc Capability: This allows reports to be generated for specific needs.

Trustee Services

Employee Benefit Plans, Group RRSP Plans and Group TFSA Plans require a Canadian trustee. As TSX Trust is a Canadian Trust Company, we can act as plan agent and trustee for your plan, maximizing efficiency and eliminating cost to attain third party trustee services.

TSX Trust provides full trustee services for corporations. We manage assets whether they are issued from treasury or purchased on market and hold the assets for the underlying beneficiaries in the plan.

EPS for Private Companies

Equity-based compensation plans and products are an increasingly attractive way for privately held companies to retain and provide an incentive for their most valued asset: their employees.

TSX Trust provides private companies with a full suite of Equity Plan Solutions attuned to the evolving needs of the private market.

We offer capitalization table and employee stock plan tracking using our blockchain enabled self-service SaaS platform, Astrella and by offering a mobile app to employees and investors.

For Employees and Investors

TSX Trust’s Plan Administration Services provides your employees with an easy-to-use tool in order to invest in your company, helping to ensure seamless and secure investment activity.

Employees experience enhanced processes and results, including the following:

  • Mobile app (Android & iOS) to view holdings and awards
  • Secure, GDPR-compliant document vault
  • Wealth management resources
  • Access to liquidity and leading providers (company approval and qualification required)
For Employers

For private companies, equity plan management requires responsive oversight and efficient execution.

TSX Trust’s capabilities support employers in optimizing their plan administration strategies using Astrella™, including the following:

  • Blockchain-enabled cap table tracking
  • Integrated employee stock plan tracking (six different plan types)
  • Mobile app for employees and investors
  • Financial reporting
  • Exit scenario modeling
  • Document vault
  • Access to integrated partner network and resources

Contact Our Sales Team

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