THE EDITO

The USA’s Government Response to the regulation of Financial Participation Plans in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Is it helping Plan participants?

Effective March 27, 2020, the US “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (“CARES Act”) provided immediate changes and relief to US financial participation plans known as “401(k)” plans  The relief was similar to natural disaster relief programs issued in the past. * The changes included:

  1. Plan Distributions For distributions from January 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020, a qualified plan participant can elect to treat a 401(k) plan distribution as a “Coronavirus-related distribution,” which has the following benefits:
  • Not subject to the 10% early withdrawal tax for distributions prior to age 59-1/2
  • Not subject to mandatory 20% withholding (rather 10% voluntary withholding applies)
  • Not treated as an eligible rollover distribution (and therefore no 402(f) rollover notice)
  • Taxed pro rata over a three year period (2020-2022), unless the individual elects otherwise
  • Eligible for re-contribution back into a plan or IRA within three years from the date of distribution
  • Up to $100,000 can be taken by the individual (with the plan sponsor obligation to ensure that the $100,000 distribution cap is not exceeded for plans within the employer’s controlled group). The limit is a personal limit for each individual that includes both plan and IRA distributions.
  • Unlike a hardship distribution, there is no requirement to show documentation of losses or expenses to justify the distribution.
  1. Loan Limit Increase. Increase in the loan limit under Code section 72(p) from $50,000 to $100,000 (or 100% of the participant’s account balance, if less) for loans made from March 27, 2020 through September 22, 2020.
  2. Loan Repayment Suspension. Suspension of loan payment due March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020 for up to one year.
  3. RMD Relief. Suspension of 2020 required minimum distributions.

*See- https://www.groom.com/resources/cares-act-brings-immediate-changes-for-4...

The US “Plan Sponsor Council of America” conducted a snapshot survey of plan sponsors in early June to determine what changes they have made regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey received responses from 137 organizations that sponsor a defined contribution plan for employees. See https://www.psca.org/research/cares_snapshot2

The PSCA survey was an early review, but showed that most US plan sponsors had implemented some provisions of the CARES Act, but that few participants were using them.

Here are some highlights of the survey:

    1. While most organizations made a decision about implementing the optional provisions of the CARES Act, one in five (19.7 percent) were still taking a wait-and-see approach, and though they are not currently implementing them, they may in the future. Fewer than 10 percent have already determined they will not implement any CARES Act features.
    2. Nearly two-thirds (63.5 percent) of respondent plans are allowing participants to take CRDs (Corona Virus Related Distribution).  Usage is size-correlated, with nearly 85 percent of plans with 5,000 or more participants allowing them compared with fewer than 40 percent of plans with less than 200 participants.
    3. Plan sponsors have been significantly more likely to adopt the CRD option than the expanded participant loan provisions. In fact, only about half as many plan sponsors have opted to embrace the expanded plan loan amounts (36.5 percent) than are allowing CRDs.
    4. Nearly 90 percent of respondent organizations are making no changes to employer contributions. Five percent of respondents have suspended matching contributions, and fewer than 1 percent have suspended non-matching (profit-sharing) contributions. Larger organizations are slightly more likely to have suspended the match — 11.6 percent.
    5. No responding organizations indicated that they are now considering terminating the plan as a result of the ongoing pandemic and economic conditions. In fact, few are considering any plan design changes at the time of the survey.

 Communicating the impact of plan loans and distributions on retirement savings to participants is likely— a third are already doing so and nearly 20 percent are creating communications at the time of the survey.

CONCLUSION:

            The full impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on global businesses is still evolving. Small businesses and certain business segments, such as hospitality and travel are more severely impacted. There is little question that the economic impact of Covid-19 on global business will be severe and long lasting. The PSCA survey was an important first response, but likely too early in the epidemic to be of significant impact to global financial participation programs. Further, the PSCA survey was specifically targeted to the US CARES act for 401k plans.

IAFP, the International Association for Financial Participation, is monitoring the situation for other types for financial participation programs such as ESOPs and stock participation plans among its global members. IAFP will continue to advise its members and the public about developments and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global financial participation.

Address from Michel Bon, FONDACT President

Make the most of the calm before the storm.

At the beginning of June 2020, most of the economic signals panic and predict a storm. Nevertheless, everything looks rather quiet in a country benumbed by the health crisis, but it looks like the false quietness of a waiting room in an emergency service. It is the calm before the storm which clouds are accumulating: full sectors collapsing, indebtedness and deficits exploding, great mourning in employment.

What should we do to be ready? Use the tools for success-sharing, such as employee ownership, and financial participation.

The French “participation” will, for 2020, look like the annual results: nothing or much less. But it is not necessarily the same for the “intéressement”. When it is based on the operational results, it will also be as poor in 2020. It is not really motivating when, on the contrary, everybody must roll up ones sleeves. But it is quite possible to base the intéressement on other criteria. Any manager knows which indexes, in his enterprise, will announce the crisis exit, and he knows as well how he could revive them. So, why, in those conditions, couldn’t they change the criteria to link them precisely to the real signals of the crisis exit? For that purpose it is sufficient to approve and sign an amendment to the existing agreement before the 30th of September next. Getting such an approval should not be difficult, as far as it is an attempt of improvement of the prevailing system.

The crisis is also a very good starting point for employee shareholding which will be a strong means for social cohesion and alignment of interests. Recognizing the exceptional efforts done during the containment period, encouraging employee mobilization, today necessary, recognizing that we are stronger together, there are a lot of reasons to associate the employee to a successful exit from the crisis through employee shareholding.

There are many ways to achieve it. The easiest consists in using the new tool introduced by the PACTE Law, which allows the enterprise (when and how they want) to give to their employees a bonus (in the limit of a little more than 800 € per capita) to help them in purchasing shares of their enterprise, without any personal cash out. More, given falling prices, a possible discount up to 40% and that bonus will give a purchase price which will lead to attractive capital gains, and a very low chance of loss. Creation of motivation and share capital is precisely what we need today. Isn’t it?

As usual: crisis, opportunities!

Une étude commandée par le BMWi examine les perspectives de développement de la participation financière des salariés : "L'actionnariat salarié est un instrument important pour attirer et retenir les travailleurs qualifiés dans les entreprises. Les salariés deviennent actionnaires et participent au développement économique de leur entreprise. Notre objectif est d'accroître l'actionnariat salarié, en particulier dans les petites et moyennes entreprises et les jeunes pousses", a déclaré le ministre fédéral de l'économie Peter Altmaier, en commentant la publication d'une étude qui, pour la première fois, examine systématiquement la diffusion et les perspectives de développement de l'actionnariat salarié en Allemagne et en Europe. (Plus …)

L'étude a été préparée par un consortium de scientifiques de l'Université européenne Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder, de l'Université Helmut Schmidt de Hambourg et de l'Association allemande de l'actionnariat salarié (AGP). Elle donne un aperçu de la situation actuelle des données et des différentes formes d'actionnariat salarié dans les États membres de l'UE-28. Un accent particulier a été mis sur les régimes de participation dans les entreprises moyennes et les start-ups.

Studie im Auftrag des BMWi untersucht Entwicklungsperspektiven der Mitarbeiterbeteiligung

„Die Mitarbeiterkapitalbeteiligung ist ein wichtiges Instrument zur Gewinnung und Bindung von Fachkräften für Unternehmen. Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer werden zu Teilhabern und partizipieren von der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung ihres Unternehmens. Unser Ziel ist es, Mitarbeiterkapitalbeteiligungen gerade bei kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen und auch Start-ups zu erhöhen“, so Bundeswirtschaftsminister Peter Altmaier zur Veröffentlichung einer Studie, die zum ersten Mal die Verbreitung und  Entwicklungsperspektiven von Mitarbeiterkapitalbeteiligungen in Deutschland und Europa systematisch untersucht.

Die Studie wurde von einem Wissenschaftler-Konsortium der Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder, der Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg und des Bundesverbands Mitarbeiterbeteiligung – AGP erstellt und gibt einen Überblick über die aktuelle Datenlage sowie die unterschiedlichen Formen der Mitarbeiterkapitalbeteiligung  in den EU-28-Mitgliedstaaten. Ein besonderer Fokus lag auf den  Beteiligungsprogrammen der mittelständischen Unternehmen und der Startups. (Mehr …)

 

Liquiditätskrise vermeiden –Mitarbeiterbeteiligung als Soforthilfe für Unternehmen! Wir plädieren für eine erleichterte Entgeltumwandlung um den Liquiditätsabfluss zu bremsen und das Eigenkapital zu stärken #Coronakrise #Soforthilfen https://agpev.de/liquiditaetskrise-vermeiden-mitarbeiterbete...

Éviter la crise de liquidités - La participation des salariés comme aide immédiate aux entreprises ! Nous plaidons pour une compensation différée facilitée afin de ralentir la sortie de liquidités et de renforcer les fonds propres #Coronakrise #Aide d'urgence https://agpev.de/liquiditaetskrise-vermeiden-mitarbeiterbete...

Avoiding the liquidity crisis - Employee participation as an immediate help to companies! We advocate facilitated deferred compensation to slow down the outflow of liquidity and strengthen equity #Coronakrise #Emergency aid https://agpev.de/liquiditaetskrise-vermeiden-mitarbeiterbete

EU-Initiative - Mitarbeiterbeteiligung soll Standard für Startup-Nationen werden! Mehr unter https://agpev.de/mitarbeiterbeteiligung-soll-eu-standard-fue...

Initiative de l'UE - La participation financière des salariés devrait devenir la norme dans les pays en phase de démarrage ! Plus d'informations sur https://agpev.de/mitarbeiterbeteiligung-soll-eu-standard-fue...

EU initiative - Employee financial participation should become the norm in start-up countries! More information at https://agpev.de/mitarbeiterbeteiligung-soll-eu-standard-fue...

                                                                 It is time !

Everything is in place. The PACTE Law was voted, the decrees were published, and the « instruction administrative” will be shortly issued. All the things which have been built for more than two years by the government, with the active involvement of Fondact and its members, are ready to be used. Less taxes, new tools for SMEs and employee ownership, a more efficient link between financial participation savings and pensions, many new and useful things are now available for companies.

What Fondact wishes, at the beginning of this year, is quite simple: they must use them! Because nothing is won in advance. First of all, usual brakes exist which have not disappeared. The foot brake of the ant owner who does not want sharing anything with his employees; the hand brake of the cicada employees who consider that immediate cash is the best for the social dialogue; the engine brake of the tax authorities (and especially in this case the URSSAF) who always are ready to use any ambiguity in the wording to get some money.

But the most important is keeping the same trend. We are far, very far, from the objective. Less than half of the French employees could benefit of financial participation last year. The total amount of what they have saved for years through those systems accounts for just over 1% of French households' assets. And only three listed companies have more than 10% of their share capital belonging to their active or retired employees. We must go on along this very long path which remains in front of us. To bring more prosperity to our country. To contribute to social cohesion. To make our enterprises stronger and more dynamic. To make sense, quite simply.

Since 2017, the government has become obviously in favour of the participative enterprise. It believes that it has done much for it, especially by the lowering of the social flat rate in some circumstances, and through the PACTE law. And if, now, nothing or little happened? We could be excused because we front public transportation strikes, or the geopolitical waves coming from the errant unrest of Donald Trump. It is clear that we would need at least ten years to revive the same interest of politics for our subject.

Fondact, of course, but also each of you, in your own enterprise or organisation, we must take care especially in 2020 of the wave of the participative enterprise which should rise everywhere and take the last resistances!

Many thanks in advance! And a very good year for all of you.

Michel BON, Fondact President

 

PACTE LAW (Fondact source)

Decrees: Pension savings-Financial Participation- Employee ShareOwnership

After the publication of the “Loi PACTE” in the Official French  Newspaper at the 23rd pf May last, decrees regarding changes in pension savings and their implementation were published respectively on July the 30th and  August the 7th. They can be consulted here

On the 20th of August 2019, was published the decree N° 2019-862 regarding the implementation of the rules of the Loi PACTE on Financial Participation and employee ShareOwnership. A summary of the changes coming from the Loi PACTE and its decrees is available here(More …)

 BREXIT and Irish SAYE schemes written by Kevin O'KELLY / IAFP IRELAND/ May 21, 2019

After BREXIT some 12,000 Irish savers could be out of pocket as a number of 'Save-As-You-Earn' (SAYE) schemes are at risk without agreement between the EU and UK to continue passporting rights for UK financial institutions.

These SAYE schemes are designed to allow employees to buy their company’s shares in a way which is tax-efficient.  Employees are granted options to buy shares, then save with a third-party financial institution for an agreed number of years and at the end of the agreed period then buy the shares using the savings that have been put in place.

Yorkshire Building Society, which operates 10,000 SAYE schemes in Ireland has written to the Irish Minister of State for Finance, Michael D’Arcy asking for urgent action to keep the schemes alive.  The letter said that:

… given ongoing negotiations over Brexit, we have looked into obtaining an Irish banking licence to continue offering this service.  However, we have concluded that the costs of authorisation would be disproportionate to the benefits of doing so.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, or a deal without equivalence in place, we will no longer be able to continue deposit-taking on a cross-border basis in Ireland... unless an alternative arrangement can be put in place, that would mean the [circa] 10,000 savers we have would no longer qualify to receive shares on a tax-efficient basis at the end of next year.

One company that could be affected is the hotel group, Dalata.  The CEO, Pat McCann has also called on the Government:

… to act now and protect all workers who they previously made commitments to save  through SAYE schemes. It is one of Dalata’s most effective tools for productivity and employee retention.  More than 400 employees are in the Dalata SAYE scheme. They work at all levels in the company, from general managers to chefs to accommodation and our central office employees.  Dalata Hotel Group believes passionately that our employees should share in the benefits of the company's success. Employee share ownership allows them to do that.

 France (source FONDACT)

Draft PACTE law

The National Assembly passed the first reading of the draft law for corporate growth and transformation, which aims in particular to enhance the attractiveness of employee savings plans, especially for SMEs. The deputies made a number of amendments to the government’s text, adding some additional features to the proposals for employee savings plans, some of which directly affect companies and employees.

(summary in French of the changes affecting employee savings plans)

 

 

Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation

The PACTE bill was presented to the Council of Ministers on 18 June. As announced for several weeks: the bill organizes in particular the opening of the Employees Savings to small and medium enterprises, a redesign of Retirement Savings, and the development of Employee Ownership.
Before being debated in Parliament next September, it will be examined by the Parliamentary Commission in July, which will be chaired by Olivia Grégoire.

PACTE bill measures concerning employee savings, retirement savings and employee share ownership
Legislative text of the draft law PACTE (employee savings, retirement savings and employee share ownership)
Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, 21 June 2018

Source : FONDACT

 

USA - PSCA Annual Conference

PSCA, the Plan Sponsor Council of America, held its 71st Annual conference on May 1-2, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Since its founding in 1947, PSCA has been on the forefront of protecting America’s retirement system. PSCA is a “founding member” of IAFP, the International Association for Financial Participation.

Today, PSCA assists more than six million plan participants and provides its members with programs and services to help them better manage their company’s retirement plans. Members include both large and small companies and non-profit organizations. PSCA's Board of Director represents a microcosm of the members. The conference was attended by representatives of some 200 companies, representing both large international organizations and small and medium size companies.

The format of the conference provided general plenary session on topics of interest to all plan sponsors, breakout sessions with presentations on specific topics by plan sponsors, service Providers and government regulators.

Representative topics presented included:

            The Real Retirement Crisis

            Plan Cyber Security

            Retirement Income Within a Defined Contribution Plan

            Participant Communication, Social Media and Paper

            Plan Internal Controls and Procedures

            Participant Financial Education

            Plan Sponsor Only Discussion Roundtables-Small, Medium and Large Company

            Government Regulation and Audits of  Plans

            The role of Behavioral Finance in Plan Communications

            New US Federal Tax Law-(The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act)

            Diversification of Plan Assets

David Hildebrandt, President of IAFP, gave a presentation to the Board of PSCA on the proposed new IAFP research project, Analysis of Global Best Fiduciary Practices in the Administration and Investment of Defined Contribution Plans.”   The PSCA Directors agreed to appoint a PSCA Board Member to represent the US perspective in the new global project.

 David will make similar presentations on the IAFP “Global Fiduciary Best Practice” research project in June to the “Canadian ESOP Association” and to the “International Pension and Employee Benefit Lawyers Association” and ask for their participation in the project.

David Hildebrandt President of IAFP - 8 May

 

The 5th Symposium for Company Saving Plans

This event, organised by FONDACT on 6th February 2018, was attended by  some 500 participants. The IAFP was represented inter alia by Jean-Michel Content, Secretary General, Paul Maillard and Jean-Claude Mothié.

The first keynote address was given by Jean-Pierre Balligand (50 years of profit-sharing: which present status?).  This opening speech was followed by three roundtables that focussed on the following topics: a) SMEs: how to go further?; b) Profit-sharing: a virtuous mechanism; and c) Profit-sharing: a force for to-morrow.

There were six presentations in each roundtable, including by two or three MPs, which provided an opportunity of wider debates in each roundtable.   

Between the roundtables, there were two further keynote addresses.  The first by Jean-Daniel Levy (Harris Interactive) on French people and Company Saving Plans and the second by Benoît de Juvigny (AMF) on Employee Share Ownership: which place in global shareholding.

The Symposium was closed by Michel Bon, President of FONDACT , who said especially that “… at this stage, it was more useful to quit the technical aspects in order to provide politicians with a few simple basic points”.

He then focused on four key points:

  1. “Participatory management is not only a subject of wages or savings, it is, first of all, an economic advantage … increasing participatory management, making it more attractive, means surely the fostering of our economy’s competitiveness
  2. “Participatory management is a tool for the present time and should be a project for the present Presidency … Internationalisation increases competition and it applies a new strong pressure on the production costs, especially on salaries. If we consider that, for the last 15 years, the dividend distribution to shareholders of companies belonging to the CAC40 increased at an average rate of 6% per year, while salaries hardly increased by 2% per year, such a gap represents an obvious issue … When we look at it, the most evident way to deal with this problem is precisely through participatory management -   on  good days, employees benefit in those circumstances through share ownership or through their company savings plans.  While on bad days, the competitiveness of the enterprise has not been jeopardised by irreversible decisions.  France has a unique know-how and skills to address these challenges. Faced by the new and dangerous struggle between capital and labour, we have a real advantage: let us use it completely
  3. “’Keeping it simple and don’t give way to tinkering’:  During the long story of company savings plans, for each Government there was the temptation to use that tool to address temporary economic issues … These must consist of genuine savings, because success is uncertain, but savings are permanent.  When faced with the general pessimism regarding our systems of social care and pensions, this kind of savings is necessary - it makes people more confident in the future
  4. “Avoiding confusion through wrong messages:  The worst message is the taxation of company savings plans as part of the social package … Among the good companies, i.e. the profitable ones, the best are those that share their success with their employees through employee ownership, profit-sharing and financial participation and, in fact, these are the only enterprises to be liable to that social package. Of course, everyone knows the financial situation in France and even if the social package is far less profitable than has been said, its suppression represents a cost of some €1.5 billion.  So let us start with a five years evolution, with the aim of its suppression, in order to change the message at once ...”  SEE MINUTES

 

At the beginning of a great year!

Among the wishes that I sent to you last year, one of them was not too much risky, and in fact it was achieved: “there is a good chance that, next spring, we will get a President and a Government willing strongly to revive the Financial Participation”. It actually occurred, and more, as soon as in autumn, President Macron announced his willingness of “reviewing” this topic in 2018 and, without any delay, several working groups were launched, under the authority of the minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire.

As Fondact repeats it continuously, participatory management is first of all a mean to reinforce the companies. It is great if it allows employees to purchase their dwellings, or to improve their pensions, all the better if it makes easier the financing of the investments of the companies. But what is the most important is that it improves the enterprises. Better social climate, better productivity, greater dynamism and, finally, higher wages: it is what the companies point out when actively practicing participatory management. In front of all the deficiencies incurred by France, regarding employment, foreign trade or budget, we do need more solid and efficient enterprises. Participatory management is an efficient means to achieve it. On top of that, this kind of management gets everyone to agree: employees and managers, trade and business unions, right and left wings.

Our Government seems to agree with that analysis as far as they include the reforms to be carried out in our field in the wider framework of the competitiveness of the companies. For that reason we begin 2018 with a better hope than ever. Our association is active, in any place where the announced reforms are coming up, with a very simple say: widening, simplification, tax issues.  

Widening means making, at last, participatory management attractive enough for a small enterprise because it is there that the link between the individual work and the success of all is the most obvious. But it also means to spread it to the Public Sector: if incentive payment is helpful for the progress of enterprises, we don’t see why it could not as well make easier the reforms of the Public Sector.

Simplification is a constant issue in our societies which are always enacting new laws and rules. The 64 pages of our Work Code which are dedicated to participatory management need such a simplification and Fondact have a lot of ideas to achieve it.

At last, tax issues. We demonstrated that the introduction in 2008 of a “social flat rate” on Financial Participation and its sharp increase in 2012 have broken the momentum of this mechanism and that without that disastrous idea, the public finances would likely be better sustained nowadays. Let’s get it over with this absurd tax that hits only the best companies, those which are profitable, and which, in surplus, share their profits with their employees.

This year 2018 should be the most positive for our thoughts since a lot of time! We are ready, with your active support, to manage the foreseen progress and enhance it.

Michel BON

Président de FONDACT

FONDACT: Reviewing Financial Participation: “ I would like that next year, we open a true debate on what an enterprise consists in” the President said on TV the 15 of October last. Emmanuel Macron said that he wanted “a genuine debate”  in 2018 to” have a new view on that pretty Gaullist invention of profit-sharing and participation”, in order” for all employees to get their fair part of any improvement” .The debates on these subjects should begin in the coming weeks.

FONDACT, through several workshops organised during the last years, has a lot of proposals to enlarge the number of beneficiaries of Financial Participation, to facilitate the employee ownership in private companies, to simplify the tranmissions, and to make the profit-sharing mechanisms more attractive in the very small enterprises. The association will provide its contribution to the coming debates with the support of its Members and of all those who share their thoughts.

 

Position paper for the 2017 parliamentary elections

ITeilhabe am Erfolg der Wirtschaft und leistet dadurch einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Vermögensbildung. In seinem heute veröffentlichten Positionspapier zur Bundestagswahl fordert der Bundesverband Mitarbeiterbeteiligung die Parteien auf, sich in ihren Wahlprogrammen für eine stärkere Förderungen der Mitarbeiterkapitalbeteiligung und der Vermögensbildung in Arbeitnehmerhand einzusetzen. "Wenn wir vermeiden wollen, dass weiterhin nur eine kleine Bevölkerungsgruppe als Eigentümer von Unternehmen und Kapital unmittelbar vom Erfolg der deutschen Wirtschaft profitiert, müssen wir die Beteiligung breiter Bevölkerungskreise am Kapital stärker fördern“, betont Dr. Heinrich Beyer, Geschäftsführer des Bundesverbands Mitarbeiterbeteiligung. (Mehr …)

The involvement of employees in the capital of enterprises opens the success of the economy to broad sections of the population and thereby makes a significant contribution to asset formation. In its position paper published today on the Bundestag election, the Federal Association of Employee Participation (AGP) calls on the parties to use their electoral programs to promote greater employee participation and asset formation in the workforce. "If we want to avoid the fact that only a small population group as the owners of companies and capital directly benefits from the success of the German economy, we must promote the participation of large populations in the capital more strongly", emphasizes Dr. Heinrich Beyer. (More …)

Dr Heinrich BEYER - AGP

translated from the German Source : “Mitarbeiteraktien stärker fördern : 

At this year-end, I would like to make an overview of 2016.

Even if we can regret that the new European Commission does not seem to be very active in supporting our initiatives in the field of Financial Participation, nevertheless, we have a new hope coming from the assessment of one of the candidates to the Presidency of the French Republic pointing out the interest of financial participation in the social dialogue.

We also are happy to point out the major achievements of our main partners (AGP in Germany, SNPI in the Netherlands and IfsProshare in the UK, ETION in Belgium). Besides, IAFP took the opportunity of its participation in several congresses, seminars and meetings to reinforce its cooperation with new partners.

We do hope that 2017 will give us new opportunities to enlarging our Partnership with others, and that the possible changes resulting from elections in some countries will open new doors for the development of our main subject.

In the meantime, I wish you, on behalf of IAFP, a Happy New Year.

Jean-Michel Content (Secretary General of IAFP)

 

OBITUARY

The Centre is deeply saddened to report the death two weeks ago of Dr Raymond Allouf, former secretary general of the Paris-based International Association for Financial Participation (IAFP). Senior Centre Davos attendees will remember his lucid and sharp summaries, delivered in perfect English, about French style employee share ownership. Raymond was a highly-trained food chemist and engineer who had several worldwide patents over metallurgical processes, relevant to his work as a Metal Box UK director for several years. He was a top graduate of the EN écoles d'ingénieurs, a holder of the Lavoisier Medal – and at the Centre’s last Paris conference, Raymond and Centre chairman Malcolm Hurlston, CBE, both received the prestigious Rémy Schlumberger Award for services to the employee share ownership movement. Raymond was in his 80s when he died in Paris.
Our warmest condolences to Sophie and the rest of his family.

Fred Hackworth (International Director of the ESOP Centre) 

TESTIMONIALS

From David A. Hildebandt (President of the IAFP)

“As President of the International Association for Financial Participation, it was my good fortune to work with Raymond Allouf as the Secretary General of IAFP.  I first met Raymond in the mid 1990’s as re revitalized the mission of IAFP to support global financial participation for the benefit of both employers and employees. Raymond was a champion of financial participation for both his employer and for the employee association in their financial participation programs.  He knew that financial participation benefitted both the employer and the employee.  The employees became happier and more satisfied in their work knowing that they would directly benefit from the success of the enterprise. The employer became more profitable through the participation of the employees in its success. Even national economies benefited from the enhanced profitability. Raymond’s influence went beyond France and was influential in promoting financial participation throughout the EU and America.  From those of us working in financial participation,  “Thank You”

From Kevin O’KELLY 

I am deeply saddened by the news of Raymond’s death.  I first met Raymond in 2000 at a breakfast meeting organised by the Irish ProShare Association.  Following the meeting he and the IAFP President, David Hildebrandt, visited the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND), where one of my responsibilities as Research Manager was to manage studies into employee financial participation.  The link with Raymond and the IAFP proved to be valuable for Eurofound in the following years, and for the European Commission DG Employment and Social Affairs, as we worked on the 2002 Communication, On a framework for the promotion of employee financial participation.  Raymond made important and helpful suggestions during the drafting of this Communication.

Raymond invited me to become a member of the Executive Committee, so as to get a EU perspective on financial participation.  In this capacity I was closely involved with Raymond and David in organising a European Commission funded project to draft a Model Plan for Financial Participation in the European Union which was completed in 2005, one of the outstanding achievements of the IAFP in recent years.

There is no doubt that in his capacity as Secretary General of the IAFP, Raymond made an important and lasting contribution to the promotion and dissemination of employee financial participation across European countries and, indeed, globally.

Ar dheas Dé go raibh a anam.

From George Tuthill (Hon. President Irish ProShare Association and Executive Member of IAFP)

I was saddened to learn of the death of my dear friend Raymond Allouf whom I first met over 20 years ago. He single-handedly resuscitated the declining IAFP and his bounteous energy and drive ensured its survival. The strength of today’s IAFP is testimony to Ray’s involvement and dedication over many long years. He gave his time so freely and was always available to give council and indeed support both members and others with participation in many projects and conferences.

He was a mentor to many, myself included, and the world of Employee Financial Participation will be the poorer for his passing.

To me he was “the Godfather of Employee Share Ownership”. 

 

Will the Millennial Generation Cause the End of Employer Sponsored Financial Participation?

And

How to Prevent such Extinction

By

David A Hildebrandt*

The threat is the attitude and habits of the Millennial Generation of workers, generally defined as those born after 1996, and which will constitute over one-half of the workforce in the next five to ten years. Recent polls by the Gallup organization, and the Pugh Research Center for example show that:

  1. Only 29% of Millennials are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their jobs.
  2. Millennial workers are mobile-On average 21% of Millennials changed jobs in the last 12 months.
  3. Retraining new Millennial workers costs the US Employers $30.5 billion annually.
  4. Millennials generally want to be in control of their savings, but do not have a financial plan for such savings.
  5. Increasing numbers of Millennials are independent contractors or self-employed, thus rejecting the typical historical employer/employee relationship.
  6. Millennials get their financial education on the internet not from group employer meetings or one on one meetings with financial experts.
  7. Millennials would rather work at a modest paying job for a socially conscious employer than at a high paying job for which they are qualified than in an industry or employer, which they do not perceive as socially conscious.

The conclusion to the above is that traditional employer sponsored financial participation programs no longer meet the needs of the Millennial worker, and that such plans are in danger of extinction in spite of the documented benefits of financial participation programs to workers, employers and the national and global economies.

Historically, the value of Employer sponsored financial participation programs is well established.  Properly administered and communicated, employer sponsored financial participation programs have the following benefits:

  1. Workers are mores satisfied in their job;
  2. Workers, therefore become more productive.
  3. The enterprise for which they work becomes more profitable and competitive.
  4. The local, regional and national economies become more profitable and competitive.
  5. Wealth is accumulated by workers for future needs, thus lessening the social burden on the government.

However, to maximize the above benefits, employer sponsored financial participation programs must be supported by the following pillars:

  1. Employer support, administration and communication to workers.
  2. Recognition by labor organizations of the benefits of financial participation.
  3. National and Regional Government support through tax incentives.
  4. Employee and employer education on financial literacy matters.          

The International Association for Financial Participation Iafp/aifp and its local members have been the voice of education and support for financial participation programs for more than twenty-five years.

Further research is needed to document what Millennial workers would find attractive in a financial participation program.  IAFP is beginning a global study with other organizations to determine the elements of a successful Millennial Financial Participation Program in the new paradigm of a Millennial workforce with the attributes documented above.

Do you Agree or Disagree with this Edito?   IAFP and the author of this editorial, David Hildebrandt would like to hear from you, especially if you are a Millennial or an employer of Millennials.

PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT DIALOGUE BY JOINING THE IAFP CHAT GROUP ON LINKEDIN iafp-aipf, OR BY DIRECT E-MAIL TO iafp.aipf@gmail.com.

David Hildebrandt is the current President of the International Association for Financial Participation (IAFP), based in Paris, France. Mr. Hildebrandt is a US based attorney and Certified Public Accountant, with more than 40 years of experience as a partner in major global law firms in representing employers, global governments, and organizations which support Financial Participation.  For 30 years he was the General Counsel to the largest US association of employers which support financial participation plans, PSCA, and is a member of the American Bar Association College of Employee Benefits Counsel. References cited in this article are readily available on the internet.

 

 

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