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ETRADE Redesigns Online Stock Plan Experience

The financial services firm said it launched this initiative to help investors gain a better understanding of equity compensation and their benefits.

By Javier Simon editors@plansponsor.com | August 31, 2016

ETRADE says it used its latest research to guide its redesign of the online experience for stock plan participants.

According to its recent stock plan participant survey, ETRADE Securities found two out of five stock plan participants don’t understand vesting and two out of three don’t understand the tax implications of their plans. And despite using the equity received from grants to fund retirement plans, many plan participants have trouble understanding the core aspects of their benefits.

In an attempt to reverse this trend, ETRADE says it created “a greatly enhanced experience, offering a simplified interface that provides clear insight and actionable steps to help plan participants with making informed decisions.”

Going forward, participants will be able to access a new, consolidated dashboard with an overview tab which can provide a glimpse of account holdings, action items for review, and important dates. A hypothetical account value calculator can help investors understand the potential impact of stock price changes and future potential grants.

Participants can also instantly see which grants are ready for acceptance, which are unvested, and which are exercisable--while now being able to pivot between holding type and status. The new interface and self-help options enable participants to accept grants, sell shares, or exercise options with just a few clicks, ETRADE says.

The new Knowledge tab provides curated educational resources on stock plan basics, tax reporting, and planning for retirement, along with stock plan calculators to help work through the potential results of certain transactions.

“Education is paramount when it comes to equity compensation, because participants will only truly appreciate their plan benefits when they understand them,” says Paul Hutchison, SVP of ETRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc. “Simplifying the stock plan experience, while at the same time working to engage and educate plan participants, were our central areas of focus. The redesign reflects our efforts to help demystify stock plan benefits and provide a best-in-class experience when coupled with our dedicated human support and onsite training.”

More information is available at www.etrade.com.

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