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A Quick Guide to Incentive Plans: The Intersection of Tax, Employment, Benefits and, sometimes, Securities Law

When (ET)
Where Webinar OR our Toronto office
333 Bay St., Suite 2400
Bay Adelaide Centre
Toronto, ON
Get directions


Speakers: Maureen Berry, Partner, Fasken
Andrew Bratt, Partner, Fasken
Daniel Fuke, Partner, Fasken
Richard E. Johnston, Partner, Fasken

Most businesses now have some form of incentive plan or plans, at least for senior executives. They may offer stock options, bonuses, RSUs, DSUs, SARs or other deferred cash or equity compensation. For multinational businesses, there is often a desire to have common incentive plans across the enterprise.

You may not need to draft a plan for your company, but understanding the legal context can help you avoid missteps when questions such as the following arise:

  • Can’t we just use the parent’s plan?
  • On termination, what is the employee’s entitlement in respect of the plan?
  • When do I pay tax on this?
  • This is taxed like a capital gain, isn’t it?

This session will look beyond the alphabet soup of plan names and review the general principles that apply to cash and equity incentive plans in Canada, in the context of tax, employment, benefits and securities law. Along the way, we will provide key information, including:

  • How deferred cash payments can create tax surprises
  • Why it is important to have each participant sign on to the plan
  • Why the plans of the U.S. parent may not work for Canadian employees
  • What happens when rights would vest soon after termination

This program is eligible for up to 1 Substantive Hour