Difference between ESOP & Stock Appreciation Rights (SAR)

Difference between ESOP & Stock Appreciation Rights (SAR)

Hey readers, we are here this time with two very different terms of finance but yet similar to each other. Hence, today we will know what makes these terms differ from one another and learn about the rights and plans of an employee working in an organization.

ESOP's – Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which means that the employee of an organization has a benefit-oriented plan that helps them gain ownership-related interest in the company, which mainly turns into the form of shares in the shareholding of the company.

The employers of an organization mainly use this as a corporate finance strategy to coincide with the interests of the shareholders and the employees, which helps them work towards a common goal collectively.

ESOP's are generally formed by an organization to plan for the upcoming progression or incidents as making the employees purchase the shares of the company's stock. The setting up of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan is of as trusts funds, which can be or gets funded by the organization by positioning the recently issued shares or investing in to buy the existing shares.

These are utilized by all the companies irrespective of their size, which includes the company of trading corporations that are large publicly.

Let's read ESOP's in-depth and gain an understanding of them.

They are those plans that help an employee permit them the company's stock, which is solely established on the tenure of their employment.

So, after calculating all the details from the above paragraphs, we can say that ESOP's is generally known to be a remuneration in which shares are invested for a particular tenure.

When ESOP's are inspected from management's perspective, they also provide the employees with certain advantages related to tax, followed by giving remuneration to employees, which enables to cornerstone on company's performance.

Aren't a thought drives through the mind readers that what may be the reason behind starting or issuing such plans for an employee?

Come, let's have a look!

Objectives of ESOP’s

  • The commitment for employees will also give them a feeling of ownership.
  • It will help the employees to create additional wealth for themselves.
  • Will act as a companion at the time of retirement and also help in benefits relayed to social security.
  • This will also help in hiring talented employees and also in retaining the old ones who are professionally skilled in the face to achieve high turnover.

Now comes the turn of understanding Stock Appreciation Rights.

Stock Appreciation Rights are referred to as a security, which provides the shareholders or the stockholders a part of a share of ownership in the respective company they acquire the shares; it implies a stratagem or scheme in which the people participating, for example, the employees of the company or directors or subordinates are supposed to obtain cash when there is an increase in the value of stocks or an appreciation in the value of the stocks, which is anyways conditional to the fulfillment of some vesting terms.

SAR (Stock Appreciation Rights) is a way or methodology that companies use to provide their employees with an incentive or extra reward when the company has performed at an extra level financially. It mainly assists or gives the employee or the holder a cash payment which is subject to the increase or appreciation in the worth of the stated quantity of shares in a given period of time.

A person holding the SAR's is not identified as a person who has or is holding shares of that particular stock. Whosoever is holding the shares, be it be the employees, directors or other officers, is not liable to be presented with a part in the share of the equity shares; they only receive the benefits in liquid that is cash.

What are the objectives of Stock Appreciation Rights?

  • The rights are easily transferable and are conditioned to clawback provisions. This may happen in the case when an existing employee is going to leave the firm and be on the track of joining hands with the competitive firm.

(Clawback Provisions- A contractual provision required by an employee to hand over or pay back the money which the employer has already paid).

  • SAR's are paid when the company performs exceptionally well, which directly links them towards the organization's performance goals.
  • Different companies have the virtue of altering the composition according to the requirement of the indifferent employees.

After a glance and reading in detailed versions of both the terms, it will be much easier for you to understand the difference between them.

Difference between Employee Stock Option Plan and Stock Appreciation Rights.


Employee Stock Option Plan

  • Before the employees can get the company's shares, they are obliged to pay the price of exercising the shares.

  • There is a taxable charge which needs to be paid by the employee, which does not include any cash receipt.

  • The actual shares have been issued, and there is a need to build the shareholders' protection rights.

  • It is taxable as part of perquisites and partly in capital gains.

  • It gives the result in creating equity.

Stock Appreciation Rights

  • The employees need not of paying any obligatory payment.

  • No taxation charges are needed to pay the participants for exercising or granting the scheme.

  • Here, the participants are subject to receiving shares or cash or a combination of both.

  • It is taxable as perquisites.

  • It creates liability.


When undergoing the overall content, we arrive at the conclusion that both the terms that are Employee Stock Option Plan and Stock Appreciation Rights have their pros and cons. One is useful for start-ups; the other helps well-established companies to grow and gain a market position. 

Both also lead to a common goal of holding onto the employees and sticking to their talents, which will eventually help them make the company or the organization gain more financial stability and improve the profit margin, which will motivate the employees to retain in the company.

If you are looking for any Employee stock option plan (ESOP) services or consultants in Noida, Delhi, Gurgaon or anywhere in India, write to us at accounts@especia.co.in. Or Call On :(+91)-9711021268 +91-9310165114

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