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An ESOP Vs. 401K: What’s The Difference?

We believe employees should be rewarded for their time and energy investment in the business in the way they appreciate most: financial reward. Back in 2010, we made it happen by implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), in addition to a traditional 401K.

A 401K Defined

A 401K is an employer-sponsored savings plan that deducts funds from your paycheck into a low-yield, long-term savings account. You can decide how much you want to contribute from your pre-tax income, but you may not have total control over how it’s invested. 

This account grows slowly over time, accumulating compound interest and deferring any taxes until it’s withdrawn. If you remove your 401K funds before age 59.5, the IRS requires a 10% penalty fee.

An ESOP Defined

An ESOP offers employees a vested interest in the financial success of the company after a designated time with the company. After three years of employment and employer-designated allocations, you would receive 100% of your shares paid out on a predetermined distribution schedule. Unlike a 401k, you do not contribute any of your own money to the ESOP.

Benefits of An ESOP with IDR

Though less common than a 401K, an ESOP has the potential to pay off in a big way for internal teams and consultants. In the past year, the IDR share price has climbed 18% higher than the year before and averaged 16% growth over the past 5 years. Over 30% of consultants in the company have the highest amount of shares across the board. 

Employees who participate in an ESOP feel a sense of ownership in the company. One of our core values is to “Be A Boss,” and we embody this with this unique employee perk. 

Here’s how John at IDR feels about it:

“Being part of an ESOP is a privilege that fuels the flame of desire and drive to consistently become better every day; in our actions and daily victories to ultimately enjoy the payoff of being an owner in the long run.” We’re so glad to have you, John!

At IDR, you must be employed for at least three years to retain your shares. Once you’re fully vested (three years), those shares are locked in. If and when you leave after that, the funds will be distributed in installments or rolled into an IRA. 

An ESOP is different from a stock option, so you cannot buy more shares later or take out a loan against them. 

We Offer Both!

At IDR, investing in our people empowers them to invest in the company and, by extension, our customers. To enhance employee benefits, we offer both a traditional 401K and access to an ESOP. 

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