Dictionary of Exit Planning Terms

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ESOP or Employee Stock Ownership Plan

A trust established by Corporation, which acts as a tax-qualified, defined-contribution retirement plan by making the corporation's employees partial owners. Contributions are made by the sponsoring employer, and can grow tax-deferred, just as with and IRA or 401(k). But, unlike other retirement plans, the contributions must be invested in the company stock. The benefits of the company include increase cash flow, tax savings, and increase productivity from highly motivated employees.  ESOP administration is regulated and numerous restrictions apply.