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European governments bet again on employee ownership
The table of all recent policy decisions regarding employee share ownership in European countries reveals a remarkable shift. At the beginning of the financial crisis, several countries took negative decisions to reduce their expenses, in a pure short term vision. This bad signal came first from France, followed by Greece, Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands, between 2009 and 2012.

Since 2012, most political decisions are positive again, as in the UK, in Spain, in Hungary, and in Austria where tax incentives will be doubled. Details

New study finds ESOPs total return beats S&P 500 by 62%
A new analysis of the economic impact of S corporation ESOPs in USA examines trends in account balances, distributions to participants, total return, and the existence of other retirement plans. The study, performed by EY's Quantitative Economics and Statistics, finds that:
S corporation ESOPs are growing by many measures. They represented 22% of ESOPs in 2002 and 42% in 2012. The number of plans, participants, and net assets also increased over that time.
The total return for participants in S ESOPs from 2002 to 2012 was an 11.5% compound annual growth rate, 62% higher than the S&P 500 Total Returns Index's 7.1% growth rate over the same period. Details

Press review
We have a selection of 41 remarkable articles in 10 countries in March 2015: Austria, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, UK, USA.
Austria: Voestalpine expands employee shareholding scheme to 14.9%. Austrian Government annouces fiscal incentives will be doubled in 2016.
France: Many press comments about the EFES Annual Survey of employee ownership in 2014. New employee share plans for Solocal, for Plaimont, for Airbus, maybe for Charlie Hebdo.
Germany: The German Share Institute (DAI) points out the dramatic drop in the number of employee shareholders in Germany. "It's time for policy action!"
Indonesia: Employee ownership could be a solution to overcome economic inequality.
Italy: Italian Senate Committee for Employment approves a new draft legislation for employee share ownership and participation.
Netherlands: Employee share ownership in start-ups should be promoted through fiscal incentives.
Slovenia: The new Government will promote employee ownership as a solution for privatisation.
Spain: Employee-owned "sociedades laborales" are recovering in the Basque Country.
UK: John Lewis employees will receive their lowest bonus for 12 years after the partnership cut the annual payout for its 93,800 staff to 11% of salary. However, thanks to new legislation, this year no employee will pay tax on their bonus up to 3,600. Labour's plan to force companies to share their profits.
USA: Why ownership is now a favorite employee benefit.

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
Web site:
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.

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