Industry Insights

ESCA Releases ESOP Survey Results

November 2017
Author:  Angela Fisher

Angela Fisher

Manager

Consulting

Manufacturing & Distribution

Telecommuting

The Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) recently shared the results of its poll, Nationwide Survey of Likely Voters on ESOPs and Tax Reform Legislative Efforts. The poll, conducted by John Zogby Strategies (JZS), revealed public support for tax reform to increase middle-class retirement savings. JZS conducted the online survey September 6 and 7, 2017, and sampled 800 likely voters. The sample comprised 36 percent likely Democrat voters, 36 percent likely Republican voters and 28 percent voters who identified as independent or unaffiliated. Key findings include:

  • Fifty-three percent of respondents would like to work for an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Respondents were given the following ESOP facts:
    • ESOP company employees are significantly more likely to feel better about their current financial situation.
    • ESOP company employees have much less or no anxiety about saving for retirement.
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents would like their own congressional representatives to vote for legislation making it simpler for owners of S corporations to transfer ownership in their companies to the employees. After hearing the aforementioned ESOP facts, the number of respondents in favor of passing ESOP legislation increased to 69 percent. Strong bipartisan support is shown with 62 percent, 63 percent and 61 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents, respectively, supporting the passage of legislation.
  • Seventy percent of respondents believe tax reform should help grow middle-class Americans’ retirement savings. This directly correlates with 75 percent of respondents overall saying they fear they won’t have enough saved for retirement. Most of this fear concentrates in respondents ages 30 to 64.

This study indicates middle-class Americans desire tax reform that enhances their retirement savings. A 2015 study performed by EY found the average S ESOP account distribution was 56 percent larger than the average 401(k) distribution between 2002 and 2012. According to John Zogby, “This data lays out a clear mandate from voters to Congress and the administration:  tax reform should make it easier for the middle class to save for retirement.”

To learn more about ESOPs, contact your trusted BKD advisor.

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