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You can choose from a selection of share plans to suit your company objectives

  • All Employee Plans
  • Global Plans
  • Executive Plans


Sharesave is a Save As You Earn (SAYE) or Savings Related Share Option Scheme. It is a tax-efficient arrangement under which your company can offer employees the opportunity to save regularly. The participants may receive a tax–free bonus at maturity and have the opportunity (or "option") to purchase shares in the employing company at a fixed price set at the beginning of the savings term.

Employees save a fixed amount each month between £5 and £500 (increased from £250 per month to £500 per month on 6th April 2014) this amount will be deducted from net (or after-tax) pay and paid into a personal Sharesave account with YBS. At the end of the savings term (known as the "maturity") the employee has an option to buy shares in the company at a price that is fixed at the outset and can be discounted by up to 20%. This price is known as the Option Price, Exercise Price or Subscription Price.

Savings terms can be 3, and or 5 years. At maturity a tax-free bonus set by HM Revenue & Customs may be added to the employee's savings, however, currently there is no bonus payable on 3 year sharesave schemes.

Then as a shareholder they can either:

  • Hold on to the shares
  • Sell them when they wish

If the employee does not want to exercise their option to buy shares, they can withdraw their savings and any tax–free bonus.

Following changes introduced on 6 April 2014, companies are no longer required to obtain approval from HMRC before operating a scheme.

SAYE is a 'Schedule 3 SAYE Option Scheme'. Companies operating SAYE must give notice of the scheme to HMRC and self-certify that the scheme meets legislative requirements.

Share Incentive Plans (SIP)

A Share Incentive Plan, or SIP, used to be referred to as the All Employee Share Ownership Plan, or AESOP. It is a tax–efficient way for employees to invest in their company. Companies have the flexibility to tailor this plan to meet specific business needs. This re-enforces the need to understand your company's needs and desires from the SIP, right from the outset.

There are 4 main elements to the SIP. Your company can choose to use one or more of the following:

  • Free Shares
  • Partnership Shares
  • Matching Shares
  • Dividend Shares 

Free Shares

You can award up to £3,600 of Free Shares per annum to employees in any tax year. These shares:

  • Are free of Income Tax and National Insurance  Contributions at the date of award
  • Must be subject to a holding period of between a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years

Performance conditions can be applied to your whole company, specific departments or individuals. If you wish, a forfeiture period of up to 3 years can be applied. If employees leave during this period, their shares may be forfeited.

Partnership Shares

Employees can use their pre-tax salary to buy shares to a maximum of £1,800 or 10% of gross salary (whichever is the lower) per annum (increased from £1,500 to £1,800 on 6th April 2014) Partnership Shares are free of Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions at the date of purchase. The purchase of Partnership Shares can be funded in 2 ways:

  • Lump sum contribution or
  • Monthly contributions subject to a maximum of £150 per month or 10% of salary (whichever is the lower) and a minimum of £10 per month. (increased from £125 per month to £150 per month on 6th April 2014; the 10% of salary limit remains unchanged).

Matching Shares

You can give employees up to 2 Matching Shares for each Partnership Share they buy. These shares:

  • Are free of Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions at the date of award
  • Are subject to a holding period of between a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years. A forfeiture period can be applied up to 3 years

Dividend Shares

Dividends paid on SIP shares can be re-invested in further shares. These are called Dividend Shares.

Dividend Shares:

  • Are subject to a holding period of 3 years (during which employees cannot sell the shares, unless they leave employment)
  • Can be withdrawn, tax-free, once the 3 year holding period has expired. If these shares are sold immediately no capital gains tax is payable. there are no Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

If participants leave employment during the holding period, their Dividend Shares are transferred out of the plan and Income Tax is payable on the original dividend, as if it had been received in the normal way.

Following changes introduced on 6 April 2014, companies are no longer required to obtain approval from HMRC before operating a plan.

A 'SIP' is a 'Schedule 2 SIP'. Companies operating SIP must give notice of the plan to HMRC and self-certify that the plan meets legislative requirements

Global Share Plans

Legal and financial legislations and tax regulations can be different in other countries and jurisdictions. Global or country-specific share plans can help your company offer share incentives to employees in line with local legislation and practices. Whilst this is ultimately your responsibility, we can help you navigate the legal and regulatory hurdles you may face.

Our role is to project manage the launch and day to day administration of the plan through to maturity, this includes employee communication strategies, managing the deposits (where permitted), providing key reports and liaising with key company contacts based locally.

Global Share Plans replicate the mechanics of traditional UK plans and are offered to employees across the company regardless of the jurisdiction in which they work. They form part of a company's overall remuneration strategy to align benefits across the Group and can either be plans that maximise the tax legislation in each country or plans that mirror a plan already in existence, which may not carry tax advantages. For example, if you offer the Sharesave Plan to employees in the UK you may wish to take this model and cascade to your employees on a non-tax advantaged basis to your overseas subsidiaries.

The following plans are supported:

  • Global Sharesave / SAYE
  • Stock appreciation rights plans
  • US s423 plans
  • Irish approved Savings Related Share Options Plans

Discretionary Share Plans

Many companies make it a priority to create a share plan that retains and motivates key people to achieve the strategic objectives. Although industry guidelines are followed, each Discretionary Plan is bespoke to the individual needs of a company as each has different challenges and objectives to meet.

Unapproved Share Plans

Unapproved Share Plans are normally granted in circumstances where the employees have already received their full allowance of approved options.

Company Share Option Plan (CSOP)

A Company Share Option Plan is a plan under which an employee is granted an option to buy a fixed number of shares at a fixed price at a particular time. Each participant may only hold a total value of shares with a value not exceeding £30,000 per annum at the time of the award. As an approved plan it means that your employees do not pay Income Tax or National Insurance Contributions on the option.

Long Term Incentive Plan

Sometimes referred to as a 'Performance Share Plan', the Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) allows your key individuals to be awarded shares after a period of time (usually a minimum of three years), subject to conditions such as:

  • Remaining in employment throughout the period
  • The company meets specific performance criteria. This criteria is generally linked to increasing shareholder value, but not necessarily tied to increasing the company's share price

Deferred Share Bonus Plans

Deferred Share Bonus Plans allow your key employees to be granted all or part of their Annual Bonus with a right to buy shares at a later date. This is often accompanied by the prospect of receiving additional matching shares from your company, free of charge, at some point in the future. You can specify the criteria and time periods.

Some of these products are subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor. The information is based on our current understanding of law and HM Revenue and Customs practice.

Help and Support

Need help?

For general enquiries, call the YBS Share Plans helpline on:

Tel: 0345 1 200 300

Tel: +44 1274 353 015 (Calls outside UK)

Sharesave lines are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm.

Share Incentive Plan lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.

All communications with us may be monitored/recorded to improve the quality of our service and for your protection and security. Calls to 03 numbers are charged at the same standard network rate as 01 or 02 landline numbers, even when calling from a mobile.


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