Description: The following are a list of questions and responses that participants may ask as part of the transition to Solium or the introduction of new plans. Some of these questions will need to be personalized as per your plan text. Please review the questions and draw from the samples below to aid in your communications.
Goal: Answer questions from participants on your plan and Solium’s services
Timing: Date of launch (Go LIVE date)
Distribution: Email / Mail / Shareworks
Branding: Use your branding, company letterhead
Uses: Intranet / Plan Booklet / Plan Brochure
Solium Services & Transition
Who is Solium?
To ensure that participation in the plan is as easy as possible, <> has partnered with Solium Capital Inc. to administer the plan. Solium’s online software application – Shareworks™ - gives employees a simple way of managing their participation in the plan – even for those who are unfamiliar with the stock market.
What is Shareworks?
Shareworks is an online software application that is directly linked to the stock markets. This allows you to access your account at anytime, from anywhere, to view your holdings, and transact. You can do this at any time from any computer connected to the internet.
What benefits does Shareworks provide to me?
Shareworks enables you to log on for secure services from any computer that has access to the Internet. It’s very similar to online banking. Here are some of the features provided:
View your complete portfolio anytime, online
Conduct real-time transactions and direct proceeds to your personal bank account. Shareworks integrates real-time brokerage services and stock quotes live from global exchanges.
View and print account statements anytime
See a complete history of your account activity
What can I do with Solium Shareworks that I could not do before?
The major service difference with Solium is that you may sell, transfer or certificate your shares on any business day of the week. Solium Shareworks is integrated with real-time brokerage services. This means that you are no longer restricted to conducting transactions to set days.
Will Solium provide me an account statement?
Shareworks enables all participants to login to view and print account statements at anytime. A complete history of your account and transaction history is available to you when you log on.
What if I don’t have access to the internet to use Shareworks?
Even if you don’t have access to the internet, Solium can provide you with full-service assistance.
The Customer Service Centre is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm MT, Monday through Friday.
What will happen to my shares that are currently in my <> account(s)?
All existing share accounts held by your current provider will be transferred to Solium effective <>.
What is the last date I can make account transactions with <>?
The last purchase of shares with <> will occur on <
What is the first date I can make account transactions through Solium?
In order to facilitate the transfer of records, there will be a blackout period for transactions during the period of <> to <>, inclusive. No shares will be sold, transferred or withdrawn as certificates during this period. The first date that you will be able to make account transactions with Solium is <>. The first purchase of shares with Solium will occur <>.
I have a Stock Option Account and a Share Purchase Account. Are both being transferred to Solium?
Yes. Both your Stock Option and Share Purchase Plan accounts are now accessible through Shareworks. This means that you have one log in to view your entire portfolio and transact as you choose.
Share Purchase Plan Basics What is an Employee Share Purchase Plan?
An Employee Share Purchase Plan provides employees the ability to purchase shares in the Company they work for by payroll deduction, where the Company makes an additional contribution towards the purchase of corporate shares. An Employee Share Purchase Plan is a completely voluntary program that serves as a long-term investment vehicle.
What is the benefit of the Employee Share Purchase Plan?
The plan can help you accumulate savings by subsidizing your purchase of Company shares. The Company will pay all the administrative costs on the purchase of shares and all dividends will be reinvested to buy more shares for you.
Does the company match or add to my personal contribution?
Yes. For every $X you contribute to the plan, the Company contributes $X up to an annual maximum of $X per employee. You have the option of contributing up to a maximum of X% of your eligible annual earnings, in X% increments, to the plan. Your contributions will be made by payroll deduction.
For example, if you earn $X and you have decided to contribute X% of your earnings to the plan, your annual contribution would be $X (or $X per month). In this example, the Company would contribute an additional annual amount of $X (or $X per month).
Why should I join the Employee Share Purchase Plan?
It is entirely your choice to join or not join the program. When you purchase shares in the Company through the Share Purchase Plan, you have the opportunity to personally benefit from any increase in value of the Company shares. Be aware though, that the Company makes no representations or warranties as to the value or market performance of the shares. The shares will increase and decrease in price often as a result of circumstances that have little to do with the profitability of our Company. No one is able to predict the future of share prices and you should remember that the share prices could be depressed at a time when you wish to sell. The decision to participate in the plan is solely your choice, dependent on your individual financial situation.
Who is eligible to join the Employee Share Purchase Plan?
You are eligible to participate in the plan at any time if you are:
A permanent full-time employee who has completed at least x months of continuous service with the Company.
A permanent part-time employee working a minimum of x hours per week
What decisions do I need to make before I complete the enrollment form?
The decisions you need to make before completing the enrollment form are:
How you wish your contributions to be directed (that is, into an RRSP account, a non-registered account or a combination of both)
Designation of a beneficiary if you establish an RRSP account
If I am an insider, can I still participate in the Employee Share Purchase Plan?
Yes. If you are an insider of the Company, you may still participate. However, there are special reporting requirements for insiders. For all the shares acquired in the plan on your behalf during a calendar year, you must file an insider report on or before March 31 in the following year showing all those shares, which have not been sold or transferred. If you sell or transfer any shares in the plan, you must file an insider report within the normal time limits for filing an insider report.
You will have the right to exercise all voting rights attached to the shares held in your accounts in the plan. You will be entitled to one vote for each share held. You will receive a voting instruction card prior to each meeting of shareholders, which will enable you to vote, should you wish.
How do I make a withdrawal from the plan?
Withdrawals can be made on both your contributions and the Company contributions as follows:
When the Company is not in blackout. All employees are precluded from buying or selling the Company’s common shares during trading blackout periods.
When the shares have vested or become unrestricted
Under what circumstances would my participation in the plan be terminated?
Your participation in the plan will terminate on the earliest of the following dates:
You cease to be an employee
You withdraw all your cash or shares from the plan
You move to a non-eligible status (for example from permanent to temporary status)
You pass away
The plan itself terminates
What happens when my participation in the plan is terminated?
A share certificate representing the number of whole shares you own, together with any money standing to the credit of your account; or
A cash payment equal to the net proceeds of the sale of your shares, together with any money standing to the credit of your account; or
A combination of (1) and (2).
If you own shares in an RRSP account, you may indicate
To receive a cash payment equal to the net proceeds of the sale of the shares in your RRSP account together with any money standing to the credit of your account, less applicable taxes; or
To transfer your shares and any money standing to the credit of your account to another RRSP in your name on a tax-sheltered basis; or
To transfer the net proceeds of the sale of your shares and any money standing to the credit of your account to another RRSP in your name; or
A combination of (1), (2), and (3).
Could the plan itself be terminated?
The plan may be repealed, amended or terminated by the Company at any time. No repeal, amendment or termination will have retroactive effect nor will it affect any benefits accrued up to the time of any such change.
Do I need to designate a beneficiary?
If you have an RRSP account, you should consider designating a beneficiary who will receive the proceeds from your account in the event of your death. If no beneficiary is designated or your beneficiary is not living at the time of your death, the proceeds will be paid to your estate.
If you choose to change your beneficiary (subject to applicable laws), you may do so by completing a Change Form at any time.
Share Purchase Plan Contributions & Withdrawals How are shares purchased?
All contributions allocated to your account are used by Solium to purchase shares through normal market facilities. Purchases of shares will be completed as a bulk purchase. An allocation of full and fractional shares will be made to your account. Dividends earned on shares will be used to purchase additional shares. Shareworks will calculate an average monthly value of purchases for all plan participants.
When the contributions are deducted from payroll, you will see these contributions on Shareworks as ‘funds awaiting investment’. When the bulk purchase is completed the units purchased and the book value will be shown in your portfolio view within Shareworks.
What is the process for a sale of shares?
If you elect to receive a cash payment for shares you can select to sell the share at the prevailing market price or enter a limit order and define a selling price. In each case, the expenses of the sale are borne by you. If the sale in a non-registered account results in a capital gain, you will be taxed accordingly. Solium will issue a T5008 tax form for you to include with your annual tax return. For a sale in your RRSP account, applicable taxes will be withheld at the time of the withdrawal. All taxes associated with any transaction are summarized by Shareworks at the time of transaction and are always available for viewing in your account history.
Can I transfer shares from my non-registered account to my RRSP account and vice versa?
You may elect to transfer all or a portion of shares in your non-registered account (including those purchased with Company contributions) to your RRSP account. Prior to considering a transfer of this type, you should take into account Revenue Canada’s annual limit on RRSP contributions.
When are transfers allowed?
Transfers can be completed at anytime through Shareworks.
How much can I contribute?
You can contribute up to X% of your eligible earnings. The percentage you contribute must be a whole percentage meaning that, for example, you would be unable to contribute X%. Eligible earnings include all employment income (including salary, overtime, vacation, sick pay, statutory holiday pay, pool draws and quarterly pool payments, profit share, commissions and draws against commission) and all bonuses. Not eligible are incentives, referral, production or asset bonuses, forgivable loans, disability benefits or director fees. There are no maximums on the amount of earnings. Your contributions will be made by regular payroll deductions.
How are the contributions invested?
All contributions are used to buy common shares of the Company listed on the <> under the symbol <>.
Are lump sum contributions allowed?
As the plan was designed to enable employees to accumulate shares through payroll deduction, it cannot accommodate any lump sum payments.
Can I change my contribution levels?
The percentage of your eligible earnings that you contribute to the plan (from X% to X%) can be changed X times in a calendar year.
You can also change the allocation of your contribution between the non-registered and the RRSP accounts X times in each calendar year. Change Forms are available from your Benefits Administrator.
Is it possible to temporarily suspend my contributions?
You may suspend contributions to the plan X times in a calendar year. However, when employee contributions are suspended an additional time within the same calendar year, an X month waiting period will apply before contributions to the plan can begin again. All suspensions are effective immediately. To suspend contributions you must complete a Change Form, available from your Benefits Administrator.
What happens if I take a leave of absence?
If you are on a leave of absence, you will not be entitled to contribute to the plan. Company contributions will also cease. The duration of the leave of absence will not be considered as a suspension period.
If I suspend my contributions, what happens to the Company contributions?
Company contributions will not be made during any period in which you have suspended your contributions.
Can I hold contributions in my RRSP?
Yes, shares purchased may be held in a non-registered or RRSP account. You may also combine contributions to both RRSP and non-registered account. For example, if you decide to contribute 5% of your earnings, you could direct 75% to an RRSP account and 25% to a non-registered account. The total amount directed to either account, or a combination thereof, must equal 100%. You indicate on your enrollment form how you wish your contributions directed, either to an RRSP account or a non-registered account or a combination of both.
Stock Option and Award Plan Basics
What are employee stock options?
Employee stock options are one of the most popular employee benefits available because they give workers a chance to participate in the success of the Company. A stock option is a right granted by the corporation to its employees to purchase a set number of shares of the Company's stock at a predetermined price during a limited amount of time. The goal of employee stock options is to link employee compensation and rewards to the market performance of the Company.
When can I exercise my options?
Options may be exercised as soon as they vest. When options are awarded, they are assigned a vesting schedule which states the length of time an employee needs to be employed to earn rights to realize the benefit of the program. For example, a Company may require three years of continuous, full-time employment until your options vest. After the three year period is over, the option holder has the opportunity to exercise.
What happens to my options if I die?
Any vested options you have may still be able to be exercised for a limited time by your estate or beneficiary depending on the terms of your option or grant agreement. Review the terms of your Company’s plan to find the options available to you.
What happens if I terminate employment?
Your ability to exercise your options after terminating employment will depend on your employer’s Stock Option Plan design. Many employers offer some specified length of time to exercise your options after employment termination. Some employers offer a longer time to exercise your options for termination due to death or disability. Review your Company’s stock option agreement for the specifics of the terms of exercise upon termination of employment.
Stock Option and Award Exercises
How do I exercise options to take cash or shares?
There are three types of exercises that you may perform within Shareworks:
Exercise and sell all shares on the exchange - Options are purchased, converted to stock and all of the stock is sold. Solium facilitates a "cashless exercise" where participants may convert their options to stock without having to provide personal funds. Payment to the Company is made upon settlement of the sale proceeds.
Exercise options, sell just enough to pay for the options and hold the remaining shares - Options are converted to stock, and enough stock is sold to pay for the options. The remaining stock is held for sale at a later date. Solium facilitates a "cashless exercise" where participants may convert their options to stock without having to provide personal funds. A share certificate is provided for the remaining shares.
Exercise options and hold the stock - Options are converted to stock and all of the stock is held. The option holder provides payment for all of the stock to receive a share certificate. A payment must be made within three business days of the exercise and hold request to proceed with the exercise. Once the check is received and the exercise completed, the share certificate is provided.
Income Tax Planning
What tax implications should I be aware of?
Tax implications may apply to any of the following and should be discussed with your financial planner or accountant:
Withdrawals from the account (tax withholdings)
Contributions to the account (immediate tax relief)
Capital gains/losses on sale of shares
RRSP and Non-Registered Account
Company contributions (taxable benefit)
What are the tax implications of an RRSP or non-registered contribution?
If you allocate contributions to an RRSP account, your contributions are tax deductible. The shares are held in trust for you in an individual RRSP.
If you allocate your contributions to a non-registered account, your contributions are not tax deductible and are therefore made from after-tax earnings. In addition, tax is payable each year on any income earned or capital gains made in your non-registered account.
Are the contributions the Company makes on my behalf taxable?
Yes. Company contributions are a taxable benefit and therefore reflected in your annual T4 tax slip. The appropriate income taxes will be deducted in each pay period.
Who’s responsible to make sure I don’t exceed my income tax RRSP limit?
It is up to you to ensure that your contributions along with your Company’s contributions to an RRSP account do not exceed your annual Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) limit for income tax purposes.
Will income tax forms be issued?
Solium will issue receipts each year reflecting the following transactions:
Note: If you wish to make a Share Purchase Plan withdrawal and to transfer shares from your RRSP account to an external RRSP, a T2033 form from Revenue Canada will need to be completed by you.
Will dividends be declared?
Dividends on shares (including shares purchased via contributions in a Share Purchase Plan) are declared at the discretion of the board of directors of the Company. There is no guarantee that dividends will be declared. If and when declared, Solium will use the dividends attributable to your account to purchase additional shares for your non-registered and RRSP accounts.
Dividends on shares in a non-registered account are taxable to you in the year that the dividends are paid, although the dividends will remain in the plan to purchase additional shares. Dividends on shares in an RRSP account are tax sheltered; however, they will become taxable when they are withdrawn from the plan.
Where can I find detailed information on the fees?
Details on Solium service fees, brokerage fees, commissions and withholding taxes are listed in full detail when you complete a transaction. Fees are deducted from proceeds that you are eligible to receive as a result of the transaction.
What are the brokerage fees with Solium?
The Company continues to pay all record keeping and administration fees. Participating employees pay brokerage fees associated with buying and selling shares.
Brokerage fees, for both buys and sales, are:
<> Solium’s fees continue to be lower than brokerage fees charged to individual investors.
For Share Purchase Plans, the Company may choose to buy shares in a batch. In that case, those brokerage fees will be shared amongst all employees buying shares in that buy order.
Help & Assistance Solium is dedicated to providing you with full-service assistance, including helping you managing your portfolio and performing transactions in your account. The service center is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm MT Monday through Friday.
North America: 877.380.7793
International: International code + 1+ 403.515.3909
Your Benefits Administrator will be a resource to you should you require further information on the rules and details of your plan.