The average account balance of employees in employee stock ownership plans has nearly tripled since 2005, increasing to an average $195,222 from roughly $70,000, according to a joint survey released Wednesday by The ESOP Association and the Employee Ownership Foundation.
J. Michael Keeling, president of the ESOP Association, said in a telephone interview that the increase can largely be attributed to older corporations that have maintained ESOPs for several years.
“I think that a message is that the ESOP companies that can sustain and go forward and get years of maturity are providing impressive account balances,” he said.
The survey also showed that the reasons for offering ESOPs has not changed much since 2005, the last time the survey was conducted, with 50% reporting they were created as part of an exit strategy, or a buyout from current owners; 23% to provide an additional employee benefit; and 21% because they liked the employee ownership concept.
The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2010 among the ESOP Association's 1,400 corporate members.