THE SEBI HAS REDUCED THE MINIMUM VESTING TERM FOR ESOPS AND SARS.
The Securities Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’) has relaxed the need for a one-year minimum vesting period in the case of Employee Stock Options (“ESOP”) and Stock Appreciation Rights (“SAR”) in its Circular dated June 15, 2021.
Under the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefit) Regulations, 2014, ESOP and SAR must have a one-year minimum vesting period. SEBI has decided to exclude the need of a minimum vesting term in order to aid the families of demised employees (who died on or after April 1, 2020) with financial help due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
Furthermore, regulation 9(4) of the SBEB Regulations specifies that if an employee dies while employed, all options, SAR, or any other benefit granted to him/her under a scheme to that date shall vest in the deceased employee’s rightful heirs or nominees.
This is decided as follows:
- The provisions of the SBEB Regulations relating to a one-year minimum vesting period shall not apply in the event of an employee’s death (for any reason), and in such cases, all options, SARs, or other benefits granted to such employee(s) shall vest with his or her legal heir or nominee on the date of the employee’s death; and
- All such employees who died on or after April 1, 2020, will be eligible for this relief.
AMENDMENTS TO THE PFRDA (CENTRAL RECORDKEEPING AGENCY) REGULATIONS, 2021
According to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Central Recordkeeping Agency) Regulations, 2015, the certificate of registration granted to a central recordkeeping agency shall remain valid unless suspended or canceled by the Authority, or permitted to be surrendered by such central recordkeeping agency, for good reason.
In the case of cancellation, the Authority must send to the central recordkeeping agency instructions for the disposal or transfer of the Authority’s information and regulated assets at least thirty days prior to the date of cancellation, abide by the service level agreements with intermediaries or stakeholders that the Authority may specify.
All of the service levels defined by the Authority within the following areas must be properly maintained by the central recordkeeping agency: –
- The National Pension System’s service operations and maintenance for each shareholder;
- A detailed plan for the transfer process, including information on the methods to be utilized to assure the continued provision of services during the transfer process or until the services are terminated, as well as the management structure to be employed during the transfer;
- The Authority may, at least once a year and as determined by the Authority, inspect and audit the central recordkeeping agency’s books, accounts, records, including telephone records and electronic records and documents, for any purpose, including the purposes specified in this regulation, directly or through its authorized representative or auditor.