Guiding employees through benefit plan changes

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Our financial planning services help employees navigate their changing benefits during corporate transactions.

During an acquisition, divestiture or other business combination, the Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) group of Ernst & Young LLP works with companies to help them meet their strategic objectives. In the transformed organization, EY Performance and Reward professionals on the firm’s People Advisory Services (PAS) teams can help provide insights on the design of HR operating models to help them enhance remuneration, benefit and incentive approaches. At the same time, our Employee Financial Services (EFS) practices can play a key role in guiding your work force through the changes while supporting successful benefit integration.

  • How we can help

    As organizations merge or divest, employees are faced with potential changes in their total rewards package, and they need to understand how those changes affect their personal financial goals. When deadlines are involved, this support becomes even more critical for employee acceptance of the changes. We assist employees with:

    • Reviewing the specifics of retirement plan change/choice and putting them into the context of the employee’s individual situation
    • Guidance on how their equity compensation plans, such as stock options and restricted stock, will be impacted
    • Guidance in determining the right health plan, in combination with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts.
    • Conducting or assisting with running “what if” scenarios
  • What we do

    EFS works with your transaction team; your HR, legal and other resources; and, as required, outside client service providers to develop and authenticate content and messaging to reach the target employee audience. Providing multiple methods for accessing dependable and independent EFS resources allows our credentialed financial planners to reach employees through the channels with which they are most comfortable. For example:

    • EY Financial Planner Line® — Staffed with financial planners who are experienced with helping employees navigate the decision process related to their company benefit plans, this toll-free phone line is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
    • On-site live seminars and online webinars — Extensive experience in developing, delivering and coordinating both on-site live seminars and online webinars on many different financial topics, including company benefit and compensation plans.
    • EY Financial Planning Center® website Typically offered in conjunction with the EY Financial Planner Line®, the website provides an interactive experience driven by the EY Financial Wellness Assessment and includes a wealth of content-rich material online calculators.
  • Where we’ve made a difference

    Many of our clients are active in corporate transactions. Here’s how they’ve used our services to help them realize their transaction objectives:

    • Benefit harmonization — Companies often go through a benefit harmonization process due to a merger. This can lead to employees either having their benefit plans changed as of a particular date or being given a choice to stay in an existing plan or move to the new plan being offered. We educate employees about the pros and cons of the various plans and assist them with choosing a plan that best suits their personal situation. This requires our financial planners to not only be well-versed in general financial planning principles, but also to fully understand the company’s benefit plans and resources. Our planners also help employees navigate through any available online resources.
    • Equity compensation — A company going through a merger gave employees a choice as to how they wanted to receive their current equity compensation, which was in the form of stock options transferred into the new company. These employees needed to decide whether to take the new equity as a stock option, restricted stock or a combination of the two. Our planners helped employees determine their best approach based upon individual goals while measuring the risk versus reward of the different types of equity compensation.
    • Employee layoffs — A company that has gone through multiple mergers and acquisitions used our services to provide severance planning for their employees who are being separated. Our planners helped affected employees understand how their severance plans worked, how benefit plans would be affected and what they needed to do to receive company-provided benefits.

View our other targeted programs developed to assist with other unique business challenges