How to make the most of your Microsoft corporate benefits package
We’re proud to help Microsoft employees understand and optimize their benefits. We’ve published a guide to Microsoft corporate benefits with strategies and tips employees can use to take control of their financial future.
Topics covered in our white paper include stock awards, 401(k), deferred compensation, health care, and insurance, among others.
Here’s a preview:
Stock awards allow Microsoft employees to take part in the company’s growth over time.
How It Works
Microsoft typically grants stock awards in August of each year. New grants have vested five percent every three months over five years. Older grants have vested 10 percent every six months over five years.
The taxable income is based on the fair market value of the stock at each vesting date.
Most of the time, companies automatically withhold/sell shares at the time of the vest to account for taxes due at that time. Employees can sell “net shares” as they vest and use the proceeds for lifestyle expenses or to diversify their assets.
Employees should note the amount of the withholding relative to their effective tax rate, as it can be too little or too much depending upon their situation.
Some employees will hold their shares, a common tactic for investors who desire to build a position in company stock. Alternatively, employees can pay the required taxes to keep all their vested shares.
Stock grants and bonuses may feel like one-off events that can be addressed as they happen, but we find that Microsoft employees benefit from evaluating them within the context of a plan.
Download the white paper to optimize your benefits package:
Your Guide to Microsoft Corporate Benefits