The reason it is called a “Double Trigger” is because there are two things that must occur before the accelerated vesting occurs. This is called a single trigger because once the sale or change of control occurs, no additional event (i.e., no second trigger) must happen for the acceleration to kick in. Double-trigger acceleration refers to acceleration based on the occurrence of two distinct events. Change in the Effective Control. A change in the effective control of a company may occur in two separate and distinct ways. A single trigger acceleration occurs when one event triggers the acceleration of vesting, allowing an equity owner to receive the full or partial value of his or her stock. Section 409A and RSUs—Acceleration of Payments in the Event of a Change in Control Provisions accelerating RSU vesting in the event of retirement may be problematic if the payout accelerates in the event of a change in control and “change in control” is defined more Single trigger acceleration does not reduce the length of your vesting period. Second, there must be something else that occurs to “Trigger” the acceleration. Equity Vesting Acceleration upon a Change in Control. Equity-based compensation – whether in the form of stock options/stock appreciation rights (SARs), restricted stock/restricted stock units (RSUs) or performance shares – is an integral part of executive long-term incentive programs. Accelerated vesting often occurs during a change of control event such as a merger, when your company is acquired by another or when it goes public. Single trigger acceleration which means 25% to 100% of your unvested stock vests immediately upon a change in control. The average support level for these proposals was around 35% and two proposals passed among these companies. So, let’s say in an extreme example that 100% of the employees received full accelerated vesting on a change of control, the buyer could be faced with a situation where they needed to pay for 100% of all the shares – and then have 100% of the employees walk out the door! Your options for acceleration upon a change in control, from best to worst, include. This means that each employee will vest, or own, a certain percentage of their account in the plan each year. “Vesting” in a retirement plan means ownership. Single-trigger acceleration provisions typically provide that upon a sale or change of control, all or some portion of the restricted stock will immediately become vested. (ii) Because E was vested in $500,000 of benefits under the SERP prior to the change in ownership or control and the change merely accelerated the time at which the payment was made to E, only a portion of the payment, as determined under paragraph (b) of this A-24, is treated as contingent on the change. According to David Hornik of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, two forms of accelerated vesting exist: single-trigger and double-trigger. Many independent directors and advisors will not serve on a board if this provision is not included. First, a change in effective occurs on the date that any person acquires, or has acquired during the preceding year, ownership of 30 … An employee who is 100% vested in his or her account balance owns 100% of it and the employer cannot forfeit, or take it back, for any reason. If the board of directors determines that it is in the best interests of the shareholders to sell that event is the “trigger” for acceleration. 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