THE BIG G EXPRESS EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN 10-YEAR EMPLOYEE RETIRES WITH OVER $80,000 IN FREE RETIREMENT Since 2009, Big G Express has been 100 percent employee-owned, which has since benefited our employees substantially. Our employees earn shares in the company based on their years of experience and compensation, with no money out of their pockets. Big G is still privately held, with an independent valuation each year to determine our stock value, which started out at $5.88 per share and has now increased up to $44.79 at the end of 2017. Many of our employees are reaping the benefits of this increase in stock value, such as our former employee Darrell West. Darrell worked for Big G Express for 10 years, from 2007 until his retirement in December of last year at the age of 66. Our distribution policy pays the ESOP in a lump sum if the participant is 65 or older. We pay the ESOP balance based on the stock price of the year the participant separates from Big G and make those payments annually by the end of the calendar year following the year they leave. In Darrell’s case, he retired on Dec. 31, 2017, and will receive a distribution form this fall with the option to either roll over the lump sum to another qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or IRA., and defer the taxes, or take the check. He will then receive his benefit or roll over by the end of 2018.
The choice to retire at the end of last year benefited Darrell more significantly than if he had chosen to do so a few years prior. If he had retired from Big G prior to age 65, he would have had access to one-fifth of his balance over five years. If he had worked one day into the current year, retiring on Jan. 1, 2018, Darrell would have delayed his distribution until the end of 2019, and he would have been paid the 2018 stock price. The timing of retirement and the distribution is something to think about when planning for your retirement. You’ll see Darrell in the picture along with another one of our drivers, Carlyn “Ronnie” Moore. Ronnie retired at the beginning of 2015 and had over $60,000 in his retirement after working for Big G for over 10 years. He is enjoying the convertible Corvette he purchased after his retirement a few years ago. Darrell, however, received over $80,000 in his retirement! By working until the end of 2017, Darrell received three more allocations of shares (2015, 2016, and 2017) than Ronnie. Recently, we spoke with Darrell about his retirement. “I had enough in the ESOP program to buy an RV,” he explains, standing outside his newly bought Greyhound. “The wife said she wanted to do some traveling, so we bought the RV when I retired last December.” Since his retirement, Darrell has been very grateful for the program. “The ESOP Program — I didn’t pay anything into it. It’s a good incentive program, and now I’m reaping the benefits from it. It went up from $75,000 to $83,000 in there this year, so it’s paid a majority of this RV off. We’re going to do some things we need to do before we can’t do them anymore.”
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