Austin offers employee-owners a comprehensive benefits package, which includes group insurance, 401(k), and the company's employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP.
Pay structures, bonus programs, and long-term incentives are based on company performance, which is reviewed annually for compensation adjustments. While our benefits package is highly competitive, it’s our employee stock ownership plan that truly distinguishes us.
Employee-owners are eligible to participate in a portion of Austin's ESOP as early 60 days after hire through participation in the Austin Advantage 401(k) Plan. Contributions to the ESOP are made each year worked at least 1,000 hours. Plus, Austin will match 50 percent of contributions to the 401(k) plan, up to four percent of compensation. This amounts to two percent of pay if at least four percent is contributed to the 401(k). Contributions are immediately 100 percent vested, and the match goes into the ESOP even if the employee-owner is not yet eligible for basic contributions.
An ESOP is a trust established by a corporation, acting as a tax-qualified, defined-contribution retirement plan by making the corporation’s employees partial owners. Contributions are made by the sponsoring employer, and can grow tax-deferred, just as with an IRA or 401(k). Unlike other retirement plans, the contributions must be invested in the company’s stock. The benefits for the company include increased cash flow, tax savings, and increased productivity from highly motivated workers. The main benefit for employees is the ability to share in the company’s success. Due to the tax benefits, the administration of ESOPs is regulated, and numerous restrictions apply.