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HMRC internal manual

Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual

Schedule 3 SAYE option schemes: Linkage to Savings (Arrangement): Bonus date

Savings contracts provide for contributions to be made over a period of 3 or 5 years. Contributions can be withdrawn either at the three year date or at the five year date (the bonus date) (see ETASSUM34070).

  • the scheme must contain a provision preventing the exercise of options before the bonus date, other than in the circumstances set out in paragraphs 32 & 34 & 37. Paragraph 30 defines the bonus date as the date on which repayments under the savings contract are due, this being the earliest date on which the bonus appropriate to the option is payable (paragraph 30(4)(b)).

The scheme must provide that the aggregate exercise price of an option will equal the eventual repayments under the related savings arrangement (paragraph 25).

For this purpose:

  • the ‘repayments’ may be taken as including a bonus or no bonus,
  • the scheme rules must make it clear that the decision on what is to be included must be taken when the option is granted (paragraph 26(3)).

Paragraph 30 refers to rights of exercise on the bonus date and not later than 6 months after that date.

 The date repayment is due will be the date on which the bonus is payable (3 or 5 years depending on which savings contract has been entered into).

  • The 7 year savings feature was abolished with effect from 23rd July 2013 (the revised Prospectus date).