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HMRC internal manual

Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual

Schedule 3 SAYE option schemes: Requirements relating to share options: Exercise rights: Options not transferable

To comply with paragraph 29(1) it must be clear that options granted under a Schedule 3 SAYE option scheme are non-transferable (other than to personal representatives on the death of an option holder). Schemes commonly provide that any attempt at such a transfer will render the option void.


Although options must not be transferable, in principle, it is accepted that schemes may provide for shares acquired by option exercise, to be registered in the name of a nominee. Such provisions are particularly desirable when exercising Schedule 3 SAYE options as such shares may be transferred directly into an ISA or SIPP.   

An option-holder becomes the beneficial owner of the shares as soon as he exercises his option, even if arrangements are immediately implemented so that the legal ownership of the shares passes to a nominee. Subsequent disposal of the beneficial ownership of the shares will be a chargeable occasion for capital gains tax purposes.