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Lesson 14. Employee Stock Ownership Plans > Owning the Company - Pg. 63

63 Chapter 14. Employee Stock Ownership Plans In this lesson, you will learn about employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Owning the Company Owning a piece of the company they work for is a dream many Americans share. One of the ways this becomes a reality is through an employee stock ownership plan or ESOP. Plain English An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan that transfers shares of company stock to employ- ees. Unlike most other plans we have discussed in this book, an ESOP must include all full- time employees. ESOPs are frequently confused with employee stock "option" plans. Although the two may accom- plish some of the same goals, they are completely different in structure and administration. ESOPs are basically a means of transferring ownership of a company to its employees in the form