Should we merge [create synonyms] the tags and , or is there enough distinction to keep both. I guess we can create a distinction, but would need more appropriate definitions for both the tags and undertake a re-tagging exercise for the set of questions.

  • BTW thanks for starting this discussion - I don't have a strong view but happy to help out with any cleanup. Apart from creating a synonym we can also (with mod powers) explicitly merge one tag into another which silently removes the old one. Sep 26, 2015 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


When looking at plan that allow employees to purchase share of the company they fall into several groups:

  • shares vs options
  • publicly owned companies vs private companies

The placement in this grid determines tax implication, put it also determine what happens if a person leave the company, what happens to their shares. Other tags the exit: , and allow the question to be properly binned.

I don't think the two tags make it clear to a questioner what tag(s) are appropriate for their question. So I vote to merge them.

  • I don't think I agree. Just based on the tags themselves (because employee-share-plan doesn't have a description, and employee-stock-options' description is weak), I'd say they aren't equivalent, and that employee-share-plan is a strict superset of employee-stock-options (and restricted-stock for that matter).
    – blm
    Sep 24, 2015 at 22:38
  • 1
    @blm Could you post an answer and draw up some description for both the tags. We can then evaluate how many questions we can tag distinctly
    – Dheer
    Sep 25, 2015 at 16:25

the above answer (@mhoran_psprep) dices some of the distinction, though in addition to the above, I suggest additional consideration:

  1. employee-share-plan typically is offered to all employees either pre- or after- tax, depending on the plan after meeting certain requirements: typically minimum length of employment . Somewhat similar to health benefits, etc.
  2. employee-stock-options are typically not offered to all, but to a few as compensation and as reward for superior performance. In addition, employee-stock-options are not to my knowledge, available in a tax deferred plan.

    In summary, the former is the employee's choice, and the latter is the choice of the employer; therefore, I believe the separation is important.

  • Agreed. The question is more whether someone coming in for the first time can make this distinction and are the questions being tagged rightly or randomly
    – Dheer
    Oct 4, 2015 at 2:05

"Stock options" and "Share plans" typically have very different risk profiles and tax treatments. Exercising a stock option can be done in a way that does not require the employee to invest their own cash. Many stock purchase plans allow the employee to spend cash to purchase stock at a discount. This up-front investment reduces the number of employees for whom the investment is affordable and prudent.

I think there should be two separate tags. Perhaps we need to review the tags, to make sure that individual questions are tagged appropriately.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .