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The 2024 ESCA Leadership Summit – Key Takeaways

The 2024 ESCA Leadership Summit included insights into a study on ESOP ownership.
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The 2024 Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) Leadership Summit was held in February in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference began with a visit from U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee that oversees the U.S. Department of Labor, which regulates employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Kaine expressed his support for ESCA and said, “ESOPs are incredibly important.” In addition, Kaine provided the following commentary to the HELP Committee the following week: “The 10 million Americans that work for ESOPs end up with some powerful retirement security … If we can continue to promote ESOPs through our tax code and other strategies, that is an element of retirement security that can be really helpful for American workers.”

There were visits by other congressional members and the IRS, including:

  • House Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA)
  • House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO)
  • Director of Employee Plans, Tax Exempt and Government Entities at the IRS, Eric Slack

In addition, ESCA provided some advanced insights into the results of an ESCA-sponsored study conducted by Rutgers University. Adria Scharf, associate director of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, provided an overview of the results. She was joined by ESCA Board Members Dusty Freisz (Black & Veatch), Alex Ketzner (Burns & McDonnell), Steve Smith (Amsted Industries), and Advisory Committee Member Larry Goldberg (ESOP Law Group). The study evaluated the “halo effect” ESOP ownership has on international employees of U.S. ESOP-owned companies. ESCA will release the full study results later in the spring.

To learn more about issues affecting S corporation ESOPs, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS.

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