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Demand grows for company share schemes

The outside of the London Stock Exchange building is seen in the City of London, March 7, 2005. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - A growing number of workers are saving through company share schemes, figures show.

Some five million British employees are now taking part in some form of employee share plan, according to annual figures from ifs ProShare, a not-for-profit membership organisation that acts as the voice for the employee share ownership industry.

The vast majority of these are doing so in a share incentive plan (SIP) or a save as you earn (SAYE) scheme.

Almost 50 new SAYE plans have been introduced in the past year and the number of participants has risen to 2.3 million from 1.7 million in 2006.

The average amount saved has also increased: to 89 pounds from 71 pounds per month for SAYE schemes and to 83 pounds from 72 pounds per month for SIPs.

Phil Hall, head of public affairs at ifs ProShare, said: “SIP and SAYE are both tax-efficient savings mechanisms that can enable employees to build up a good level of savings.

“The significant increases in the monthly amount of money employees are saving, in both SIP & SAYE, are especially welcome given the current financial climate.”

Read Reuters consumer finance bloghere