Merrill Lynch is planning to force employees to work for more years before retiring, if they want to cash-in on the shares the firm granted them.
Investment and Pensions Europe quotes Merrill's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as saying, "...To fulfill the objective of retaining high quality personnel, future stocks grants should contain more stringent provisions that include a combination of increased age and length of service requirements for employees to be eligible to retire from Merrill Lynch while their stock awards continue to vest..."
Merrill Lynch didn't return calls for comment. However, a compensation consultant at a Big Four accountaning firm predicts the new provisions will prove an issue for bankers in their 50s. "It looks like Merrill Lynch is toughening up retirement provisions," the consultant said. "In the past, its people may have been able to vest all their stock immediately when they retired. From now on, that option may only be open to those aged 55 or 60 and above." i