Sunday, June 05, 2011

Comparing Perks : Share Purchase Plan and A Free Bus Pass

SAP has several perks for its employees.  Share purchase plans and free bus passes are among them.

The share purchase plan is quite attractive. We get to buy shares at a 40 percent discount, should we agree to hold them for three years. A person making $100,000 a year in base pay might make about $ 1600 after taxes in three years if he or she buy the shares and if the shares hold the current price.

This program is handled by Deutsche Bank AG. There is a lot of buzz about this. There are numerous emails to employees about this. There were one hour information sessions to explain the risks, tax implications, rules and procedures to do this. Conservatively, I estimate that at least 25 people are involved in managing this process within SAP. Assuming, based on last years statistics, that sixty percent of people in the company spent a hour doing this, employees spent 30,000 hours preparing and signing up for this program.

The free bus pass program 
There is another program that SAP Palo Alto provides to its employees. It is a simple program called the free bus pass. Every employee can apply for a bus pass that they can use to take any Silicon Valley Transit Authority bus or rail any time, any number of times, through out the year. This program could save a person, who normally spends $15 on gas every day about $10,000 in 3 years. There are, may be, 2 people involved in administering this program. All it takes is an email to a nice lady in Building 1 with your details in a form.

There is no risk. No investment required from the employee and you will avoid pumping tons of carbon into the air. And yet, there is no buzz about this program. Strange world.

If you are wondering, I signed up for both programs.

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