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Get the most out of your equity awards.

Explore the page below to learn about equity compensation, get answers to your questions, and find helpful forms.

Account Features

Your brokerage account is your first destination for monitoring and managing your equity awards. It holds assets from vested restricted stock or exercised stock options.

  • Here's what you'll get:

    • $0 online stock option, stock purchase, equity and exercise commissions1
    • Satisfaction Guarantee2
    • No minimum account balance requirement
    • Zero monthly service fees
  • Here's what you can do:

    • Chat with Financial Consultants
    • Get answers to questions
  • Here's what you can add:

    • An easy way to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, CDs, and more
    • Easy access to money with a Visa® debit card, checks, online bill pay, and fund transfers
    • Freedom to manage money and deposit checks using Schwab Mobile DepositTM

    Review the Employee Stock Option Exercise, Equity Award and Equity Award Center Agreement form >

Restricted Stock Units

Opens in popupRead transcriptfor Restricted Stock Units

Light music plays throughout.

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Restricted Stock Units:
What are they?

An animated skyline appears before isolating to a single tower. Text appears next to the tower.

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An RSU grant is a promise from an employer to award employees with shares of the company's stock…

Narrator [off-screen]: An RSU grant is a promise from an employer to award employees with shares of the company's stock…

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And a way to share in the company's potential financial success.

Narrator: …and a way to share in your company's potential financial success. Your company distributes RSUs to employees…

The skyline diminishes into a circle, and three other circles emerge from the skyline, each containing a different person. 

Narrator: …determines the number they receive, and sets the vesting schedule.

A circle containing certificates and a circle showing a calendar replace those with the skyline and people.

Narrator: Over time, RSUs convert to stock shares.

The certificates disappear, leaving only the calendar. A line graph emerges from the calendar showing how the amount vested increases by 25% each year following the date the grant is received.

Narrator: Vesting is the time it takes for your grant to turn into shares. On the vesting date, they become yours.  

At year 4 and 100% vested, a laptop appears surrounded by erupting fireworks.

Narrator: In order to accept a grant, you need to open a Schwab brokerage account—or link your existing brokerage account.

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To accept a grant, open a Schwab brokerage account.

A laptop displaying the Equity Awards Center webpage.

Narrator: From here, you can review grant details and accept the award.  

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Review grant details and accept award.

The webpage changes to display different available grants.

Narrator: Since vesting may be a taxable event, your company may sell or withhold a portion of your vested shares to cover your tax obligation. Your net shares will be deposited into your Schwab brokerage account. 

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Net shares will be deposited into your account.

The webpage scrolls down to show the current equity diversity and vested shares for the example client. A blue box emerges with the text “Taxation can be complex. We encourage you to reach out to your tax advisor for guidance.”

Narrator: Still have questions? Give us a call.

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Still have questions?
To talk to a Schwab Stock Plan Specialist, call 800-654-2593.
International participants, call +1-602-355-3408.

Narrator: Or, from your Schwab account, navigate to Equity Awards and click on Knowledge Center.

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Or from your Schwab account, navigate to Equity Awards and click on Knowledge Center.

The Charles Schwab logo appears. Schwab brand music plays.

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Own your tomorrow®

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, legal advisor, or investment manager. 

Schwab Stock Plan Services provides equity compensation plan services and other financial services to corporations and executives through Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"). Schwab, a registered broker-dealer, offers brokerage and custody services to its customers. 

©2021 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC.  CC4011786 (1120-0V87)


Restricted Stock Units and Awards

A restricted stock unit (RSU) is the right to receive company stock when vesting conditions are met. Upon vesting, restricted stock units convert to shares of company common stock.

Restricted stock awards (RSAs) are shares of stock given to you. Once they are granted, you have voting and dividend rights on the shares, but the shares cannot be sold or transferred until vesting requirements are met.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan

Your company-run Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) allows you to buy shares of your employer's stock at a discounted price, typically through after-tax payroll deductions. The acquired shares are deposited into your Schwab Equity Award Center (EAC).

When you become eligible, you will receive an enrollment email from your employer or Schwab prior to your employer's open enrollment period. Check with your stock team, HR department, or legal group for details on important dates and procedures.

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Stock Options

Stocks acquired through the exercise of non-qualified stock options (NQSOs) are taxed as compensation and subject to payroll tax withholding at the time of exercise.

With incentive stock options (ISOs), you are not liable for ordinary income tax if you hold the stock for one year after the exercise date and at least two years after the grant date. However, the exercise of an ISO is subject to alternative minimum tax.

Equity awards on the go

  • Equity awards on the go.

    To keep track of your equity awards while you're out and about, download the Schwab Mobile app.

    Download on the Apple Store   Get it on Google Play

Have questions?

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1. The standard electronic $0 commission does not apply to 10b5-1 trades, large block transactions requiring special handling, restricted stock transactions, trades placed directly on a foreign exchange, transaction-fee mutual funds, futures, or fixed income investments. Options trades will be subject to the standard $.65 per-contract fee. Service charges apply for trades placed through a broker ($25). Exchange process, ADR, foreign transaction fees for trades placed on the US OTC market, and Stock Borrow fees still apply. See the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for Individual Investors for full fee and commission schedules.

2. If you are not completely satisfied for any reason, at your request Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab") or Charles Schwab Bank, SSB ("Schwab Bank"), as applicable, will refund any eligible fee related to your concern. Refund requests must be received within 90 days of the date the fee was charged. Two kinds of "Fees" are eligible for this guarantee: (1) "Program Fees" for the Schwab Private Client ("SPC"), Schwab Managed Portfolios™ ("SMP"), Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ ("SIP Premium"), and Managed Account Connection® ("Connection") investment advisory services sponsored by Schwab (together, the "Participating Services"); and (2) commissions and fees listed in the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for Individual Investors or the Charles Schwab Bank Pricing Guide.

For more information about Program Fees, please see the disclosure brochure for the Participating Service, made available at enrollment or any time at your request. The Connection service includes only accounts managed by Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc., an affiliate of Schwab. The guarantee does not cover Program Fees for accounts managed by investment advisors who are not affiliated with Schwab or managed by Schwab-affiliated advisors outside of the SPC, SMP, SIP Premium, and Connection services.

The guarantee is only available to current clients. Refunds will only be applied to the account charged and will be credited within approximately four weeks of a valid request. No other charges or expenses, and no market losses will be refunded. Other restrictions may apply. Schwab reserves the right to change or terminate the guarantee at any time.

The Schwab Mobile Deposit™ service is subject to certain eligibility requirements, limitations, and other conditions. Enrollment is not guaranteed, and standard hold policies apply. Requires a wireless signal or mobile connection.

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