Irish Sharesave

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Sharesave is a simple Revenue approved scheme aimed at promoting your direct participation in the success of the company by inviting you to save money in order to buy shares in Diageo plc at a future date, and at a fixed discounted price.

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You can save any amount from €12 to €500 per month for either 3 or 5 years.  Your savings are deducted from your salary and paid into an account with the Sharesave Plan Manager.

At the end of the savings period, you will receive a guaranteed tax-free bonus (effectively interest, but with no Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) deducted). This is added to your savings and the total can be used to buy Diageo shares.

If you decide to buy the shares you pay the price at the time of invitation. This price, known as the option price, is the Diageo share price, at the time of invitation, discounted by 20 per cent. The number of shares you can buy depends on how much you save, the option price and how long you save for. When you join Sharesave you will receive an option certificate telling you how many shares you will be able to buy if you save to the end of the savings period.

You don’t have to use your savings to buy the shares – you can take some or all of your savings and any bonus in cash if you wish. If you do this, your option will lapse and you will no longer be able to buy the shares at the discounted price.  You can suspend your payments for up to 6 months (but you will lose your option to buy shares if you miss more than 6 months payments). 

You can stop saving at any time and close your account but, you will lose the option to buy shares.

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Saving is effortless: deductions are made from your post-tax salary automatically each month.

You can withdraw your savings at any time (but you will lose the right to buy shares) and receive a full refund of contributions.

At the end of the period you can buy shares at the original discounted price, using your savings and any interest.

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The option price for any Sharesave grant will be announced at the time of invitation. It will be posted on this website and advertised on posters on your site.

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If you are paid from an Irish payroll and are employed by Diageo when the annual results are announced, you can join a Sharesave plan when the invitations are sent out, usually in August each year. You must also be employed in January of the following year so that your first monthly payment can be taken from your salary.

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You can only start one Sharesave contract each year, but you can join every year if you want to as long as your total monthly Sharesave savings are within the overall savings limits set out by the Revenue Commissioners.

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Yes, you can take part in both the Sharesave plan and the Salary Foregone/Salary Sacrifice plan at the same time.

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An award under the Irish Sharesave plan is launched once a year. If you are eligible to take part in a Sharesave plan, you will be sent an invitation pack before the plan is due to start.

You can apply to join a Sharesave plan by telephone or online. More instructions are given in the invitation pack.

If you think you are eligible but you have not received an application form, please contact your local HR department.

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You can save any amount of whole euros between €12 and €500 per month. The total of your monthly savings across all your Sharesave plans must not be more than €500.

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This is a limit which is set by the Revenue Commissioners. Diageo plc is not allowed to change this limit.

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The bonus rate is set by the savings institution at the start of each scheme. The 3 and 5 year schemes have different bonus rates.

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The Revenue Commissioners rules state that your contributions must be taken from your salary AFTER tax has been paid.

However, please remember that the price that you buy shares at is discounted by 20% by the Company and the bonus paid on your savings is tax-free.

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You cannot change the amount of money you save each month. You can only chose to save a different amount when you start a new Sharesave plan.

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You can miss a maximum of 6 payments during your whole savings period BUT, you must make these up at the end of your savings period, month for month, before you can exercise your Sharesave option.

To suspend your Sharesave payments, you must send a completed instruction form to your payroll to stop your monthly deduction. If you miss more than 6 payments, then your Sharesave plan will be cancelled and you will not be able to exercise your Sharesave option.

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To exercise a Sharesave option, you must complete the exercise instruction form that is sent to your home address at the end of the of the 3 or 5 year savings period. This is the instruction which allows your savings to be released to Diageo plc to buy shares.

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When you start a Sharesave option, you agree to save for a set period of time (3 or 5 years). You must complete your savings period before you can exercise your option. In exceptional circumstance, such as redundancy, retirement, and other good leaver reasons, your option may be exercised early to the extent of your savings at the time of the relevant event, or up to six months thereafter.

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The maturity date is the earliest date that your Sharesave option can be exercised.

You can view your sharesave options by logging on to Employee Shareplan Information.

If you leave the company on redundancy, you must exercise your option(s) within six months of your date of redundancy.

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If you have left or are about to leave Diageo, please refer to the Leavers Information.

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Please visit our Maternity Leave page for full information.

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The number of shares you can buy depends on how much you save, the option price, and how long you decide to save for.

When you join Sharesave, you will receive an option certificate telling you how many shares you will be able to buy if you save to the end of your savings period.

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As the current Sharesave scheme is Revenue approved there is no income tax payable on the exercise of the option. If you subsequently sell the shares however, there may be a Capital Gains Tax liability.

Following the Irish Budget 2011, any gain on options exercised under SAYE Approved Share Option Schemes on or after 1 January 2012 will continue to be exempt from Income Tax but will be subject to Universal Social Charge (USC) and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). The gain is valued at the difference between the original option price and the mid market share price on the day of exercise.

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When you exercise your Sharesave option you will receive a share certificate.

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No. Sharesave options are not subject to dividends. When you join Sharesave, you are granted an option to buy shares at a future date at the option price. Once you exercise your options at the end of the savings period, you will receive a Share Certificate and will be entitled to dividends.

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You cannot sell or transfer a Sharesave option. You can only sell or transfer the shares that you get when you exercise your Sharesave option.

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There is no interest paid if you close your Sharesave account in the first year.

After one year interest is paid on your savings at the rate declared by the savings institution at the launch of the scheme – this can vary from launch to launch.

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These rates are all decided by the savings institution and approved by the Revenue Commissioners.

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You cannot make any extra payments. If you do not use your savings to exercise your option to buy shares your money will be refunded to you at the end of the maturity period.

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To cancel a sharesave plan, you must complete a Cancel Sharesave form and forward it to your payroll department to stop future deductions from salary. In addition, you must also contact the relevant Share Plan Manager for a refund. Full details are on the Cancel Sharesave form.

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Following the Irish Budget 2011 any gain on options exercised under SAYE Approved Share Option Schemes on or after 1 January 2012 will continue to be exempt from Income Tax but will be subject to Universal Social Charge (USC) and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). The gain is valued at the difference between the original option price and the mid market share price on the day of exercise.

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If you are a current employee, the liability will be accounted for through the payroll process in the months following exercise and will be shown on your payslip as SAYE GAIN.  The resultant deductions will be taken from pay over 2 months.

If you are no longer employeed by Diageo plc and it is not possible to collect the liability via the usual payroll process, we will provide you with details of the gain resulting from the exercise so that you can include it on your annual tax return.

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To view all Irish Sharesave past option prices click here.