The Irish Minister for Social Protection has released a statement relating to the Employee PRSI charge on share based remuneration. The statement confirms:
For 2011 only, an employee PRSI exemption will remain for share awards delivered in 2011 which were the subject of written agreements prior to January 1, 2011;
Employee PRSI will apply to all share based remuneration from January 1, 2012 onwards, regardless of when written agreements were entered into; and
The process by which PRSI already paid for 2011 (employer and employee) may be reclaimed.
The statement represents a window of opportunity for companies to settle certain share awards before 2012 so that employees are not faced with this additional liability. Furthermore, option holders may wish to consider whether they might exercise certain subsisting options before 2012.