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Plaid RSU: What You Need to Know


Plaid (now Visa) offered employees a variety of benefits which included Plaid RSU benefits. RSUs are a great way to have ownership in the company you work for, by converting to stocks. 

Find out how Plaid RSUs worked and how they handled the benefit after the company was bought out by Visa.

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What is a Plaid RSU?

Plaid started issuing RSUs in January 2019. RSUs or Restricted Stock Units are benefits Plaid offered its new employees as a part of their package. Even though Plaid was bought out by Visa, they made good on their original offer.

One Plaid RSU is equal to one share of Plaid stock. But since Plaid stock doesn’t exist any longer, Plaid accelerated the vesting schedule according to employees’ start dates. Any vested RSUs were converted to cash, just as a share of stock would do.

Any unvested RSUs were automatically converted to Visa RSUs upon the transfer of companies. Plaid and Visa came up with a conversion rate that ensures Plaid employees still get the same dollar amount benefit even though it may look different in terms of RSU quantities.

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Things you need to know about Plaid Restricted Stock Units

Plaid or Visa RSUs are certificates that aren’t worth anything until you’re vested. Plaid had a 1-year cliff (you must work 12 months before you vest). This meant for 12 months the certificate was worth nothing.

Once you meet the vesting requirements, your RSUs turn into a comparable number of stock shares. Your shares are worth the current Plaid (or Visa) prices. You are free to keep the stocks or sell them just like any other investment.

Since it’s an investment, it’s best to keep your stocks long-term, not only to realize the capital gains but to minimize your tax liability as you can pay long-term capital gains taxes.

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Plaid RSU Vesting Schedule

Plaid’s RSU vesting schedule lasted 4 years. Employees received their prorated number of RSUs every quarter after they worked one year. This meant every quarter, your number of shares increased over a 4-year period.

Plaid offered an accelerated vesting schedule due to the sale of Plaid. This helped ensure employees still received their expected benefit despite the sale.

Plaid Employee Stock Options

Prior to 2019, Plaid paid its employees in stock options. This gave employees the right to buy the stock at a specific price, if they chose to exercise the right - they did not have to exercise it though.

Any stock options that were vested and either exercised or not exercised were accelerated. Plaid settled the deal in cash. Any stock options that weren’t vested yet were converted to Visa stock options at the same conversion rate.

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Understanding Your Tax Impacts as a Plaid Employee

It’s important that you understand how the RSUs affect your tax liability. Like any investment, you owe taxes on any capital gains, but for RSUs, you owe taxes when you receive the benefit too.

You aren’t responsible for paying the taxes upfront - Plaid kept 22 percent back from each vested RSU distribution. This lowered the benefit you received but settled your tax liability unless you were in a higher tax bracket. If that’s the case, you may have a higher tax liability at tax time. It’s important to talk to your tax advisor about the liabilities so you’re aware of what to expect.

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Plaid - Now Visa Offers Great Employee Incentives

Plaid, who is now Visa, offers great employee incentives. New employees will receive Plaid RSUs, which are now Visa RSUs, and provide ownership in Visa stock after vesting. RSUs help encourages more loyalty at Plaid (Visa) as it gives employees ownership in the company over a 4-year stretch. It’s a great way to own a part of the company you work for without putting in your own investment. 

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