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What are Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs), and How Do They Work

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May 19, 2023


What’s Inside

Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs) are a type of incentive pay given to employees by firms. SARs provide employees with the option to benefit from increases in the value of the company's shares without having to buy the actual stock. SARs are typically given as a part of an employee's pay package and are meant to encourage workers to contribute to boosting the stock value of the firm.

How Do Stock Appreciation Rights Work?

SARs work by providing employees with an entitlement to take advantage of a boost in the appraised value of the company's shares over a certain period of time. The disparity between the stock price at the time of the grant and the stock price at the time of exercise is used to determine the appreciation.

When an employee activates their share appreciation rights, they get a cash reward equivalent to an upsurge in the stock value of the firm. Cash or shares may be used to settle SARs. Since they give employees a cash reward for the increase in the company's stock value, cash-settled SARs are more prevalent. Instead of paying employees in cash, certain companies may issue share-settled SARs, which give them actual shares of the company's stock.

Advantages of Stock Appreciation Rights

Here are a few advantages of SARs:

Easy to Understand

SARs are simple to comprehend and offer employees a straightforward option to participate in the company's stock gain.

No Upfront Investment Required

SARs do not necessitate employees to make a cash investment up front to buy the business's equity.

Aligns Employee Interests with Company Goals

By giving them a share in the company's stock value, SARs pull employees' interests into line with the company's objectives.

Disadvantages of Stock Appreciation Rights

Apart from the benefits, there are a few drawbacks of SARs about which you should be aware of. Here are the details about the same:


By raising the number of outstanding shares, SARs can reduce the shareholding of current shareholders.

Limited Upside

Employees' potential gain is limited by SARs since they only earn appreciation in the company's stock value rather than the actual stock.


In conclusion, Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs) are a form of equity-based compensation that an employee gets from their company without investing any amount. However, apart from gaining advantages of this, you can also maximise your finances by investing in some other options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you get stock appreciation rights?

SARs are often given to employees as a bonus or a performance incentive as part of their overall salary. However, the terms and conditions of SARs differ from company to company and can be altered to meet the requirements of the firm. SARs may be provided by certain companies as a stand-alone incentive, while others may include them as a component of a larger compensation package that also includes stock options or performance shares.

2. What is stock appreciation?

Stock appreciation is defined as a rise in a stock's market value or the overall return obtained by an investor from holding stock. Stock appreciation may be caused by a variety of variables, including the company's financial performance, industry developments, changes in market circumstances, and so on.


Fi Money is not a bank; it offers banking services through licensed partners and investment services through epiFi Wealth Pvt. Ltd. and its partners. This post is for information only and is not professional financial advice.
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