12.5.1 Background

Share incentive plans were introduced in FA 2000. Originally named ‘all employee share ownership plans’ or AESOPs, they were renamed to avoid confusion with ESOPs – employee share ownership plans – a term used for share schemes more generally; the draftsman was seemingly unaware of self-invested personal pensions at the time of the change.

SIP can be best described as a tax-efficient ‘wrapper’, like the ISA rules, that can be used to envelope a number of different types of share awards.

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