Employee Benefits Employee Benefits (Notes)
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 27, 2014
|Employee Benefits [Abstract]|
|Compensation and Employee Benefit Plans [Text Block]||
The Company’s 2006 Stock Option Plan (“2006 Plan”) provides for the grant of incentive stock options and nonqualified stock options for the purchase of up to an aggregate of 1,125,000 shares of the Company’s common stock by officers, employees and directors of the Company. Under the terms of the plan, incentive stock options may be granted to employees at an exercise price per share of not less than the fair value per common share on the date of the grant (not less than 110% of the fair value in the case of holders of more than 10% of the Company’s voting stock). Nonqualified stock options may be granted at the discretion of the Company’s Board of Directors. The maximum term of an option may not exceed 10 years, and options become exercisable at such times and in such installments as determined by the Board of Directors. No awards have been granted under the 2006 Plan.
The Company’s 2001 Restricted Stock Plan provides for the grant of restricted stock of up to an aggregate of 928,125 shares of the Company’s common stock to officers, employees, consultants and directors of the Company. Under the terms of the plan, the minimum period before any shares become non-forfeitable may not be less than six months. The 2001 Restricted Stock Plan expired in 2011 and was replaced in September 2011 with the 2011 Equity Incentive Plan (“2011 Plan”). The 2011 Plan provides for the grant of up to an aggregate of 1,000,000 shares of restricted stock, restricted share units, stock appreciation rights, dividend or dividend equivalent rights, stock awards and other awards valued in whole or in part by reference to or otherwise based on the Company’s common stock, to officers, employees and directors of the Company. The 2011 Plan was approved by the Company’s shareholders at the 2012 Annual Meeting. At December 27, 2014, 732,062 shares remained available to be issued through the 2011 Plan. Compensation cost is measured at the date of the grant and is recognized in earnings over the period in which the shares vest. Restricted stock expense for the twelve months ended December 27, 2014, and December 28, 2013, totaled $2,961 and $2,234 respectively.
The following table summarizes restricted stock activity for the years ended December 27, 2014, December 28, 2013, and December 29, 2012:
The Company had $5,600 of total unrecognized compensation cost related to restricted stock awards granted under the 2011 Plan as of December 27, 2014. That cost is expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 1.79 years.
The Company maintains an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (“ESPP”), in which most employees are eligible to participate. Employees in the United States who choose to participate are granted an opportunity to purchase common stock at 85 percent of market value on the first or last day of the quarterly purchase period, whichever is lower. Employees in the United Kingdom, under a separate plan, are granted an opportunity to purchase common stock at market value, on the first or last day of the quarterly purchase period, whichever is lower, with the Company issuing one additional free share of common stock for each six shares purchased by the employee under the ESPP. The ESPP authorizes the issuance, and the purchase by employees, of up to 1,096,875 shares of common stock through payroll deductions. No U.S. employee is allowed to buy more than $25 of common stock in any year, based on the market value of the common stock at the beginning of the purchase period, and no U.K. employee is allowed to buy more than the lesser of £1.5 or 10% of his or her annual salary in any year. Employees purchased 25,238 shares at a weighted average price of $33.52, and 34,653 shares at a weighted average price of $24.80, under the ESPP during the twelve months ended December 27, 2014, and December 28, 2013, respectively. The Company recognized $173 and $206 of compensation expense during the twelve months ended December 27, 2014 and December 28, 2013, respectively. At December 27, 2014, 653,393 shares remained available to be issued through the ESPP and the U.K. plan.
The Nonemployee Director Equity and Deferred Compensation Plan (the “Plan”) originally was adopted by the Board of Directors and approved by the shareholders in 2004, and amended in 2008. Under the Plan, Directors who were not officers of the Company were paid 375 shares of Company common stock and $3 in cash fees for attendance at each meeting of the Board of Directors, as well as each meeting of each Board Committee on which they served when the committee meeting was not held within one day of a meeting of the Board of Directors. Committee Chairmen received additional fees equal to 25% of normal compensation and the Chairman of the Board was paid twice the amount of normal compensation, with such additional compensation payable in Company common stock. Prior to June 7, 2011, Directors were able to elect under the Plan to receive all or part of their cash fees in Company stock and to defer receipt of their fees until a subsequent year. When so deferred, the shares of stock were converted to deferred stock units. Deferred stock units are treated as liabilities. At December 27, 2014, there were zero deferred stock units outstanding. The Plan has now been terminated, and no further issuance of shares will be made under the Plan.
In March 2012, the Board reviewed its non-employee director compensation policy and determined that compensating Directors solely in Company stock would further align the interests of the Board and the shareholders. Accordingly, the Board of Directors adopted the Sun Hydraulics Corporation 2012 Nonemployee Director Fees Plan (the “2012 Directors Plan”), which was approved by the shareholders of the Company at its 2012 annual meeting.
Under the 2012 Directors Plan, as compensation for attendance at each Board meeting and each meeting of each committee of the Board on which he or she serves when the committee meeting is not held within one day of a meeting of the Board, each Nonemployee Director will be paid 500 shares of Common Stock. The Chairman’s fee is twice that of a regular director, and the fee for the chairs of each Board committee is 125% that of a regular director. The Board has the authority to change from time to time, in any manner it deems desirable or appropriate, the share compensation to be awarded to all or any one or more Nonemployee Directors, provided that, with limited exceptions, such changes are subject to prior shareholder approval. The aggregate number of Shares which may be issued during any single calendar year is limited to 25,000 Shares. The 2012 Directors Plan authorizes the issuance of up to 270,000 shares of common stock. At December 27, 2014, 222,749 shares remained available for issuance under the 2012 Directors Plan.
Directors were granted 17,500 and 16,500 shares for the twelve months ended December 27, 2014, and December 28, 2013, respectively. The Company recognized director stock compensation expense of $677 and $592 for the twelve months ended December 27, 2014, and December 28, 2013, respectively.
16. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
The Company has a defined contribution retirement plan covering substantially all of its eligible United States employees. Employer contributions under the retirement plan amounted to approximately $4,325, $4,066, and $4,309 during 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively.
The Company provides supplemental pension benefits to its employees of foreign operations in addition to mandatory benefits included in local country payroll tax statutes. These supplemental pension benefits amounted to approximately $415, $327, and $330 during 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively.
The Company uses an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) as the discretionary match portion of its 401(k) retirement plan. The Company contributes to the ESOP for all eligible United States employees. Under the ESOP, which is 100% company funded, the Company allocates common stock to each participant's account. The allocation is generally a percentage of a participant’s compensation as determined by the Board of Directors on an annual basis.
In May 2008, the Board introduced the concept of a shared distribution dividend. The shared distribution dividend rewards the majority of employees through a contribution into their retirement accounts and concurrently rewards shareholders with a special cash dividend. As a result of the shared distribution, the Company contributed 63,647 and 91,158 shares into the ESOP in March 2014 and March 2013, respectively. In 2014, the Company accrued an amount equal to 10.0% of eligible wages in accordance with the shared distribution dividend announced in February 2015.
The Company incurred retirement benefit expense under the ESOP of approximately $3,021, $2,881, and $3,011 during 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. These amounts are included in the total employer contributions to the retirement plan noted above.
There are no restrictions on the shares contributed to the ESOP. This allows participants to sell their shares to enable diversification within their individual 401(k) accounts. The Company does not have any repurchase obligations under the ESOP.
During 2008, the Company developed plans for international employees to participate in the shared distributions. The Company’s foreign operations recognized total expense of approximately $673, $551, and $633 in 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively, relating to shared distributions. The Company’s U.K. employees received 5,643 and 7,366 shares in March 2014 and March 2013, respectively, into a share incentive plan. In Korea, employees received their shared distribution in the form of cash, which was deposited into a Company retirement plan. In Germany, employees received 4,699 and 7,015 shares in March 2014 and March 2013, respectively. The remainder was paid in cash.
Due to tax provisions in some foreign jurisdictions which make stock awards difficult, the Company sometimes awards deferred cash bonuses to key employees of its foreign operations. The deferred cash bonuses are similar to phantom stock units, in that such bonuses are tied to the value of the Company’s common stock. Awards are recognized over the deferral period as variable plan awards. The Company recognized approximately $35, $70 and $44 of compensation expense in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively, related to the awards.
The entire disclosure for an entity's employee compensation and benefit plans, including, but not limited to, postemployment and postretirement benefit plans, defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution plans, non-qualified and supplemental benefit plans, deferred compensation, share-based compensation, life insurance, severance, health care, unemployment and other benefit plans.
No definition available.