DEFINITION of 'Accelerated Vesting'

A form of vesting that takes place at a faster rate than the initial vesting schedule in a company's stock option plan. This allows the option holder to receive the monetary benefit from the option much sooner. If a company decides to undertake accelerated vesting, then it may expense the costs associated with the stock options sooner.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accelerated Vesting'

Prior to the adoption of FAS-123(R), U.S. companies were not required to account for stock option compensation paid to employees and executives. As a result of FAS-123(R), companies were required to account for stock option expenses, which amounted to a large expense for many companies. By adopting an accelerated vesting program, companies can expense their vesting costs over a longer period of time, which makes their future incomes higher than they would be if the options were vested on schedule.

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