FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSEMPLOYEE QUESTIONS
Charles Schwab to Morgan Stanley Transition
Q. Why is Amazon transitioning global stock plan services from Charles Schwab to Morgan Stanley?
A. Over the past two years Amazon Global Stock Plan Services has spent significant time researching and understanding the global employee experience as it relates to our current vendor, Charles Schwab. It became apparent in 2012 Schwab was struggling to keep pace and scale with Amazon globally. Based on a deep dive analysis that Amazon completed, and the fact that Schwab was unable to commit to the service and scale required, Schwab elected to discontinue our contract effective April 1, 2014.
Q. Must I take any action now regarding this transition?
A. Yes. All employees with outstanding Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) will receive information from Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services to activate and certify their new RSU account. In addition, on-site meetings will be available in certain locations to assist employees with these actions between now and April 1, 2014.
Q. What are the advantages to employees of moving from Charles Schwab to Morgan Stanley?
A. Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services offers many enhancements to the employee experience over Charles Schwab. For example:
Simplified account activation and certification (no paper account application needed)
Reduced wire transfer fees for domestic and international employees (from $25 to $12.50)
RSU share deposits within 2 days of vest
Access to Financial Advisors*
Streamlined transition of 10b5-1 plans
* Financial Advisor assistance is available according to country and local jurisdiction regulations. Not all wealth management services are available in all locations. To speak with a Financial Advisor for more information, please send an email to Morgan Stanley at email@example.com.
Q. Can I add an ATM debit card to my Morgan Stanley account?
A. Yes. There is no cost to add a debit card to your account; however, a full-service brokerage account is required. Note: this service may not be available in all locations. Restrictions and transaction fees may apply. For more information, please contact the appropriate Morgan Stanley Service Center listed here or email Morgan Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What is the effective date of this change?
A. Amazon will officially transition services from Charles Schwab to Morgan Stanley on April 1, 2014.
Q. What impact will this transition have on employees?
A. Employees will need to take action to activate and certify a new account at Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services. We recognize any provider change will have significant impact to our employees worldwide. However it is critical to align with a global provider that can support our employees long-term and continue to scale with our global growth. We have worked very closely with Morgan Stanley to make this process as easy and seamless as possible.
Q. Employees currently have Amazon.com shares at Schwab, will they need to transfer those shares to Morgan Stanley?
A. This depends on the type of account an employee currently holds at Charles Schwab. In some situations Amazon may need to transfer shares on behalf of the employee and in some situations an employee will have the option to transfer shares to Morgan Stanley or leave them with Charles Schwab. For example, if an employee currently has a Limited Purpose Account (“LPA”) at Schwab (LPA accounts apply mostly outside of the U.S.), Amazon will instruct Schwab to send those shares to Morgan Stanley Global stock Plan Services on behalf of the employee at no cost. For employees that currently have a Schwab One® Brokerage Account, the employee will need to instruct Schwab to move those shares if they choose. The Schwab One Brokerage account is an account held individually by the employee and requires the employee to take action to transfer those shares and/or cash. More details on share transfers will available in March 2014.
Q. What communication approach can I expect from Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services?
A. Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services is taking a high touch approach to this transition and will be working with HR to set up onsite support to assist employees in transitioning to the new provider. A large scale global communication effort is underway to ensure employees fully understand what is required of them and that all tasks are completed. In addition, information will be available on Inside Amazon and www.morganstanleyfa.com/amazon.
Q. What information will I receive from Morgan Stanley regarding my new account?
A. You will receive from Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services a personalized email or a letter sent to your address on record with Amazon requesting that you activate and certify your Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services account via the Morgan Stanley website known as www.benefitaccess.com. You may also use the activation guide, located on Inside Amazon or here to assist you with activating your account.
Q. What information do I need to activate my Benefit Access account?
A. You will need your Employee ID (Morgan Stanley refers to this as a “PUID”) or U.S. Social Security Number, the Amazon Stock Symbol (AMZN), and your date of birth.
Q. Will the activation and certification email expire?
A. Yes, the activation and certification email will expire after 30 days. You can request a new email by using the “Forgot User Name/Password” link on www.benefitaccess.com or by contacting the appropriate Morgan Stanley Service Center found in the following document. If you received a letter sent to your address of record with Amazon, the temporary User Name and Password will not expire.
Q. What if I can’t find my activation email/letter or I lock myself out of the activation link?
A. You can receive a new activation email by using the “Forgot User Name/Password” link on www.benefitaccess.com or by contacting the appropriate Morgan Stanley Service Center found in the following document.
Q. The account activation process asked for my Amazon Employee ID. What is this?
A. Your “Employee ID” at Morgan Stanley is the same as your PeoplePortal ID. You can find it by following this path in PeopleSoft Self Service. Under the heading “Manage My Data”, click on the link Job Information. At the top of this page, to the right of your name you'll see your Employee ID.
Q. The activation process asks for my Social Security Number. Do I need to enter this and my Employee ID?
A. U.S. employees should enter their U.S. Social Security Number and leave the Employee ID box blank. Employees outside of the U.S. who do not have U.S. Social Security Number should enter their Employee ID and leave the Social Security Number box blank.
Q. Can I certify my Form W-8BEN or Form W-9 tax certification electronically?
A. Yes, you can login to the benefitaccess.com website at Morgan Stanley and certify electronically. You can either select the link “Certify your missing tax form” on the Alerts and Messages panel or click on the “My Profile” tab under “Tax and Banking Information” and follow the prompts to certify your tax status online.
Q. Does Morgan Stanley accept mail-in forms to complete the tax certification process?
A. Yes, mail-in forms are available on Morgan Stanley’s benetfitaccess.com welcome page under the forms link, as well as in the Document Library once you have accessed your online account. Simply download, complete and print the form. Follow the instructions on the form to mail it to Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services. Online certification is the preferred method.
Q. I already certified my account by completing a Form W-8BEN or Form W-9 at Schwab. Will I need to do this again with Morgan Stanley?
A. Yes. The Form W-8BEN and Form W-9 is specific to the individual account at any brokerage firm. Your form on file with Charles Schwab will not transfer over to Morgan Stanley, so you must complete a new Form with Morgan Stanley in order to avoid additional backup withholding.
Q. I am having trouble viewing certain documents within benefitaccess.com at Morgan Stanley. Is there something I need to do with certain browsers?
A. Certain browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 do not support Adobe products as needed. There can also be compatibility issues between Internet Explorer and various websites you may use, including the Morgan Stanley stock plan website. These issues can be resolved easily by changing your settings or installing plug-ins. Please refer to these browser instructions if you experience any issues.
Employees with RSUs vest between now and April 1, 2014
Q. Will RSUs vest at Charles Schwab between now and April 1, 2014?
A. Yes. All RSU vests that occur before March 31, 2014 will continue to vest and deposit in employee accounts at Charles Schwab.
Q. What action must an employee take if they have a vest occurring before March 31, 2014?
A. If an employee has an RSU vest between now and March 31, 2014, they must open and certify their account at Charles Schwab if they have not already done so. Below are simple instructions to do so:
Step 2: Enter Amazon’s stock symbol (AMZN), your Social Security Number and your 6 or 9-digit PeoplePortal Employee ID number, which can be found by clicking on Job Information on your PeoplePortal home page, or navigate to Self Service > Job Information > Employment Information. Your Employee ID is located to the right of your name at the top of the screen.
Step 2: Enter Amazon’s stock symbol (AMZN), enter all zeros in the Social Security Number field, and passport number or other government-issued ID number available, as you will be asked to enter this information during the account opening process.
New hires between now and April 1, 2014
Q. If I recently joined Amazon and do not have an RSU vest prior to 31 March 2014 must I open a Charles Schwab account?
A. No, if your first RSU vest is after 31 March you do not need to open a Schwab account.
Q. My team has all received an activation email from Morgan Stanley but I have not. When will I receive this?
A. If you joined Amazon after October 18, 2013, you will receive the activation email from Morgan Stanley mid-March 2014 before the go-live with Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley or Smith Barney Existing Account Holders
Q. I already have, or had a Morgan Stanley or Smith Barney account with a previous employer. What action do I need to take?
A. Employees with previous or existing accounts at Morgan Stanley (or Smith Barney) will still need to activate their new Amazon account. For U.S. participants, during your account activation, the Morgan Stanley website will request your response to the security question set up with your previous employer in order to verify your identity. If you are a U.S. participant, your tax certification (W-9) from your prior company will be automatically transferred to Morgan Stanley. Non-U.S. participants will need to create a new account and re-certify by completing a Form W-8BEN with Morgan Stanley. The system will not recognize you as an existing account holder unless you have a U.S. Social Security Number.
Q. What if I don’t know the answers to my security questions from a prior employer?
A. You can contact the appropriate Morgan Stanley Service Center listed here. A Service Professional will verify your identity and request a security reset for you.
Q. How do I review my profile from a previous employer?
A. You may want to review your profile from your previous employer for reference. Go to the “My Profile” tab on the home page. On the left side of the Profile screen, you will see a link to your account from a previous employer. You’ll also see a link to your Amazon stock plan account. You can toggle easily between these profiles for reference as necessary.
Q. What if I want to adjust my Form W-8BEN or Form W-9 tax certification form on file with Morgan Stanley from a previous employer or Amazon?
A. You can change your tax certification by:
1) Going to the “My Profile” tab on the www.benefitaccess.com home page.
2) Selecting “Tax Profile”
3) Editing your Name, Permanent and/or Mailing Address in the profile screen
Note: Any changes you make to your existing tax certification will require you to recertify your Form W-8BEN or Form W-9 through Morgan Stanley.
Q. Will I see my RSU vesting history at Morgan Stanley?
A. Yes, you will see the full history of your Amazon grant, vest and transaction details online at Morgan Stanley after April 1, 2014.
Q. Where can I learn more about the changes?
A. Additional information can be found on the Morgan Stanley Amazon Information site at www.morganstanleyfa.com/amazon.
Q. Who can I contact with additional questions related to these policy changes?
A. Employees and HR Business Partners can contact Stock Plan Services through trouble ticketing at: https://tt.amazon.com/quicklink/Q000054580
Q. How can I contact Morgan Stanley?
A. Contact information for a Morgan Stanley Service Professional is located here.
Your Morgan Stanley Stock Plan Account
Q. How do I change my name on my Morgan Stanley stock plan account?
A. Plan participants currently in active service with Amazon should initiate any name changes through the PeoplePortal site. Once the update is effective with Amazon, the plan’s data feed will automatically update your name on your stock plan account. If you make changes with Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services first, they will be overwritten by the information sent from Amazon. Therefore, it is important you initiate your name change with Amazon first.
If you are an inactive employee or terminated from Amazon, you can send a “Change of Title” Letter of Authorization form and documentation to show your legal title change to Morgan Stanley. This form is available on the home page of www.benefitaccess.com under the Forms tab. You can also contact the Morgan Stanley Service Center to obtain a copy of the form.
Q. How do I change my address on my Morgan Stanley stock plan account?
A. As long as you are an active employee of Amazon, you can change your address easily through the PeoplePortal. Your update will automatically carry over when Amazon sends plan data to Morgan Stanley. If you feel necessary, you can also call the Morgan Stanley Service Center directly to change your address; however, it is best to first initiate the change with Amazon to ensure it is not reverted back when the next data feed is processed.
If you are an inactive or terminated employee from Amazon or you want to update a P.O. Box, you will need to complete a copy of the Address Change Form available on www.benefitaccess.com under the Forms section. You can also contact a Morgan Stanley Service Professional who can fax or email the form to you. Along with the form, you must send a legible photocopy of a government-issued ID for signature verification or have the form notarized. Upon completion, please fax the form and supporting documentation to +1 614-467-4471, or mail to:
Global Stock Plan Services
P.O. Box 182616
Columbus, OH 43218-2616
Global Stock Plan Services
4343 Easton Commons, Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43219
Q. What address can I use when certifying my W-9 or W-8BEN tax form? Are there restrictions?
A. Yes, when certifying your tax form, you must submit a permanent street address as required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you provide only a mailing address or a P.O. Box, your form will be rejected. Morgan Stanley is only permitted to accept permanent residence/street address for security and identity verification reasons.
Q: What is cash from a fractional sale?
A. In general, the value of your RSUs is considered taxable income to you. On each vest date, Amazon must collect from you enough cash to cover the minimum tax-withholding obligation that arises on that date. On the vesting date, Morgan Stanley will sell enough vested shares on your behalf to satisfy the required tax withholding amount. The proceeds from the sale will pass through your RSU account to Amazon, and then from Amazon to the relevant tax authorities. All sales must be in whole shares, so there may be some remaining cash from the fraction of the share sale that was not needed for taxes. Any cash remaining after your tax withholding is satisfied will be refunded to you through local payroll.
You do have the option to change this election, please visit www.morganstanleyfa.com/amazon site for further details.
Q: I don’t see the fractional cash (refund) in my Morgan Stanley account. Where is the cash?
A. Employees are setting up a limited purpose accounts at Morgan Stanley. This account can only hold shares and no cash. As a result, after a vest occurs at Morgan Stanley, any fractional cash that is not used for taxes will be refunded to employees via local payroll. Morgan Stanley will provide taxes withheld and the refund amount for each transaction to Amazon. After each vest, tax details and refund information are provided to local payroll team to process.
Note for mobile employees who have income sourced to +2 countries: The refund (fractional cash not used for taxes) is sent to your current payroll location.
U.S. employees including all subs (except KIVA employees)
The refund amount is included in the taxes sent to payroll. When the RSU income is recorded in payroll, the refund amount is deposited into the checking or saving account on your profile within 2-3 business days. If you are not set up for direct deposit, a check will be generated and mailed to your current work location within 2-3 business days.
The refund amount is included in the taxes sent to payroll. When the RSU income is recorded in payroll, any excess cash (including refund) that is not remitted to the tax authorities will be refunded to you by payroll. Generally RSU transactions are processed in payroll in the month following the RSU vest.
Q. I’m not sure where to find my cash and share positions online. Where can I see them?
A. Your holdings are viewable on Morgan Stanley’s stock plan website at www.benefitaccess.com. For detailed instructions, please refer to Viewing your Cash and Shares Online.
Morgan Stanley Stock Plan Website Security
Q. Does the stock plan website follow modern password guidelines?
A. The Morgan Stanley website conforms to modern password guidelines. Passwords must be between eight and twenty characters and include at least one number and one letter. They are case-sensitive and cannot contain spaces. All special characters and symbols are allowed except "<" and ">".
Remember: you are responsible for the confidentiality of your login credentials, i.e. your User Name and Password.
Q. Is my information secure on the stock plan website?
A. Yes, the privacy and security of clients’ financial information is Morgan Stanley’s top priority. The stock plan website operates under all the latest security features, including account access through a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) enabled web-browser.
Q. What is Secure Socket Layer (SSL)?
A. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is an encryption technology that addresses the three types of problems that can occur when information is sent over the internet. These three problems are:
1. The possibility of the data being seen by a third party.
2. The possibility of a third party altering your data.
3. The possibility of a third party impersonating the intended recipient.
The SSL protocol provides features that will protect you from these problems. Encryption technology assures the confidentiality and integrity of any information you send over the internet. Your message is coded to prevent it from being decrypted by anyone but the intended recipient. If someone tries to alter an encrypted message, it will not decode correctly and the intended recipient will be alerted to the tampering attempt.
Q. Besides the protection of my User Name and Password, how do I know my logon is secure?
A. We have implemented an additional layer of security, electronic authentication. Commonly known as "machine tagging," electronic authentication is an internal verification method that remembers the usual computer(s) that you log on with to compile a security profile. This process is invisible to you, and provides a high level of security that will prevent unauthorized users from signing on with your User Name and Password. If at any time your logon credentials do not meet the site’s records, you will be required to pass an additional layer of authentication in the form of security questions.
Q. Why can’t my mobile device access the stock plan website?
A. Mobile devices cannot access the website at this time, because it is Flash-based. Morgan Stanley Global Stock Plan Services is developing an upgraded website to resolve this situation.
Q. How do I log off the site?
A. To log off completely without disconnecting from the Internet, simply click on the Sign-out button located on the left side of the page. To re-enter the site, you will be asked to re-enter your User Name and Password. For privacy and security reasons, you should always log off completely when you have finished accessing your account information.
Q. What happens if I forget to log off the site?
After 20 minutes of inactivity, your benefitaccess.com browser session will timeout. To return to the site, you will be required to re-enter your logon credentials.
Investments and services are offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.
CRC 916104 04/2014