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A new regulatory filing from Apple details the company’s plan to ensure its employees receive the equivalent of the dividends it plans to grant to shareholders, even though the type of stock they hold wouldn’t normally be eligible for the payout.

The only exception is Apple CEO Tim Cook, who declined to make his stock eligible for the dividend, according to the filing.

Apple in March announced plans to start issuing a dividend for the first time in 17 years — part of a plan to pay out $45 billion over three years as a means of returning value to shareholders and reducing its cash balance, now approaching $100 billion.

Here’s a link to today’s full filing and an excerpt explaining the decision by the Apple board’s compensation committee.

“The Committee determined these amendments were appropriate in light of the Company’s announcement on March 19, 2012 that it intends to commence paying ordinary cash dividends of $2.65 per share to its shareholders on a quarterly basis sometime during the fourth quarter of its 2012 fiscal year. As restricted stock units are not outstanding shares of common stock and thus would not otherwise be entitled to participate in such dividends, the crediting of dividend equivalents is intended to preserve the equity-based incentives intended by the Company when the awards were granted and to treat the award holders consistently with shareholders.”


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