This excerpt taken from the CVS DEF 14A filed Mar 25, 2005.
Partnership Equity Program
The Partnership Equity Program was implemented in 1997 for key management as a major element in CVS executive compensation program. In 2004, the Program continued as a recruitment incentive for newly hired key employees and for newly promoted senior executives. Prior year participants continue to have awards vest under the Program, but no additional personal contributions were made by, nor awards made to, any of the named executive officers. The Program is designed to ensure that those executives with significant impact on the future success of CVS have a substantial at-risk personal equity investment in CVS common stock. The Committee believes that the Program strongly links the economic interests of key managers with each other and with CVS stockholders, provide future long-term compensation opportunities that are competitive in the external marketplace and that reflect internal responsibility levels, and assure key management stability, retention, motivation and long-term focus on corporate strategy.
Under the Program, certain key managers of CVS, including its executive officers, are given the opportunity to invest in common stock based on their position, responsibilities and potential impact on the creation of long-term stockholder value. The purchase price of shares (set at fair market value at the purchase date) is payable from each participants personal funds, without loans or guarantees by CVS, including by application of certain payouts from other compensation programs. For each share purchased (up to approved individual dollar limits), the Committee makes a matching grant of one deferred share; such deferred shares vest at the end of five years if the participant both retains the purchased share for that period and continues to be employed by CVS, subject to accelerated vesting in certain events. Furthermore, the Committee grants stock options at a rate of up to 15 shares subject to option for each share purchased under the Program. The options have an exercise price equal to fair market value on the date of grant and vest in equal installments at the end of years three, four and five following the grant date, again based on continued employment and retention of the purchased shares, subject to accelerated vesting in certain events.