FAQs

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions from shareholders.

General

When are the next set of results being announced?

Our final results are usually announced in February or March and the interim results in July. View our financial calendar.

How do i get hold of a copy of the annual report & accounts?

You can either download a copy of the annual report or request a copy to be mailed to you by writing to the Registrars.

Why do I only receive a performance summary?

Most of our shareholders receive only the performance summary together with details of where to find our full report and accounts on our website. If you would like to receive the full report and accounts, please contact our Registrars.

Alternatively, you can download the full report and accounts from this website.

What is the Company's registered address?

Pearson plc
80 Strand
London
WC2R 0RL
UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7010 2000

The registered number of the Company is 53723.

Who is the Company's Registrar?

Equiniti
Aspect House
Spencer Road
Lancing
West Sussex
BN99 6DA

0371 384 2043* (UK callers)

+44 (0)121 415 7062 (non-UK callers)

0371 384 2255* (for UK callers with hearing loss: this is the textphone number. Callers must have compatible equipment.)

+44 (0)121 415 7028 (for non-UK callers with hearing loss: this is the textphone number. Callers must have compatible equipment.)

www.equiniti.com

* Telephone calls to these numbers are currently charged at 10p per minute plus your phone company's access charge. Other telephone service providers may charge different rates. Lines are open 8.30 to 5.30 Monday to Friday (excluding UK public holidays).

Who are the company's advisers?

The company advisers are:

Auditors: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Bankers: HSBC Bank plc
Brokers: JPMorgan Cazenove Limited and Citigroup
Financial advisers: JPMorgan Cazenove Limited and Citigroup
Solicitors: our lead advisers are Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

On what stock exchanges are Pearson shares traded?

Ordinary shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange [LSE: PSON]. American Depository Shares (ADSs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: PSO].

Does Pearson offer shareholders a Corporate ISA?

Yes. A Corporate ISA is administered by Equiniti. Should you wish to receive further information please contact our Registrars.

What is the stock/ticker symbol for Pearson?

On the London Stock Exchange (LSE) our ticker symbol is PSON. On the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) the symbol is PSO.

What is Pearson's official accounting currency?

Pearson reports all its financial statements in British Pounds Sterling (£).

Where can I get a copy of the latest financial results announced by Pearson?

You can download copies of our interim and annual reports or request a hard copy by contacting the Registrars.

When does Pearson report its financial results?

Please see our financial calendar.

What is the tax domicile of Pearson?

United Kingdom

Share certificate

I have lost my share certificate. How do I get a new one?

Please advise the Registrar - in writing - which share certificate is lost and you will be sent a Letter of Indemnity for completion. You should sign and return this to the Registrar to enable a duplicate share certificate to be issued. You can contact the Registrar.

Do I need a share certificate?

A share certificate in your name is evidence of your ownership of shares. However, with the development of electronic means of trading shares, most corporate investors no longer use share certificates and rely instead on secure systems for exchanging data with the registrar and the London Stock Exchange. Some brokers now offer services which enable you to hold shares in electronic format without needing to have a share certificate. This means that in theory you can deal much faster because there is no need to supply certificates as evidence of ownership, but there is often a charge for this service.

I reported a lost share certificate but now I've found it. What do I do?

If you have already completed a letter of indemnity and sent it back to the Registrars, the original certificate is now invalid. You must send it back to the Registrars to be cancelled.

If you have not yet returned it, please send the letter of indemnity back to the Registrars with a covering letter confirming that you have found the certificate and there is no need for a replacement to be issued.

Dividends

What is a dividend?

A company that is making a profit often keeps a portion of its earnings to reinvest in the future of its business. The remaining profits will normally be given back to the owners of the company, its shareholders, as a dividend payment. The dividend is often paid in two or more instalments over the year. The initial payments are called 'interim dividends' and the remainder, paid as a 'final' dividend, is approved by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.

I've lost a dividend cheque. Can I have a new one?

Yes. If you confirm the details to the Registrar, they will send you a replacement. They may charge a fee for this service. Please visit the shareview website to view the standard fees.

What does "ex-dividend" mean?

This is a description, sometimes abbreviated to 'xd' that is often quoted next to a share price. It translates as 'without dividend' and means that the next dividend payment is not included in the price of the share. This is necessary because the dividend is paid to all shareholders who were on the register at close of trading on a specified day. Any shareholder buying shares who is registered after this day will not receive the dividend. To compensate for this, the market price usually drops by the amount of the dividend payment and the description 'xd' is added to share price quotations to confirm that this has happened. To avoid confusion around this time, prices are sometimes quoted 'cum dividend' (meaning 'with dividend') which means that the buyer will be entitled to the next dividend payment and the share price has not been adjusted. View the Dividend Information page.

How do I obtain historical share prices?

Historical share prices can be found in the share price section of this website, where we hold data going back ten years. View historical share prices. If you require share prices prior to this, you should contact your own broker. Alternatively, the London Stock Exchange can provide this information.

When are dividends usually paid?

Dividends are normally paid twice a year in May and September.

Can my dividend be reinvested and used to purchase more shares?

Yes, you can elect to receive future dividends as shares rather than cash under Pearson's Dividend ReInvestment Plan (DRIP). You can participate by completing a DRIP mandate form or contact the Registrar directly.

The DRIP allows shareholders to reinvest their cash dividends in shares bought on the London Stock Exchange. On each dividend payment date, the company buys shares in the market on your behalf using your cash dividend, having first deducted a percentage to cover stamp duty and administration fees. A share certificate will be sent to you about 10 working days after the dividend payment date. To be eligible for the next dividend, the Registrar must have received your completed form at least 15 days before payment date. An explanation of how the plan operates and the charges, together with a mandate form is available from our Registrar.

Can I have dividends paid direct to my bank/building society account?

Yes, you can ask to have your dividends paid direct into a bank or building society account, which will:

  • avoid the risk of cheques being lost in the post or mislaid
  • save you a trip to the bank to pay in the cheque
  • be credited to your account on payment date
  • avoid you having to wait for a cheque to clear on your account

A tax voucher will be sent to your registered address so you know when and how much has been paid into your account.

If you would like your dividends to be paid in this way, please complete a Bank mandate form.

  1. By telephone (provided you own 2,500 shares or less). You will need your Unique Reference Number and a UK registered address. Or
  2. By post – just complete the Dividend Mandate Form
    The above instructions need to be received by Equiniti before the record date for a dividend.

Shareholders wishing to find further information about dividend payment details should visit the Shareview website.

The Registrars address.

IMPORTANT: Please take care when completing the sort code and account number as we cannot accept liability if you give incorrect information and your dividend is paid into the wrong account. If a building society account is to be credited, please ask them to stamp the completed form to confirm that the quoted account details are correct.

My dividend cheque is out-of-date. What do I do?

You should return your cheque to the Registrar to be reissued. Please note that Pearson dividend cheques are valid for six months from the date of issue.

I have not received my dividend cheque. Whom do I contact?

If you have not received the dividend payment please contact the Registrar.

I live abroad - can I receive dividends in my local currency?

Yes, the Registrar’s Overseas Payment Service enables you to receive your dividend directly into your bank account in your local currency by arrangement with Citibank Europe PLC. Please note that Equiniti will deduct a payment charge from each dividend payment before converting it into your chosen currency. Your dividend confirmation will be despatched in the normal manner.

This is a service that can be arranged in over 90 countries worldwide and it normally costs less than paying in a UK cheque. The dividend will be credited to your account automatically - normally just a few days after the company’s dividend payment date.

For further information on this service or to sign up for this service, please visit the Shareview website, download the appropriate application form and terms and conditions and then complete and return it to the relevant address, as detailed on the form. Alternatively you can contact Equiniti on +44 (0) 121 415 7047 to request an application form and terms and conditions. Please have details of your shareholding and Shareholder Reference with you.

What are the changes to Dividend Tax system in the UK?

From 6 April 2016, the Dividend Tax Credit has been replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance, meaning there will be an income tax charge on dividends at the rate of 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.

The long-standing system of tax credits attached to dividends has been replaced with a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. This means that there will be no tax to pay on the first £5,000 of dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income a shareholder may have. Dividends paid on shares held within pensions and ISAs are unaffected, remaining tax-free.

Non-taxpayers and basic rate taxpayers who receive dividend income between £5,001 and £10,000 will need to make a declaration for the first time. Individuals with dividend income of more than £10,000 are already required to be in Self Assessment. Most of those individuals who will have some tax to pay on dividend income will have it collected by PAYE.

You may notice some changes to the information presented in your Pearson Dividend Confirmation document. If you have any queries regarding that information, please contact our registrar, Equiniti, on 03713842043*(UK callers)
+44 (0)121 415 7062 (non-UK callers)

Lines are open 8.30 to 5.30 Monday to Friday (excluding UK public holidays).

Further information is available from HMRC’s website. Please go to:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/dividend-allowance-factsheet/dividend-allowance-factsheet

Shares and shareholding

What is my shareholder reference number?

When you first buy shares in Pearson plc you are given a unique eleven-digit reference number. This is shown on the top of share certificates under the heading “Shareholder Reference” and on dividend tax vouchers. It should be quoted in all correspondence with the Registrar.

How do I transfer shares into another person's name?

You will need to obtain a stock transfer form from our Registrar, and return this together with your share certificate(s) to arrange the transfer of ownership. For further information and to obtain a stock transfer form, please contact the Registrar, Equiniti.

Can I transfer shares to a child?

It is usually possible to transfer shares to someone below the age of 18 (or 16 if the company is registered in Scotland) but you should note that this can lead to complications: for example, dividends will be paid only in the name of the shareholder and if you subsequently wish to transfer shares held in the name of a minor, you will need a court order.

Alternatively, you can continue to hold shares in your name on behalf of the minor, segregating them from other shares you may hold by adding a 'designation'. This is a short identifier, usually a few letters long that marks the shares on our records as a separate holding. You can do this by filling in a stock transfer form, completing the form with your name as both transferor and transferee and specifying a designation in the transferee details. When choosing a designation, you must avoid using names and recognisable phrases.

I want to give shares to someone as a gift. How do I go about it?

You should complete a stock transfer form and return it to the Registrar with your share certificate(s).

One of my relatives has just died and I have been named a beneficiary. What steps do I need to take to have the shares transferred into my name?

The Registrar will require a certified copy of the death certificate, a sealed office copy of the Grant of Representation when available and the share certificate(s). Once the Grant has been noted on their records they will arrange to have the shares transferred into the name of the beneficiary. For further details, please contact the Registrar direct.

How do I inform you of my change of address?

You can notify us of a change of address by:

  1. Telephone if own 2,500 shares or less,
  2. Writing to the Registrar providing both your previous address and new address, or
  3. Downloading the form.

Why do I receive multiple sets of any information which the company sends to me?

If you have acquired shares on more than one occasion, your holdings may have been recorded on the register of shareholders with slightly different details. As a result, two or more accounts may have been set up for you. Sometimes multiple accounts are necessary, for example, if you hold shares in your own name and also in joint names with a partner. However, sometimes multiple accounts can be amalgamated. Please contact Equiniti (our Registrar) to discuss whether your accounts can be amalgamated.

How do I check a shareholding?

Shareholdings can be checked on-line by going to shareview website or by contacting the Registrar.

I have recently changed my name, what should I do?

Write to the Registrar giving full details of the following:

  • Your old name
  • Your new name
  • A copy of any legal documentation, such as marriage certificate or deed poll. Where your name has changed as a result of separation or divorce, and you wish to revert to your maiden name, a copy of any supporting documentation must be sent to the Registrar. All correspondence must be signed.

Please send this to our Registrar.

What am I entitled to as a registered shareholder?

When you either buy shares or shares are transferred to you, you become a part owner of the company. The benefits of owning shares include:

  • Dividends - these are normally received twice a year in May and September
  • Annual General Meeting - each year you will be invited to attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting of the company.
  • Financial Information - You can view the annual report or you can elect to receive the annual report in paper form by contacting the Registrar.

Is this a good time to buy/sell Pearson shares?

Under the Financial Services Act, we are not authorised to provide advice to investors on share dealing. For advice on dealing, please contact your stockbroker or financial adviser.

How can I check today's share price?

View the current share price.

Where do I get hold of the original price I paid for my shares?

Your contract note which was provided by the broker when purchasing the shares will have this information. Also the Stock Exchange can provide this information. Current share price information.

I have a question about the tax on my shares and / or dividends - whom do I speak to?

Your financial adviser.

How do I donate my shares to charity?

If you hold a small number of shares, the value of which may make it uneconomical to sell them, you can give them to charity through ShareGift, the charity share donation scheme. This is a registered charity (no.1052686) which accumulates small shareholdings, sells them and donates the proceeds to a wide range of different UK charities. The service is free (although there may be an indemnity fee if you have lost your share certificate). Giving shares to charity in this way does not give rise to any gain or loss for Capital Gains Tax purposes, and UK taxpayers may be able to claim income relief on the value of their donation.

For further information on ShareGift please log on to their website sharegift.org or write to them at ShareGift, PO BOX 72253, London, SW1P 9LQ.  

Can I consolidate my share certificates?

Yes, if your certificated holding in Pearson plc is represented by several share certificates you may wish to have these replaced by one consolidated share certificate. There is no charge for this service. You should send your certificates with a letter of instruction to our Registrar.

I'd like to change my bank mandate instructions, how do I do this?

Our Registrar can now accept mandate instructions over the telephone from their contact centre for holders of 2,500 shares or less. For holders of over 2,500 shares just complete the Dividend mandate form (PDF) and send it to our Registrar.

US listing and ADRs

Can I buy Pearson shares in the United States?

You cannot buy ordinary Pearson shares in the United States but you have the opportunity to buy ADRs.

What are ADRs and ADSs?

ADRs are American Depositary Receipts and ADSs are American Depositary Shares. The Company’s ordinary shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADSs), evidenced by American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and traded under the symbol ‘PSO’. Pearson has a sponsored level 2 ADR programme. The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) administers the ADR programme on behalf of the company. Each ADS represents one ordinary share. All enquiries regarding ADR holder accounts and payment of dividends should be directed to BNY Mellon, Tel: 1-866-259-2289 (toll free within the US) or 001 201 680 6825 (outside the US). More information is available on the BNY Mellon website.

Where can I get information on Pearson ADSs and ADRs?

Here are a few facts.

Ratio: 1 ADS = 1 Pearson ordinary share
Exchange: New York Stock Exchange
Symbol: PSO
Sponsoring Bank: The Bank of New York Mellon - Tel: 1-866-259-2289 (toll free within the US) or 001 201 680 6825 (outside the US). Visit the BNY Mellon website for more information.

Where can I find FAQ's in relation to ADR's?

How do I contact the Bank of New York Mellon?

Please visit the BNY Mellon website.

Bank of New York - Tel: 1-866-259-2289 (toll free within the US) or 001 201 680 6825 (outside the US)

General Meetings

What is the Annual General Meeting?

Public limited companies are required to hold an Annual General Meeting, or AGM of shareholders at which decisions are taken on the company's business. The 'ordinary' business of the AGM is repeated every year and includes accepting the company's accounts for the year and fixing the proportion of a company's profits that will be paid back to shareholders as a dividend. The company directors often take this opportunity to put forward other business requiring the approval of shareholders e.g. renewal of a share plan.

If I cannot attend the Annual General Meeting, can I still vote?

If you cannot go to the meeting yourself, you can appoint someone else to go in your place as your 'proxy'. To do this, you must complete the proxy card that is sent to you with the notice of meeting and send it back to us in advance of the meeting.

You can also, if you wish, appoint more than one proxy provided that each proxy is appointed to exercise the rights attached to a different share or shares held by you. If a poll is taken on a resolution, your proxy can cast your vote for you and speak on your behalf.

If you cannot appoint a proxy to attend the meeting in person, you can still send the proxy form back to us and in the event of a poll on any resolution, the Chairman will cast your vote for you in line with the instructions you give on the form. It is also possible to send your proxy instruction over the web. If this service is available, details will be sent to you with the information about the meeting.

Share register fraud

What forms does share register fraud take?

  • Stealing shares or proceeds of sale on the disposal of shares
    The fraudster sends a change of address notice to the Registrar, followed by an indemnity request for a lost share certificate. Once the duplicate share certificate has been sent out to the "new" address, the fraudster then requests an off-market transfer of the shares to a different account thereby effectively stealing the shares.
  • Boiler-Room fraud
    You are contacted out of the blue by a "broker" offering you a great deal on shares, often in smaller companies you may not have heard of or possibly other investments such as futures, options or foreign exchange.
    After buying the shares, you may have difficulty in getting the shares or their certificates. And when you try to sell them, you won't know if the price is fair - or you could find the price is inexplicably lower. If you do manage to persuade the firm to sell your shares for you, you may have difficulty getting the proceeds from the sale or be put under a lot of pressure to buy other shares with the money.

What should I look out for?

Unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters which imply a connection with Pearson. These are typically from overseas based "brokers" who target UK shareholders offering to sell what often turns out to be worthless or high risk shares in UK or US investments.

When the Registrar receive a change of address notice they send a security letter to the old address to check that the request is genuine. If you receive such a letter and you are not changing your address you must contact the Registrar immediately on 0371 384 2043.

How can I protect my shares from potential fraud?

If you receive any unsolicited investment advice:-

  1. Do not get into a conversation, ensure that you obtain the correct name of the person and organisation contacting you, make a record of any other information they give you e.g telephone number; address, and then end the call.
  2. Check that they are properly authorised by the FCA before getting involved. You can check at fca.org
  3. Inform our Registrar on 0845 607 6838. They are not able to investigate such incidents themselves but they will record the details and pass them on to Pearson and liaise with the FCA.
  4. The FCA also maintains on its website a list of unauthorised overseas firms who are targeting, or have targeted, UK investors. You can check the list at fca.org. Any approach from such organisations should be reported to the FCA so that this list can be kept up-to-date and any other appropriate action can be considered. The FCA can be contacted by completing an online form on ther website, by telephone from the UK on 0800 111 6768 or if you are calling from outside the UK on +44 20 7066 1000, or by email to consumer.queries@fca.org.uk.
    Read more about shareholder scams
  5. Transfer your shares to a Corporate Sponsored Nominee

    The Corporate Sponsored Nominee (CSN) is a way of holding shares without a share certificate. Instead of registering as a shareholder directly on the register of members, your shares are held on your behalf by a nominee company. You are still the beneficial owner of the shares and instruct the nominee to buy, sell or transfer your holding on your behalf. A CSN is a nominee that is sponsored by Pearson particularly for its shareholders. The nominee has the backing of the company and so participants enjoy in practice the same rights as shareholders including receiving dividends and annual reports and playing a part in the company's general meetings.

    Holding shares this way has a number of benefits:

    You do not hold a share certificate, and so there is no possibility of having to pay a fee to replace it if it goes missing.

    The shares are held electronically, making it possible to transfer or sell shares very quickly.

    The nominee's name is entered on the register of members instead of yours, and your personal details are hidden from public view.

    You can open an account by transferring shares into the CSN. To do this, you will need to call 0371 384 2043 to obtain a copy of the terms and conditions and an application form. Completed forms should be returned, together with your share certificate(s) to:

    Equiniti, Aspect House, Spencer Road, Lancing, West Sussex BN99 6DA

What do I do if my shares are stolen?

If you have been a victim of share register or boiler room fraud, you should retain all material and documents provided to you, such as bank statements and contract notes. You should report the matter to the FCA (see above) and also your local police, even if it is only for their information. Based on a number of complaints, the police may be able to assess the magnitude of this fraud. Testimonies by different people will help paint a fuller picture and co-ordinate their actions better. However, it is highly unlikely that your money will be recovered.

A company claims to want to buy my shares back - should I sell?

It is likely that your name and details have been passed on or bought by another fraudster, pretending to offer you a lifeline by buying your worthless shares. There are many such operations which are sometimes known as recovery rooms. In fact, the only thing they ever recover is more money from the victims. You will notice that before you get any money from them, they require a payment of "a purchaser bond" or "guarantee" or a "fee" of some sort, allegedly to release the shares or to secure the deal. However, after these people receive their "fee", they just disappear and you will probably never hear from them again.

Online services / Electronic communications

Can I receive shareholder communications electronically?

We send most shareholder communications, including the annual report, electronically via our website except for those shareholders who have told us that they wish to receive these communications via email or in paper form. Shareholders are informed when a new communication is available on the website.

If you would prefer to receive shareholder communications by email then you just need to create a Shareview holding. Visit the shareview website and register using your shareholder reference number - Account Number - (you will find this on your share certificate).

When you register, you will receive a User ID that you can use to log in to Shareview to check your share balance or amend your registered details, including your preferred option for company mailings. Any shareholder can request a shareholder communication in hard copy at any time and we will send it to them free of charge.

Who will use my email address?

Your email address will only be used by Pearson PLC and Equiniti to provide shareholder communications.

Why do I have to give you my shareholder details?

We need you to confirm your identity for security purposes.

Can I change my mind?

Yes, you can stop receiving information by email by returning to Shareview and changing your election. Or alternatively you can write to the Registrars. You can also follow the instructions to cancel your email notification subscription which can be found in every email notification you receive from us.

How do I change my email address later if I need to?

Visit the shareview website and log in using your User ID and then select "Change Preferences" from the left hand menu.

What happens if the Registrar cannot contact me via email?

You should make sure that your e-mail address on your Shareview holding is up to date. If the Registrar is unable to send your shareholder communications because the address you have given is not recognised, they will send you a paper copy of the e-mail by post within 48 hours.

Contacts

How do I contact the company's Registrar?

You may contact the company's Registrar directly.

How do I contact the company’s ADR depositary bank?

The Bank of New York Mellon
Depositary Receipts Division
101 Barclay Street, 22nd Floor
New York, New York
10286

Tel: (212) 815 4245

How do I contact the Pearson plc Company Secretariat?

Company Secretariat
80 Strand
London WC2R 0RL
+44 020 7010 2000

companysecretary@pearson.com

How do I contact the Pearson plc Investor Relations department?

Investor Relations
80 Strand
London WC2R 0RL
+44 020 7010 2317

tom.waldron@pearson.com

Where can I find more FAQs?

A comprehensive list of the most frequently asked shareholder questions is detailed on the Equiniti website.