I havent been employed with them since June 2013. They told me that i would be eligible to acquire the funds in May 2014. NOw they are saying May 2015?
Depending on the size of your former employer, it may take longer than usual to get your distribution. An ESOP has to have an annual valuation performed, whereas a typical 401k has a daily valuation. A smaller company may not devote the time and resources necessary to do this in a timely fashion. You should make another inquiry.
As others have mentioned, you should check out the ESOP Summary Plan Description, or similar document, of your former employer. Your employer can provide this document to you. It will explain how distributions are made.
Check your ESOP Plan documents and enrollment information if you still have them. That should probably tell you your options on cashing out of the plan and if the employer has the ability to change the terms.
A few more considerations to research:
1) Is there a liquid market for this stock? Could you have a trade executed without delay on an exchange? 2) If the answer to #1 is yes, then can you roll the stock out to an individual brokerage account? There are some favorable tax considerations here: You would be moving the money from a qualified plan to an individual account. This is a taxable event - but the taxation is on the amount of the contributions to the plan - not its current value which, one hopes, would be much higher than the original contributions. This transfer would be taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Then, whenever you sell the shares down the road, you'd be taxed at the lower capital gains rates. 2) Do you have the right to "put" shares back to the company? and at what value? If so, then you simply rollover the cash to your IRA.