(c) The holders of preferred or special stock of any class or of any series thereof shall be entitled to receive dividends at such rates, on such conditions and at such times as shall be stated in the certificate of incorporation or in the resolution or resolutions providing for the issue of such stock adopted by the board of directors as hereinabove provided, payable in preference to, or in such relation to, the dividends payable on any other class or classes or of any other series of stock, and cumulative or noncumulative as shall be so stated and expressed.
To find out what your plan's rules are, read the Summary Plan Description your company provides you.
If you do not have one, ask your human resources department for another copy.
Understanding what is in your ESOP account and what the rules are for when and how you will get it can seem complicated.
While there are general rules all ESOPs must follow, plans do vary from company to company.
Distributions may be made all at once (a "lump sum") or in substantially equal payments that are made no less frequently over annually over a period of not more than five years.