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A business succeeds on the strength of its executive team. Building and maintaining a comprehensive, competitive executive benefits package is a key part of attracting and retaining the top management talent that helps firms survive and thrive.

Deferred Compensation

Pensions, retirement plans, and employee stock options are common forms of deferred compensation. In most cases, this structure allows taxes on such income to be paid in retirement to take advantage of a presumed lower tax bracket.

Key Person Coverage / Section 162 Bonus Plans

This structure utilizes life insurance – funded by the employer’s bonus payments – to provide the insured employee with access to payout cash if needed for retirement or death benefit protection for the executive’s family. The employer contribution is taxable to the employee, but payments are tax-deductible, and the executive retains ownership and benefits of the policy. The Employer can elect to use access restrictions as a form of “golden handcuffs”.

Split Dollar Insurance

This is life insurance coverage for an executive purchased either partially or fully with employer funds. The policy benefits are shared by the business and the executive in a pre-determined formula. If the insured employee dies or his or her employment is terminated, the business is reimbursed for its payment of premiums.

Defined-Benefit Max Pension Plan

This is the “classic” pension plan in which a retiring executive receives a specified pension payment, lump-sum or combination of the two. This amount is based on a predetermined formula derived from earnings history, tenure of service and age, rather than depending directly on individual investment returns (such as a 401K). The maximum permitted benefit is capped yearly by government regulation.