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Executive compensation

Reward packages for key employees

Executives and key employees are important assets to your business and instrumental in your company’s success. A competitive compensation package is important to attract and retain these top performers.

Executive bonus arrangements

Reward executives who bring the most to your company with an individual permanent life insurance policy funded by your company. Instead of cash payments, permanent life insurance offers long-term financial benefits for your key employees and a potential benefit for their families.

After the executive applies for coverage and names a beneficiary, your business pays the policy premiums. You can deduct the premiums on the company's income taxes as long as the total payments to the employee are considered reasonable compensation.

The premium payments are treated as income to the key employee and reported on the key employee’s W-2, and therefore the key employee pays the income taxes.

Golden handcuffs

This arrangement helps retain key executives by giving them added incentive to stay.

Your company enters into an employment agreement with the key executive(s), who commit to working for the company for a length of time. Policy instructions limit the executive’s access to policy values until such commitments have been fulfilled.

Nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC)

Securian Financial offers specialized solutions to allow your business to reward top earners who have reached the contribution limits set by the IRS for 401(k) and other qualified retirement plans.

Funded through a life insurance policy owned by your company, our nonqualified plans lower your executives’ current taxable income and allow for tax-deferred growth of retirement assets. Based on your company’s goals, several options are available:

  • Executive deferral plans allow the executive to defer a portion of base salary, bonus or commissions, which lowers currently taxable income.
  • Deferred bonus plans are restricted solely to discretionary employer contributions and reward the executive, subject to a vesting schedule you select.
  • Executive salary continuation plans are funded by your company and protect against inflation to help your valued executives achieve a comfortable retirement.

Life insurance

Permanent life insurance products are valuable benefits on their own. Securian Financial offers fixed or variable cash value life insurance products on an individual, multi-life and group basis.

Based on the product and arrangement you choose, employees may be the owner of the policy or you may retain ownership and management of the policy’s cash value.

Individual life insurance

Securian Financial offers variable or indexed universal life products that can be customized to your company’s needs and goals. 

Please keep in mind that the primary reason to purchase a life insurance product is the death benefit.

This information may contain a general discussion of the relevant federal tax laws. It is not intended for, nor can it be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. This information is provided to support the promotion or marketing of ideas that may benefit a taxpayer. Taxpayers should seek the advice of their own tax and legal advisors regarding any tax and legal issues applicable to their specific circumstances.

Life insurance products contain fees, such as mortality and expense charges (which may increase over time), and may contain restrictions, such as surrender periods. Variable life insurance products contain additional fees, such as management fees and fund expenses. The variable investment options are subject to market risk, including loss of principal.

Policy loans and withdrawals may create an adverse tax result, in the event of a lapse or policy surrender, and will reduce both the surrender value and death benefit.

DOFU 9-2019