Employee Benefits Questions? Talk With an Independent Agent @ (205) 578-2097
Your business is unique with its own history, employees, and resources. Your employee benefits package should be just as unique and tailored to fit your company’s needs. Whether you have only two employees or two thousand, having a strong employee benefits package is essential to hiring and keeping your employees happy and working hard. You’ll work with our team to select and build the employee benefits package that addresses your needs. As your independent agent in Birmingham for employee benefits, we’re not here to just sell the plan, we’ll be there to service your plan throughout the year.
Why Are Employee Benefits Important?
Consider the following recent statistics in an Aflac, employer survey:
- 71% of employees surveyed say a benefits package offering is extremely or very important to their job satisfaction.
- 60% say it’s extremely or very important to their employer loyalty.
Your employees are evaluating their future as well as their loyalty to your company in part by the benefits you’re providing.
Our Benefits & Services
- Group Health Insurance (Groups of five or more employees)
- Life Insurance
- Disability (Short & Long-Term Disability)
- Dental & Vision
- Long-term Care Insurance
- Critical Illness (cancer, heart attack, and stroke etc.)
SOLUTIONS FOR LEVERAGING YOUR BUSINESS FOR MORE RETIREMENT INCOME
Ask yourself the following question. Do you think taxes are likely to go up or down in the future? If you said down, we’re inclined to agree. Executive benefits offer owners as well as select employees a higher level of benefits and compensation, along with significant tax advantages. Executive benefits also compensate for the fact that most 401(k) programs restrict the ability of executives to accumulate enough money on a tax-favored basis to fund the retirement lifestyle they desire.
Here are a few types of executive benefits that can help separate your company from the competition:
Deferred Compensation Plans (including SERPs)
This is a selective employee benefit that allows business owners to help key employees defer income and the taxes due on that income until a later date, usually retirement. The plan can also be used to provide executives with additional life and disability benefits in addition to the basic coverage that all employees receive.
One option is a supplemental executive retirement plan. A SERP is a non-qualified deferred compensation agreement between a company and select key employees in which the business agrees to provide a specified benefit amount at retirement, or should the employee die, become disabled or terminate employment. When paid, the benefit becomes taxable as income for the executive and tax deductible for the company. Some plans also promise to pay the executive’s spouse a benefit if the executive were to die before retirement. Often life and disability policies are used to help fund the payments.
Section 162 Plan
Often called “Executive Bonus Plans,” section 162 plans are a simple way to reward your top people. Under this type of plan, the employee purchases a permanent life insurance policy on his or her life. The company pays the executive a bonus equal to the premium, which is usually considered taxable income to the employee and tax-deductible to the employer. The employee controls the policy, including the death benefit and the cash value, which accumulates tax-free until it is withdrawn.
Life Insurance and Your Business Planning
Not only does your business need the most affordable employee benefits plan, you’ll need qualified independent agents to work with both owners and your employees on your voluntary benefits such as life insurance and disability. As a small-business owner, you’re responsible for two families: the one you have at home as well as your employees at work. Both are separate needs and requires careful planning to protect those that depend on you. As a result, let us put together a well-conceived employee benefits program but also work to meet other needs beyond the scope of your employee benefits that you may not be considering.
- What will happen to my business and family if I die or become disabled?
- What will happen if certain key employees die or become permanently disabled?
- How can I attract and retain the best employees?
- How can I help ensure that my business will be able to weather unforeseen financial hardships?
- What will happen to my business when I retire?
One of the first things any business owner needs to consider is how to protect against events that may threaten the future of the business, like the death or disability of a proprietor, partner or key employee.
Life Insurance for Owners/Partners
Let’s start with the worst-case scenario: the death of one of the business owners. What will happen to your business if you were not there tomorrow? Many small-business owners take out loans to help grow their businesses and often secure these loans with personal assets. If you have business loans and were to die before they were paid off, you might think your family could sell or liquidate the business to cover the debts and provide financial security for them. In reality, this rarely happens. When the family is forced to sell the business quickly, they may have to sell at a discount or during market conditions that make the business less attractive. In other cases, the business may be worth very little without the proprietor or partner. Individual life insurance can protect your family by providing funds to cover debts, ongoing living expenses, and future plans, in the event that something happens to you.
Disability Insurance for Owners/Partners
Disability insurance replaces a portion of your income if you were to become sick or injured and unable to work. It’s an important type of insurance coverage that is often overlooked, a few people stop to consider what would happen to their business and their personal income if they were unable to work. In addition, business owners should consider business overhead insurance, which reimburses a business for overhead expenses in the event a business owner becomes totally disabled. A policy typically pays benefits for one to two years and helps cover expenses like salaries, taxes, employee benefits, rent, mortgage, utilities, equipment, malpractice premiums, etc. Consequently, a little disability preparation may well mean the difference between a business surviving or shuttering its doors.
If you’re a business with more than one owner, there is an excellent chance you’re going to need a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement protects an owner’s share of the company. It is a legally binding document that allows an owner to pre-determine what happens to the company if a co-owner passes away or decides to leave the company.
Key Person Insurance
Key person insurance is another important component of a smart business continuation plan. Key person insurance is life or disability insurance purchased by the business on an essential employee but payable to the business. When a key person dies or becomes disabled, insurance can help make up for lost sales or earnings or cover the cost of finding or training a replacement.