Because employers have different perspectives on the offering of benefit plans, we must know the breadth of the market and have industry relationships that allow us to bring our clients that market. Whether a company needs to remain benefit competitive in their particular industry, or is interested in a more “consumer-driven” approach to healthcare plans, we have the expertise and can deliver the diversity the market has to offer.
Click on one of our services below for more information:
A 401(k) plan is a qualified deferred compensation plan which enables you to save money, lower taxes, and invest in your financial future. Under a 401(k) plan, your elective contributions are made on a before tax basis; that is, the amount deferred will be excluded from your taxable income. This may currently lower your taxes. The following are some advantages of our 401(k) plan.
- Elective deferrals are voluntary and the amount you contribute is up to you. (Federal law limits the deferral to 25% of salary or $15,500, whichever is less for 2007, per IRS website).
- Deferrals are made before tax; therefore, you pay less in Federal and State income taxes
- Earnings and income are not taxed until the money is distributed from the plan. When you receive your retirement benefit you may be in a lower tax bracket than you are currently.
Our agency is very active in the group and individual dental insurance marketplace. Whether you are investigating dental insurance for an individual, a group plan for a small start up, or a partially self-funded multi-state corporate group plan, our agency is prepared to assist you. We can help you evaluate your needs, survey the marketplace, prepare side by side plan and price comparisons for your review, and then help you implement the plan(s) that you determine best meet your objectives.
You need life insurance if anyone depends on your lost income. It solves many problems in both personal and business situations.
If you are a young parent, you may need life insurance on your own life to enable a surviving spouse to raise the children. When you are older, you may need life insurance if you are financially responsible for an aging parent or want to provide funds to take care of final expenses, debts or taxes.
A rough rule of thumb suggests buying protection equivalent to FIVE TO EIGHT TIMES YOUR ANNUAL INCOME. Your needs may vary according to your financial assets and liabilities.
Life insurance can solve your heirs’ immediate and long-term needs.
- Immediate needs would include: funeral expenses, unpaid medical bills, debt and taxes, as well as the time to readjust to a new life-style.
- Long-term it will help provide: for the maintenance and care of a disabled child or elderly parent, college expenses and, in general, providing the means to your heirs to live the life to which they are accustomed.
Life insurance is often the solution to:
- Replace a key person and provide the funds to cover the costs of locating and training a replacement.
- To fund Buy/Sell agreements.
- To provide collateral for business loans, etc.
There are two types of Life Insurance | Term and Permanent
It provides protection for a specified period of time, typically from one to 30 years. It pays a death benefit only if you die during this term. Some policies can be automatically renewed at the end of the coverage period, and some can be converted to permanent insurance without need for a medical exam.
- Advantages of term policies include:More insurance for less money because premiums are lower than those for permanent insurance, and you can afford to buy more coverage when you need it the most.Specified periods of coverage make term insurance ideal for covering specific short-term financial needs such as a college education or a mortgage loan.
- Disadvantages of term policies include:Premiums increase at each policy renewal date, becoming very expensive later in life.There is no savings feature (cash value), only a death benefit if you die while the policy is in force.
You could outlive your coverage, because term insurance is generally not renewable after age 70 or 75. State laws vary on this issue, so you should check with your state department of insurance.
- Permanent InsuranceIt provides lifelong protection as long as you continue to pay premiums. The premiums are based on your age at the time of purchase and generally remain level; they do not increase with age.Because premiums remain level, permanent insurance is more expensive than term insurance. But permanent insurance accumulates cash value, which may be refundable upon surrender of the policy. While the policy is in force, cash values can be borrowed against or used to pay premiums.
- There are four basic types of permanent Insurance:
- Whole Life (sometimes also called life or ordinary life) has a fixed guaranteed instant rate and develops guaranteed cash values.
- Universal Life has more flexibility. Within certain limits, you can change the death benefit, the amount of premium and payment frequency. Unlike Whole Life, this is an “interest driven” policy, which normally pays a minimum guaranteed interest of 4% to 4.5%. If the interest rates are continuously low, additional premiums may have to be paid to avoid a lapse of coverage.
- Variable Life has death benefits and cash values that vary with the performance of an underlying portfolio of investments that you select. The death benefit and cash value are not guaranteed. They can go down as well as up, although there may be a guaranteed minimum death benefit.
- Variable Universal combines the premium and death benefit flexibility of universal life with the investment flexibility and risk of variable life.
- Key things you should know about life insurance:
- Life insurance proceeds are generally income tax free.
- The proceeds of many permanent life insurance policies can be used to ease the financial burden of catastrophic illness, terminal illness or long-term care. These “accelerated benefits” may be offered as part of the basic policy or as a rider to an existing policy.
- As the holder of a permanent life insurance policy, you may borrow up to the cash value at an interest rate (fixed or adjustable) stated in the policy. Any unpaid interest is added to the loan. Any unpaid loan, including interest, will be deducted from the death benefit.
- The cash value can be used to pay premiums for a period of time, keeping the stated death benefit, or it can be used to purchase paid-up insurance in a lesser amount with no further premiums due.
- In addition to naming a specific beneficiary to receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy (permanent or term), you should name a secondary or “contingent” beneficiary just in case you outlive the first beneficiary. If there is no living beneficiary, the proceeds will be paid to your estate and have to go through probate proceedings, resulting in a possible delay before your family receives the money. If the proceeds go into the estate, these proceeds may be subject to estate taxes.
- On all of the above policies, riders are available at an additional cost to cover: disability waiver of premium, double indemnity for accidental death, guaranteed purchase options, as well as spouse and child riders.
For more information on life insurance, you can access the Life and Health Foundation for Education or the American Council of Life Insurance.
Source: Insurance Information Institute
Long Term Disability
When faced with an employee who’s been disabled, uninsured employers have few options. Do you continue to pay all or part of a salary? Offer unpaid leave? Terminate employment? For an employer and employee, the choices can be devastating. An insured Long Term Disability plan will replace up to 66 2/3% of an employee’s income up to the age of 67 in a situation where catastrophic illness or injury exists. A managed LTD plan allows an employer to outsource the difficult decisions surrounding a disabled employee to disability experts. Along with income protection, most disability plans offer rehabilitation and return-to-work services that are essential to the recovery of disabled employees. The goal of Long Term Disability insurance is to financially protect and proactively return disabled employees to a productive life.
How many people really use their LTD plan?
There is a 1 in 5 risk that a 35 year old will be disabled for 90 days or more before age 65. You are more likely to become disabled than to die during your working years.
How much will LTD cost the company?
The general rule is that a fully insured LTD plan will cost a company about one half of one percent of the company’s monthly payroll.
Will an LTD plan pay a disabled employee who returns to work on a part-time basis?
Yes, most LTD plans will pay an employee who is limited from performing all of their job functions, and has suffered a 20% or more loss of income as a result.
What are the most common income replacement percentages?
Most companies implement a plan that replaces 60% or 66 2/3% of an employee’s income in the event of a disability. The highest percentage available is 66 2/3%.
Our agency is very active in the group and individual medical insurance marketplace. Whether you are investigating medical insurance for an individual, a group plan for a small start up, or a partially self-funded multi-state corporate group plan, our agency is capable and prepared to assist you. We can help you evaluate your needs, survey the marketplace, prepare side by side plan and price comparisons for your review, and then help you implement the plan(s) that you determine best meet your objectives.