Employers own life insurance policies on the lives of their employees for various reasons. Often it is to informally fund a non-qualified benefit plan for key employees. Other times it is used to facilitate the transfer of the business at the unexpected death of a key person, another owner, or a shareholder.
Although new rules for employer-owned life insurance policies (EOLI) went into affect over a decade ago, many financial professionals are unfamiliar with them. The rules have been included as part of the provisions of IRC §101(j) and apply to all policies issued after August 17, 2006. If they are not complied with, the life insurance proceeds at death will be subject to income taxes.