Keyman insurance can be defined as an insurance policy where the proposer as well as the premium payer is the employer, the life to be insured is that of the employee and the benefit, in case of a claim, goes to the employer. The `keyman’ here would be any person employed by a company having a special skill set or substantial responsibilities and who contributes significantly to the profits of that organization.
Anybody with specialized skills, whose loss can cause a financial strain to the company are eligible for Keyman Insurance. For example, they could be:
1. Directors of a Company
2. Key Sales People
3. Key Project Managers
4. People with Specific Skills
1. In case of death of a keyman the company gets money to cope up with the loss
2. any company buying keyman insurance for its employee can claim a deduction for the premium paid for the policy as a business expense under Section 37(1) of the Income Tax Act.
3. No advance intimation/approval is necessary from the Income Tax authorities to claim deduction of insurance premium payment.
4. This policy can be used as either an extra superannuation benefit or an ex-gratia payment to the key employee during the service period. If the company receives the proceeds on maturity, then they are taxable.
5. The company can also raise loans on the policy from LIC at 12 per cent per annum.
6. The fact that the employee/director’s life is insured for a large sum that will be paid by LIC to his family if he dies, it is bound to ensure loyalty and avoids employee turnover.
7. For the executives earning high salaries, this policy can be given as a hike in salary and save on the tax outgo.
8. At the same time, it also helps the company in its tax planning.
9. The directors can also safeguard their immediate family from getting affected by the vagaries of the industry and the various business cycles that a company has to face.
10. Insulate the risk of financial loss against loss of a Keyman.
11. Interest on loans taken against a keyman insurance policy may also be allowed as business expenses.
12. Premiums paid by the company on the life of a keyman would not be treated as perquisites in the hands of such a keyman when the company’s request is accepted by the assessing authority.
13. Keyman Insurance policy is a positive measure to improve the retention of the keyman in the company.
1. The amount on claim or maturity under a keyman insurance policy is not exempt under Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act if the company is paying the premiums. However, in case the policy has been assigned to the keyman and the keyman is paying the premiums, then the claim/maturity proceeds are exempt under Section 10 (10D).
2. If the policy, after attaining surrender value, is endorsed to the employee, then the surrender value/maturity value is chargeable to tax under Section 17 of the Income Tax Act. This is because it is treated as `profit in lieu of salary’ in the hands of the employee.
The policy is beneficial from the keyman’s point of view. This is in case the company decides to endorse the policy to the keyman. This can be done only after a surrender value has been attained, which usually takes 2-3 years (depending on the insurer). In doing so, the keyman benefits, by having an insurance policy in his name the initial premiums of which, have already been paid by his company. And although he might have to pay tax on surrender value, if endorsed in the early years when the surrender value is low, the tax liability of the keyman is reduced to a great extent after accounting for the premiums paid by his company.
The insurance worth of a keyman is the lower of:
Republished with Amendments