Group term life insurance is a life insurance policy that covers a group of people and is often offered as part of an employee benefits package. The amount of coverage provided by the employer may be a multiple of the employee’s annual salary. If needed, the employee can also buy additional coverage at their own expense. It’s essential to note that this type of life insurance is term life insurance, which means that the coverage remains in place as long as the employee is working for that employer or up to a specified term set by the policy.
Group term life insurance is tax-free for the employee up to a certain amount. If employer-provided coverage is greater than $50,000, the excess amount is considered a non-cash fringe benefit, and the premiums for that extra coverage become taxable income for the employee. The premiums on coverage for spouses or dependents over $2,000 could also be treated as taxable income for the employee.
|Group Term Life Insurance||Details|
|Taxation||Tax-free for the employee up to a certain amount|
|Benefit||Part of the employee benefits package|
|Coverage||Remains in place as long as the employee is working for that employer or up to a specified term set by the policy|
|Conversion||Option to convert to an individual term life policy if the employee decides to leave the job|
When you receive a W-2 form from your employer, it will report the total cost of any group insurance you received that was in excess of $50,000 and thus taxable. The IRS has a table that employers can use to determine the cost of excess coverage, based on the worker’s age. If the employee needs more insurance than the employer coverage, adding to their employer coverage may mean paying some tax, but it could still be a relatively inexpensive way to get the insurance needed.
Group term life insurance can be used as part of an employee benefits package to attract and retain talent. Some companies allow employees to opt-out of group term life insurance, while others do not. Because it is offered as a no-cost benefit to the employee, it may not make sense to opt-out of the insurance.
Overall, group term life insurance on paycheck provides an essential benefit to employees. It’s an inexpensive way for the employee to get the insurance needed while providing peace of mind for themselves and their beneficiaries.
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