On September 16, 2021, Sand Hill CIO Brenda Vingiello, CFA joined the CNBC Halftime Report panel once again and discussed what positive catalysts investors canread more
Long-Term Disability Insurance: Don’t Overlook This Employee Benefit
Fall is in the air and the season of pumpkin spiced coffee drinks, professional football and holiday planning is upon us. This is also the return of another far less exciting annual event: open enrollment for group benefits coverage! If you’re like me, you dutifully complete your benefits elections to ensure your coverage is appropriate when the new year starts. And, if you’re like me, you’ve also always wondered whether it makes sense to continue opting in for certain benefits you may possibly never need. One such benefit is Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance.
What is Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Long-Term Disability provides protection against lost earnings during extended periods of disability. Benefits are generally capped at 60% or 70% of gross monthly earnings and policies include an elimination period ranging from 30 days to two years (the average is 90 days). You would first have to be unable to work for that initial period of time before any benefits kick in. The longer the elimination period, the cheaper the policy cost. The length of the benefit period for LTD policies can range from two years to even longer. Finally, LTD policies differ from Short-Term Disability policies, which generally have shorter elimination periods, provide coverage up to 80% of gross income, and benefits usually only last 3-6 months.
Who Should Pay the Premiums – Employee or Employer?
Whether the employee or the employer pays the premiums of a LTD policy makes an enormous impact on the tax treatment of any benefits received. Therefore, it is incredibly important to understand the implications of allowing an employer to cover this cost. While receiving LTD benefits, 60% or 70% of gross monthly income should be sufficient if those funds are free of federal taxes (you would still be subject to state income tax on any monies received). If, instead, the benefit is fully taxable, then the net after-tax value of the monthly benefit likely becomes insufficient to cover your regular living expenses. The good news is that as long as you, the employee, pays for the LTD premiums out of pocket, with after-tax dollars, then any benefit received is free of federal taxes. Just remember, if your employer automatically covers the cost as a tax-free fringe benefit, then any benefits received are fully taxable to you.
Long-Term Disability is often overlooked during the benefits enrollment period, but it is worth taking an extra few minutes to review the benefit details. Protect yourself and your loved ones against a loss of income due to disability by enrolling in LTD coverage, and be sure to pay for the premiums out of your paycheck with after-tax dollars. If that is not an option, you may want to look into Supplemental LTD coverage to fill the income gap that could arise from employer-sponsored group coverage. Talk with your Sand Hill Wealth Manager if you have questions about LTD or think you may need Supplemental LTD coverage, especially if your employer does not offer LTD as a benefit. Then sleep peacefully at night knowing you’ve taken further steps to protect those you care for.
Articles and Commentary
Information provided in written articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. There is a risk of loss from investments in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. The information contained herein reflects Sand Hill Global Advisors' (“SHGA”) views as of the date of publication. Such views are subject to change at any time without notice due to changes in market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. SHGA does not provide tax or legal advice. To the extent that any material herein concerns tax or legal matters, such information is not intended to be solely relied upon nor used for the purpose of making tax and/or legal decisions without first seeking independent advice from a tax and/or legal professional. SHGA has obtained the information provided herein from various third party sources believed to be reliable but such information is not guaranteed. Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom SHGA has no control. SHGA makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web Sites. Any forward looking statements or forecasts are based on assumptions and actual results are expected to vary from any such statements or forecasts. No reliance should be placed on any such statements or forecasts when making any investment decision. SHGA is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken as a result of information provided in this presentation and does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information. No part of this material may be (i) copied, photocopied, or duplicated in any form, by any means, or (ii) redistributed without the prior written consent of SHGA.
All video presentations discuss certain investment products and/or securities and are being provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered, and is not, investment, financial planning, tax or legal advice; nor is it a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Investing in securities involves varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be profitable or suitable for a particular client’s financial situation or risk tolerance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Individual performance results will vary. The opinions expressed in the video reflect Sand Hill Global Advisor’s (“SHGA”) or Brenda Vingiello’s (as applicable) views as of the date of the video. Such views are subject to change at any point without notice. Any comments, opinions, or recommendations made by any host or other guest not affiliated with SHGA in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of SHGA, and non-SHGA persons appearing in this video do not fall under the supervisory purview of SHGA. You should not treat any opinion expressed by SHGA or Ms. Vingiello as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of general opinion. Nothing presented herein is or is intended to constitute investment advice, and no investment decision should be made based solely on any information provided on this video. There is a risk of loss from an investment in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. Neither SHGA nor Ms. Vingiello guarantees any specific outcome or profit. Any forward-looking statements or forecasts contained in the video are based on assumptions and actual results may vary from any such statements or forecasts. SHGA or one of its employees may have a position in the securities discussed and may purchase or sell such securities from time to time. Some of the information in this video has been obtained from third party sources. While SHGA believes such third-party information is reliable, SHGA does not guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or completeness. SHGA encourages you to consult with a professional financial advisor prior to making any investment decision.