Summary

Business owners regularly face complex retirement planning and insurance needs. It is not uncommon for business owners to have a large amount of their wealth tied up in their corporation.  This can create a complex need for both insurance coverage to protect that wealth and the flexibility to use that wealth.  The Corporate Retirement Strategy was developed to address both of those needs.  This strategy can provide insurance protection and a flexible income stream in the future. 

Below are the basics of how this particular strategy can work for a business.

What You Need to Know

The Corporate Retirement Strategy has two key components.

The first of which is a permanent life insurance policy.

The idea is that the corporation will purchase a permanent life insurance policy on the business owner to provide them with the insurance coverage needed to protect the company assets.  On top of the monthly insurance premium, the business would direct any surplus earnings into the permanent life insurance policy. These surplus funds would build up significant amounts of tax-advantaged cash value within the policy. This policy serves a dual purpose.  The insurance provides much needed protection for the company all the while accumulating funds that could be used by the business owner in the future. 

The second component to this strategy is utilizing the funds that the insurance policy has accumulated. 

The corporation may be able to pledge the policy as collateral in exchange for a tax-free loan from a lending institution.  The corporation could then use these loaned funds to supplement a shareholder’s retirement and the loan would be repaid by the life insurance policy when the insured dies.  On death, a portion or all of the life insurance proceeds are used to pay off your loan. Even though the benefit was used to pay off the loan, the corporation may still post the death benefit amount to its Capital Dividend Account.

This strategy may be good for any shareholder or key person of a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation who has a successful business with either excess income or a large corporate surplus.  With proper planning this strategy can help reduce taxes, supplement retirement, and provide insurance protection fort the company. 

The Bottom Line

While this strategy may work for some business owners, it is not the right fit for every corporation.  It is important that the strategy is executed carefully to be successful and fulfill its intended purpose.  It may be prudent to work with a tax professional, your insurance advisor, financial planner, and the lending institution to ensure that your corporation will benefit from the Corporate Retirement Strategy.


Insurance products and services are provided through Davison & Orser Financial Advisors. This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see a professional advisor for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances.