A cash value life insurance propelled Michigan Wolverines Coach Jim Harbaugh into the big money leagues, making him the highest-paid college football coach in 2017. While this compensation strategy was designed to ensure Harbaugh will receive millions of tax-free cash during retirement, it can be just as effective when structuring packages on a much smaller scale. Is it time to get more creative with your compensation plans?
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Score a touchdown with a smart split-dollar plan

Even the best compensation plan has room for improvement, as demonstrated by the split-dollar insurance agreement that cemented the deal between Harbaugh and the University of Michigan. This split-dollar insurance program has multiple benefits, but primarily it enhances retention in a tax-efficient manner. Harbaugh’s contract and this amendment expire in December 2021.

However, a clause allows both parties to renegotiate to make sure Harbaugh’s salary is aligned with today’s market value. This article describes how Michigan kept its team intact. Read on to discover how an insurance-based strategy can help you retain top performers.

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Dan Murphy, ESPN Staff Writer

Dan Murphy, ESPN Staff Writer. ESPN senior writer Darren Rovell contributed to this report.

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