Saturday, October 03, 2009

Dead Peasant's Policy

I saw Michael Moore's new movie last night and the movie interviewed two surviving families of spouses who worked for companies that took out Dead Peasant's Policies on them. Moreover, none of these funds were ever shared with the surviving spouses. One deceased spouse had worked for Amegy Bank, the other for Wal Mart.

What is a Dead Peasant's Policy?

Attorney Mike Myers lists the following definition on his website

Dead Peasant Insurance is sometimes used as a shorthand reference for life insurance policies that insure a company’s rank-and-file employees and name the company as the beneficiary. This means that the company receives the life insurance benefits when the covered employees die. This insurance may also be called “janitor insurance,”…

Attorney Myers also explains how the Dead Peasant's term came to be:

Winn Dixie Stores bought life insurance policies on approximately 36,000 of its employees, without their knowledge or consent, and named itself as the policies’ beneficiary. The insurance brokerage firm that placed the policies prepared two memos describing the deceased employees as “Dead Peasants.” These memos were part of the court’s record in a lawsuit in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that Winn-Dixie’s policies were a sham transaction for federal income tax purposes. The memos were later used by reporters such as Ellen Schultz and Theo Francis of the Wall Street Journal and L.M. Sixel of the Houston Chronicle and incorporated into articles about this type of insurance.

This practice was not only used by a few wayward companies. Myers also lists other companies known to engage in this practice, but disclosure has not always been required, so there may be many other companies as well:

ADAC Laboratories
Advanced Telecommunication Corp.
Aeroquip Vickers Inc.
Alabama Power Co.
Alfa Corp.
Allegheny Technologies Inc.
Allergan Inc.
Allfirst Financial Inc.
Amegy Bank, N.A.
American Business Products, Inc.
American Electric Power
American Express Co.
American Greetings Corp.
American Management Systems Inc.
American Seafoods Group LLC
Ameritech Corp.
Amerus Group Co.
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
Appalachian Power Co.
Arch Chemical
Aristech Chemical Corp.
AT&T Communications
Atlantic Richfield Co.
Avery Dennison Corp
Avon Products Inc.
B. F. Goodrich Company
Ball Corporation
Bank Boston
Bank Of America
Bank One Corp.
Barnett Banks Inc.
Bassett Furniture Industries Inc.
Be Aerospace Inc.
Bear Stearns Companies
Bellsouth Corporation
Boise Cascade Corp.
Boston Company
Boston Federal
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Camelot Music, Inc.
Carolina Power & Light Co.
Carpenter Technology Corp.
Catskill Financial Corp.
Central Power & Light Co.
Ch2m Hill Companies Ltd.
Charming Shoppes, Inc.
Checkfree Corp.
Chemical Banking Corporation
Citibank, N.A.
Citizens Bank
Clark Inc.
Clorox Company
CNF Inc.
Coca-Cola Company
Columbus Southern Power Co.
Commercial Intertech Corp.
Compass Bank (Florida & Alabama)
Computer Technology Associates Inc.
Consolidated Natural Gas Co.
Consolidated Rail Corporation
Cox Enterprises, Inc.
CTA Inc.
Cymer Inc.
Diamond Shamrock Inc.
Diebold Inc.
Dime Bancorp Inc.
Dow Chemical
Earle M. Jorgensen Co.
Eastman Kodak Company
Eaton Corp.
ECC Capital Corp.
Enserch Corp.
F&M Bancorp
FiberMark Inc.
Figgie International Inc.
Fina Oil & Chemical Company
First Bank System Inc.
First Commonwealth
First Midwest Bancorp Inc.
Fleet Bank
FleetBoston Financial Corp.
Flightsafety International Inc.
Frontier Bank
Fulton Financial Corp.
GATX Corporation
Georgia Power Co.
GNC Corp.
Great Plains Energy Inc.
GTE Corporation
Gulf Power Co.
HCR Manor Care Inc
Hechinger Company
Heritage Commerce Corp.
Herman Miller Inc.
Hershey Foods Corporation
Hillenbrand Industries, Inc.
Hosiery Corporation of America
Houghton Mifflin
Household Finance
Hovnanian Enterprises Inc.
Hughes Supply Inc
ICI Americas, Inc.
Idaho Power Company
IKON Office Solutions Inc.
Indiana Michigan Power Co.
Integra Bank Corp.
Intermark Inc.
Iowa First Bancshares Corp.
Iroquois Bancorp Inc.
J Jill Group Inc.
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Kansas City Power & Light
Kansas Gas & Electric Co.
Keithley Instruments Inc.
Kentucky Power Co.
Keycorp Ohio
Kimberly Clark
Korn Ferry International
Laser Master Int’l. Inc.
Linens N Things Inc.
LKQ Corp.
Louisiana Pacific Corp.
Manor Care Inc.
Marriott International Inc.
McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Media General Inc.
Medicalcontrol Inc.
Menasha Corporation
MidAmerican Energy Co.
Miix Group Inc.
Mississippi Power Co.
MNC Financial Inc.
Mueller Industries Inc.
National City Corporation
Nestle Enterprises
Norfolk Southern Corp.
Norfolk Southern Railway Co.
Northern States Power Co.
Ohio Power Co.
Old National
Olin Corporation
Owens & Minor Inc.
Panera Bread Co.
Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company
Parker Hannifin Corp.
Penn Treaty American Corp.
Penns Woods Bancorp Inc.
Phibro Animal Health Corp.
Philipp Brothers Chemicals Inc.
Phoenix Companies Inc.
Pinnacle Financial Services Inc.
Portland General Electric
Potlatch Corporation
PPG Industries
Procter & Gamble Company
PSS World Medical Inc.
Public Service Co. of New Mexico
Public Service Co. of Oklahoma
Public Service Enterprise Group
Questech Inc.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company
Ruddick Corp.
Ryder System Inc.
Sallie Mae (Stud Ln Mktg Assoc.)
Savannah Electric & Power Co.
Sequa Corp.
Service Merchandise Co., Inc.
Shearson Mortgage
Sky Chefs
Smart & Final Inc.
Smith Barney
Sonoco Products Co.
Southwest Bank
Southwest Water Co.
Southwestern Bell Corp.
Southwestern Electric Power Co.
Southwestern Public Service Co.
Star Banc Corp.
Stauffer Management Company
Steelcase Inc.
Sturgis Bancorp Inc.
Summit Bank of N.J.
Swank, Inc.
Tellabs Inc.
Tenet Healthcare Corp.
Texas Eastern Transmission Corp.
Tompkins Trustco Inc.
TXU Corp.
TYCO International
UniFirst Corp.
Union Bank
United National Bancorp
Urocor Inc.
Vineyard National Bancorp
W. R. Grace & Company
Wachovia Corporation
Walgreen Company
Wal-Mart Stores
Walt Disney
Wang’s International, Inc.
Wells Fargo, N.A.
West Coast Bancorp
West Texas Utilities Co.
Westar Energy Inc.
Western Aire Chef Inc
Western Resources, Inc.
Westpoint Pepperell
Winn Dixie
Winnebago Industries Inc.
Woolworth Corporation
Xcel Energy Inc.
York Water Co.
Zale Corp.


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