Capital Accumulation Plans

Capital Accumulation Plans: Advantages and Definitions

Capital accumulation plans are a popular investment option for businesses and their employees. Most commonly offered by companies as an additional employee benefit, these versatile plans allow employees to avoid initial tax liability while saving for retirement, a new home, or educational goals. Employers also utilize capital accumulation methods in order to provide profit sharing options for senior staff members. Because these investments are made pre-tax, they provide significant tax benefits for highly-paid employees, allowing a portion of income to remain tax-deferred until payout.

Capital accumulation definition

One capital accumulation definition refers to the reinvestment of profits and dividends into a company’s ongoing projects. Capital accumulation theory posits that companies that reinvest in this manner promote their future corporate health, ensuring larger dividends for shareholders in the future. By deferring profits at the present time, capital accumulation allows companies to reap larger rewards at a future date.

For investment purposes, the accepted capital accumulation definition refers to a tax-deferred investment or savings method that includes more than one option for its participants. It is similar to the previous definition in that it defers payout, in this case of salary, to ensure a larger benefit in the future. Defined-contribution pension plans, group retirement savings plans, and education savings plans all fall under the loose umbrella heading of capital accumulation plans. These investment options are generally offered by employers, trade organizations, or professional associations as a benefit for their employees or members. The ability of members to select between investment options is a defining characteristic of capital accumulation plans.

Capital accumulation provision

Some companies offer a capital accumulation provision to their employees; essentially, this provides an employer-funded supplement to the existing capital accumulation plan. Usually intended as an additional retirement benefit, the amount paid is often a percentage of the employee’s overall salary. Profit sharing and stock compensations may comprise part or all of the employer’s contributions to the capital accumulation provision. Most companies restrict the sale, trade, or transfer of this stock compensation for a set term, and termination of employment before full vesting may cause the employee to relinquish his or her right to a portion of stock compensation or options.

Most common types of capital accumulation plans

While a wide variety of capital accumulation plans are available, the most common types are defined-contribution pension plans, group retirement savings plans, and education savings accounts.
  • Defined-contribution pension plans provide an individual account for each participant; funds are invested and gains or losses are posted to the individual account as they are accrued. Risks are assumed by the individual employee, rather than the employer or sponsor. These are the most common capital accumulation plans in the private sector.
  • Group retirement savings plans are similar to defined-contribution plans, but offer attractive group rates. Typically, individuals have more control over their own investments and more flexibility in how and when to withdraw their funds than with other types of capital accumulation plans.
  • As the name suggests, education savings plans are intended for educational expenses; typically, these plans pay for university education for the participant’s children, though the funds can also be used for personal education needs.
For employers, these plans represent an effective means of recruitment, allowing additional compensation for highly-skilled employees without subjecting them to onerous tax burdens. For employees, these plans offer flexible tax-deferred investments that can be used for educational expenses, retirement, or a number of other qualifying events. Greater control over investments and withdrawals make these versatile plans attractive for employers and employees alike.
Tim Ord
Ord Oracle

Tim Ord is a technical analyst and expert in the theories of chart analysis using price, volume, and a host of proprietary indicators as a guide...
Day Trading Simulator provides the ability to simulate day trading 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. TradingSim provides tick by tick data for...

Send this article to a friend.

Enter multiple addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.