DEFINITION of 'Golden Coffin'

A lucrative death-benefit policy given to top executives. A golden coffin is a death-benefit package awarded to the heirs of high ranking executives who die while still employed with a company. Benefits awarded can include unearned salary, accelerated stock options and insurance proceeds.

BREAKING DOWN 'Golden Coffin'

Golden coffins have come under fire as an inappropriate and uneccesary faction of executive compensation. Proponents of golden coffins however claim that such death benefit packages are rarely paid out and act as inexpensive way to keep top executives and discourage unwanted takeover attempts.

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