Annuities

News & Analysis as of

RMD Rules for Longevity Annuities Finalized

Longevity annuities are contracts that provide life annuity payments typically commencing at age 80 or 85; in many (but not all) cases, that is the only benefit the contract provides. As such, these contracts may offer...more

Idaho Unclaimed Property Rule: Insurers Must Confirm Whether Insureds Have Died

In a recently issued notice of rulemaking, the Idaho State Treasurer’s Office has proposed a temporary rule that, if permanently adopted, would alter two key definitional provisions in the state’s unclaimed property laws...more

Variable Annuities Still In The Crosshairs

For the first time in several years, variable annuities are not listed as a priority in FINRA’s annual letter of regulatory and examination priorities. The omission from the January 2, 2014, letter may be partly due to the...more

Case Closed: No More Neasham

As reported in previous Expect Focus issues, People v. Neasham involved an insurance agent’s criminal conviction for felony theft in connection with the sale of an annuity to an elderly woman whom prosecutors claimed had...more

De-Risking Your Retiree Pensions? Verizon Court Affirms Plan Sponsor Rights to Shed Obligations

Plan sponsors interested in removing pension liabilities from their balance sheets have been waiting with interest to see the end result of the challenge by Verizon retirees to Verizon’s deal with Prudential annuitizing...more

The NAIC Considers Whether A New Framework Should Apply To Innovative Annuity Products

The Life Actuarial Task Force's Index-Linked Variable Annuities (A) Subgroup (the "ILVA Subgroup") began a fresh look at the regulatory framework for annuity products. On February 6, it held a call to review its January 15,...more

FIO Focus, Issue No. 45: The Modernization Report: Federal Action May be Warranted

Devoted to exploring the progress of the modernization of the insurance industry, FIO Focus provides information and insights about the organizations and issues that are driving change and influencing the future of the...more

Wealth Management Update - December 2013

The December § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and GRATs is 2.0%, which is unchanged from last month. The December applicable federal rate ("AFR") for use with a sale to a defective...more

‘Tis the Season – For Year-End Charitable Giving

Most people make the bulk of their charitable contributions during the year-end holiday season. This post summarizes some of the charitable giving ideas and opportunities, as well as some planning reminders, that donors may...more

Sale For Annuity Results In §2036 Inclusion

In a recent Tax Court case, a decedent had sold properties to trusts in exchange for fixed annuity payments. The decedent died during the term of the annuities, and the IRS sought to include the value of the transferred...more

Using an Annuity to Keep the Spouse of a Medicaid Applicant from Becoming Impoverished

When one spouse qualifies for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home stay, the spouse who is at home is often left without many resources. While Medicaid has rules to prevent community spouses from impoverishment, the protections...more

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Holds Structured Settlement Annuity Is Transfer for Less Than Fair Market Value Under the Deficit...

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in the matter of Sams v. Department of Public Welfare may significantly affect the structured settlement industry, and the settlement of lawsuits on behalf of certain...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Debate Pensions for Firefighters' Spouses

Our previews of the oral arguments on the Illinois Supreme Court’s September docket begin with Hooker v. Retirement Fund of the Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, which is set for argument this morning, September...more

Law and Disorder: Rethinking Retirement Planning for Plaintiff's Lawyers - The Best of Qualified and Non-qualified Planning...

Overview - We have all heard our share of lawyer jokes. From War of the Roses - "What do you call a bunch of attorneys at the bottom of the ocean"? Answer - A good start! Everybody hates lawyers except their own and...more

Seeing the Forest through the Trees -- A New Method for Structuring Investment by Foreign Investors in U.S. Timber and...

Overview - Large institutional investors including pension plans and endowments and foundations have made significant investments in timberland over the last forty years. These same investors have also made significant...more

Verizon De-Risking Challenge Dismissed – Maybe Not Ended

U.S. defined benefit plan sponsors have been eager to explore de-risking options to control asset volatility and remove pension liabilities from their balance sheets. A report jointly issued on June 25 by the consulting firm...more

State, national and international insurance regulatory activity reflects steps toward more regulation and heightened scrutiny

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of insurance regulatory activity at the federal, state and international level. Individually these developments are noteworthy; taken together, they evidence the depth and breadth of...more

Pension Plan De-Risking (Part II) – A Closer Look at DB Plan De-Risking Options

There is a broad spectrum of pension de-risking options available to defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors and administrators. In this post (the second of a two-part series) I consider these options and some of the related legal...more

A Whiter Shade of Pale -- Building a Private Label Investment Program with Private Placement Life Insurance and Annuities

Overview - Poor John Paulsen! Now that's an oxymoron! He has to be the most radioactive man on the Planet when it comes to tax planning. Everything he touches in business seems to be couched in subversive tax planning...more

De-Risking On Trial? U.S. Verizon Litigation Still Active

In our March 13 webinar on de-risking defined benefit pension plans, I stated that the U.S. litigation launched by a group of Verizon retirees challenging the annuitization of their pensions was not dead, even though a...more

Structured Settlement Planning for Trial Attorneys: The Benefits of Using Qualified Settlement Funds and Private Placement...

Overview - Trial attorneys are extremely vulnerable to a tax landscape that is becoming hostile territory. The result of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013 (ATRA) is that earned income is taxed at substantially...more

NY Revising Policy Form Filing Process: Random Forms Filed under Certification Procedure to Be Subject to Prior Review

In 2004, the New York Department of Financial Services (Department) issued Circular Letter No. 6 (CL 6), instituting a streamlined certification procedure process to improve “speed to market” for life insurance and annuity...more

Tax Kung Fu – Tax Structuring for Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate

Overview - Unless you have been traveling the galaxies for the last twenty years, you haven’t missed the “Chinese Miracle”. Its enormous impact is felt globally. When you see the skyline of Shanghai, the new meaning of...more

IRS (Finally) Releases Updated Voluntary Correction Procedures, Including 403(b) Corrections

On December 31, 2012 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2013-12 which replaces existing Revenue Procedure 2008-50, the procedure for voluntary correction of qualified retirement plan errors. The...more

Income Tax Reduction and Deferral Strategies for Trial Attorney Contingency Fee Income: Part 1—Structured Settlement Annuities...

Originally published in ABA Section of Taxation NewsQuarterly in the Summer of 2012. Overview - Structured settlement annuities (SSA) have been recognized by federal law since 1983. The original use of these...more

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