26 CFR 1.72-16 - Life insurance contracts purchased under qualified employee plans.

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§ 1.72-16 Life insurance contracts purchased under qualified employee plans.
(a) Applicability of section. This section provides rules for the tax treatment of premiums paid under qualified pension, annuity, or profit-sharing plans for the purchase of life insurance contracts and rules for the tax treatment of the proceeds of such a life insurance contract and of annuity contracts purchased under such plans. For purposes of this section, the term “life insurance contract” means a retirement income, an endowment, or other contract providing life insurance protection. The rules of this section apply to plans covering only common-law employees as well as to plans covering self-employed individuals.
(b) Treatment of cost of life insurance protection.
(1) The rules of this paragraph are applicable to any life insurance contract—
(i) Purchased as a part of a plan described in section 403(a), or
(ii) Purchased by a trust described in section 401(a) which is exempt from tax under section 501(a) if the proceeds of such contract are payable directly or indirectly to a participant in such trust or to a beneficiary of such participant.
The proceeds of a contract described in subdivision (ii) of this subparagraph will be considered payable indirectly to a participant or beneficiary of such participant where they are payable to the trustee but under the terms of the plan the trustee is required to pay over all of such proceeds to the beneficiary.
(2) If under a plan or trust described in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, amounts which were allowed as a deduction under section 404, or earnings of the trust, are applied toward the purchase of a life insurance contract described in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, the cost of the life insurance protection under such contract shall be included in the gross income of the participant for the taxable year or years in which such contributions or earnings are so applied.
(3) If the amount payable upon death at any time during the year exceeds the cash value of the insurance policy at the end of the year, the entire amount of such excess is considered current life insurance protection. The cost of such insurance will be considered to be a reasonable net premium cost, as determined by the Commissioner, for such amount of insurance for the appropriate period.
(4) The amount includible in the gross income of the employee under this paragraph shall be considered as premiums or other consideration paid or contributed by the employee only with respect to any benefits attributable to the contract (within the meaning of paragraph (a)(3) of § 1.72-2) providing the life insurance protection. However, if under the rules of this paragraph an owner-employee is required to include any amounts in his gross income, such amounts shall not in any case be treated as part of his investment in the contract.
(5) The determination of the cost of life insurance protection may be illustrated by the following example:
Example.
An annual premium policy purchased by a qualified trust for a common-law employee provides an annuity of $100 per month upon retirement at age 65, with a minimum death benefit of $10,000. The insurance payable if death occurred in the first year would be $10,000. The cash value at the end of the first year is 0. The net insurance is therefore $10,000 minus 0, or $10,000. Assuming that the Commissioner has determined that a reasonable net premium cost for the employee's age is $5.85 per $1,000, the premium for $10,000 of life insurance is therefore $58.50, and this is the amount to be reported as income by the employee for his taxable year in which the premium is paid. The balance of the premium is the amount contributed for the annuity, which is not taxable to the employee under a plan meeting the requirements of section 401(a), except as provided under section 402(a). Assuming that the cash value at the end of the second year is $500, the net insurance would then be $9,500 for the second year. With a net 1-year term rate of $6.30 for the employee's age in the second year, the amount to be reported as income to the employee would be $59.85.
(6) This paragraph shall not apply if the trust has a right under any circumstances to retain any part of the proceeds of the life insurance contract. But see paragraph (c)(4) of this section relating to the taxability of the distribution of such proceeds to a beneficiary.
(c) Treatment of proceeds of life insurance and annuity contracts.
(1) If under a qualified pension, annuity, or profit-sharing plan, there is purchased either—
(i) A life insurance contract described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and the employee either paid the cost of the insurance or was taxable on the cost of the insurance under paragraph (b) of this section, or
(ii) An annuity contract,
the amounts payable under any such contract by reason of the death of the employee are taxable under the rules of subparagraph (2) of this paragraph, except in the case of a joint and survivor annuity.
(2)
(i) In the case of an annuity contract, the death benefit is the accumulation of the premiums (plus earnings thereon) which is intended to fund pension or other deferred benefits under a pension, annuity, or profit-sharing plan. Such death benefits are not in the nature of life insurance and are not excludable from gross income under section 101(a).
(ii) In the case of a life insurance contract under which there is a reserve accumulation which is intended to fund pension or other deferred benefits under a pension, annuity, or profit-sharing plan, such reserve accumulation constitutes the source of the cash value of the contract and approximates the amount of such cash value. The portion of the proceeds paid upon the death of the insured employee which is equal to the cash value immediately before death is not excludable from gross income under section 101(a). The remaining portion, if any, of the proceeds paid to the beneficiary by reason of the death of the insured employee—that is, the amount in excess of the cash value—constitutes current insurance protection and is excludable under section 101(a).
(iii) The death benefit under an annuity contract, or the portion of the death proceeds under a life insurance contract which is equal to the cash value of the contract immediately before death, constitutes a distribution under the plan consisting in whole or in part of deferred compensation and is taxable to the beneficiary in accordance with section 72(m)(3) and the provisions of this paragraph, except to the extent that the limited exclusion from income provided in section 101(b) is applicable.
(iv) In the case of a life insurance contract under which the benefits are paid at a date or dates later than the death of the employee, section 101(d) is applicable only to the portion of the benefits which is attributable to the amount excludable under section 101(a). The portion of such benefits which is attributable to the cash value of the contract immediately before death is taxable under section 72, and in such case, any amount excludable under section 101(b) is treated as additional consideration paid by the employee in accordance with section 101(b)(2)(D).
(3) The application of the rules under subparagraph (2) of this paragraph with respect to the taxability of proceeds of a life insurance contract paid by reason of the death of an insured common-law employee who has paid no contributions under the plan is illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1.
Total face amount of the contract payable in a lump sum at time of death $25,000
Cash value of the contract immediately before death 11,000
Excess over cash value, excludable under section 101(a) 14,000
Cash value subject to limited exclusion under section 101(b) 11,000
Excludable under section 101(b) (assuming that there is no other death benefit paid by or on behalf of any employer with respect to the employee) 5,000
Balance taxable in accordance with section 402(a)(2) or 403(a)(2) (assuming a total distribution in one taxable year of the distributee) 6,000
Portion of premiums taxed to employee under the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section and considered as contributions of the employee 940
Balance taxable as long-term capital gain 5,060
Example 2.
The facts are the same as in example (1), except that the contract provides that the beneficiary may elect within 60 days after the death of the employee either to take the $25,000 or to receive 10 annual installments of $3,000 each, and the beneficiary elects to receive the 10 installments. In addition, the employee's rights to the cash value immediately before his death were forfeitable at least to the extent of $5,000. Section 101(d) is applicable to the amount excludable under section 101(a), that is, $14,000. The portion of each annual installment of $3,000 which is attributable to this $14,000 is determined by allocating each installment in accordance with the ratio which this $14,000 bears to the total amount which was payable at death ($25,000). Accordingly, the portion of each annual installment which is subject to section 101(d) is $1,680 (14/25 of $3,000), of which $1,400 (1/10 of $14,000) is excludable under section 101(a), and the remaining $280 is includible in the gross income of the beneficiary. However, if the beneficiary is a surviving spouse as defined in section 101(d)(3), the exclusion provided by section 101(d)(1)(B) is applicable to such $280. The remaining portion of each annual $3,000 installment, $1,320, is attributable to the cash value of the contract and is treated under section 72, as follows:
Amount actually contributed by the employee 0
Amount considered contributed by employee by reason of section 101(b) $5,000
Portion of premiums taxed to employee under the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section and considered as contributions of the employee $940
Investment in the contract $5,940
Expected return, 10×$1,320 $13,200
Exclusion ratio, $5,940÷$13,200 0.45
Annual exclusion, 0.45×$1,320 $594
Accordingly, $594 of the $1,320 portion of each annual installment is excludable each year under section 72, and the remaining $726 is includible. Thus, if the beneficiary is not a surviving spouse, a total of $1,006 ($280 plus $726) of each annual $3,000 installment is includible in income each year. If the beneficiary is a surviving spouse, and can exclude all of the $280 under section 101(d)(1)(B), the amount includible in gross income each year is $726 of each annual $3,000 installment.
(4) If an employee neither paid the total cost of the life insurance protection provided under a life insurance contract, nor was taxable under paragraph (b) of this section with respect thereto, no part of the proceeds of such a contract which are paid to the beneficiaries of the employee as a death benefit is excludable under section 101(a). The entire distribution is taxable to the beneficiaries under section 402(a) or 403(a) except to the extent that a limited exclusion may be allowable under section 101(b).
[T.D. 6676, 28 FR 10135, Sept. 17, 1963]

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  • 2014-08-27; vol. 79 # 166 - Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    1. 79 FR 51090 - Debt That Is a Position in Personal Property That Is Part of a Straddle
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations and removal of temporary regulations.
      Effective Date: These regulations are effective on August 27, 2014. Applicability Dates: For dates of applicability, see § 1.1092(d)-1(e).
      26 CFR Part 1