26 CFR § 1.408-3 - Individual retirement annuities.

§ 1.408-3 Individual retirement annuities.

(a) In general. An individual retirement annuity is an annuity contract or endowment contract (described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section) issued by an insurance company which is qualified to do business under the law of the jurisdiction in which the contract is sold and which satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. A participation certificate in a group contract issued by an insurance company described in this paragraph will be treated as an individual retirement annuity if the contract satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section; the certificate of participation sets forth the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (5) of section 408 (b); the contract provides for a separate accounting of the benefit allocable to each participant-owner; and the group contract is for the exclusive benefit of the participant owners and their beneficiaries. For purposes of this title, a participant-owner of a group contract described in this paragraph shall be treated as the owner of an individual retirement annuity. A contract will not be treated as other than an individual retirement annuity merely because it provides for waiver of premium on disability. An individual retirement annuity contract which satisfies the requirements of section 408 (b) need not be purchased under a trust if the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section are satisfied. An individual retirement endowment contract may not be held under a trust which satisfies the requirements of section 408 (a). Distribution of the contract is not a taxable event. Distributions under the contract are includible in gross income in accordance with the provisions of § 1.408-4 (e).

(b) Requirements -

(1) Transferability. The annuity or the endowment contract must not be transferable by the owner. An annuity or endowment contract is transferable if the owner can transfer any portion of his interest in the contract to any person other than the issuer thereof. Accordingly, such a contract is transferable if the owner can sell, assign, discount, or pledge as collateral for a loan or as security for the performance of an obligation or for any other purpose his interest in the contract to any person other than the issuer thereof. On the other hand, a contract is not to be considered transferable merely because the contract contains: a provision permitting the individual to designate a beneficiary to receive the proceeds in the event of his death, a provision permitting the individual to elect a joint and survivor annuity, or other similar provisions.

(2) Annual premium. Except in the case of a contribution to a simplified employee pension described in section 408 (k), the annual premium on behalf of any individual for the annuity or the endowment contract cannot exceed $1,500. Any refund of premiums must be applied before the close of the calendar year following the year of the refund toward the payment of future premiums or the purchase of additional benefits.

(3) Distribution. The entire interest of the owner must be distributed to him in the same manner and over the same period as described in § 1.408-2 (b) (6).

(4) Distribution upon death. If the owner dies before the entire interest has been distributed to him, or if distribution has commenced to the surviving spouse, the remaining interest must be distributed in the same manner, over the same period, and to the same beneficiaries as described in § 1.408-2 (b) (7).

(5) Nonforfeitability. The entire interest of the owner in the annuity or endowment contract must be nonforfeitable.

(6) Flexible premium. [Reserved]

(c) Disqualification. If during any taxable year the owner of an annuity borrows any money under the annuity or endowment contract or by use of such contract (including, but not limited to, pledging the contract as security for any loan), such contract will cease to be an individual retirement annuity as of the first day of such taxable year, and will not be an individual retirement annuity at any time thereafter. If an annuity or endowment contract which constitutes an individual retirement annuity is disqualified as a result of the preceding sentence, an amount equal to the fair market value of the contract as of the first day of the taxable year of the owner in which such contract is disqualified is deemed to be distributed to the owner. Such owner shall include in gross income for such year an amount equal to the fair market value of such contract as of such first day. The preceding sentence applies even though part of the fair market value of the individual retirement annuity as of the first day of the taxable year is attributable to excess contributions which may be returned tax-free under section 408(d)(4) or 408(d)(5).

(d) Premature distribution tax on deemed distribution. If the individual has not attained age 59 1/2 before the beginning of the year in which the disqualification described in paragraph (c) of this section occurs, see section 408(f)(2) for additional tax on premature distributions.

(e) Endowment contracts -

(1) Additional requirement for endowment contracts. No contract providing life insurance protection issued by a company described in paragraph (a) of this section shall be treated as an endowment contract for purposes of this section if -

(i) Such contract matures later than the taxable year in which the individual in whose name the contract is purchased attains the age of 70 1/2;

(ii) Such contract is not for the exclusive benefit of such individual or his beneficiaries;

(iii) Premiums under the contract may increase over the term of the contract;

(iv) When all premiums are paid when due, the case value of such contract at maturity is less than the death benefit payable under the contract at any time before maturity;

(v) The death benefit does not, at some time before maturity, exceed the greater of the cash value or the sum of premiums paid under the contract;

(vi) Such contract does not provide for a cash value;

(vii) Such contract provides that the life insurance element of such contract may increase over the term of such contract, unless such increase is merely because such contract provides for the purchase of additional benefits;

(viii) Such contract provides insurance other than life insurance and waiver of premiums upon disability; or

(ix) Such contract is issued after November 6, 1978.

(2) Treatment of proceeds under endowment contract upon death of individual. In the case of the payment of a death benefit under an endowment contract upon the death of the individual in whose name the contract is purchased, the portion of such payment which is equal to the cash value immediately before the death of such individual is not excludable from gross income under section 101(a) and is treated as a distribution from an individual retirement annuity. The remaining portion, if any, of such payment constitutes current life insurance protection and is excludable under section 101(a). If a death benefit is paid under an endowment contract at a date or dates later than the death of the individual, section 101(d) is applicable only to the portion of the benefit which is attributable to the amount excludable under section 101(a).

[T.D. 7714, 45 FR 52792, Aug. 8, 1980]

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