26 CFR § 1.412(i)-1 - Certain insurance contract plans.

§ 1.412(i)-1 Certain insurance contract plans.

(a) In general. Under section 412(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as added by section 1013(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 914) (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”), an insurance contract plan described in section 412(i) for a plan year is not subject to the minimum funding requirements of section 412 for that plan year. Consequently, if an individual or group insurance contract plan satisfies all of the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) or (c)(2) of this section, whichever are applicable, for the plan year, the plan is not subject to the requirements of section 412 for that plan year. The effective date for section 412 of the Code is determined under section 1017 of the Act. In general, in the case of a plan which was not in existence on January 1, 1974, this section applies for plan years beginning after September 2, 1974, and in the case of a plan in existence on January 1, 1974, to plan years beginning after December 31, 1975.

(b) Individual insurance contract plans.

(1) An individual insurance contract plan is described in section 412(i) during a plan year if the plan satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section for the plan year.

(2) The requirements of this paragraph are:

(i) The plan must be funded exclusively by the purchase from an insurance company or companies (licensed under the law of a State or the District of Columbia to do business with the plan) of individual annuity or individual insurance contracts, or a combination thereof. The purchase may be made either directly by the employer or through the use of a custodial account or trust. A plan shall not be considered to be funded otherwise than exclusively by the purchase of individual annuity or individual insurance contracts merely because the employer makes a payment necessary to comply with the provisions of section 411(c)(2) (relating to accrued benefit from employee contributions).

(ii) The individual annuity or individual insurance contracts issued under the plan must provide for level annual, or more frequent, premium payments to be paid under the plan for the period commencing with the date each individual participating in the plan became a participant and ending not later than the normal retirement age for that individual or, if earlier, the date the individual ceases his participation in the plan. Premium payments may be considered to be level even though items such as experience gains and dividends are applied against premiums. In the case of an increase in benefits, the contracts must provide for level annual payments with respect to such increase to be paid for the period commencing at the time the increase becomes effective. If payment commences on the first payment date under the contract occurring after the date an individual becomes a participant or after the effective date of an increase in benefits, the requirements of this subdivision will be satisfied even though payment does not commence on the date on which the individual's participation commenced or on the effective date of the benefit increase, whichever is applicable. If an individual accrues benefits after his normal retirement age, the requirements of this subdivision are satisfied if payment is made at the time such benefits accrue. If the provisions required by this subdivision are set forth in a separate agreement with the issuer of the individual contracts, they need not be included in the individual contracts.

(iii) The benefits provided by the plan for each individual participant must be equal to the benefits provided under his individual contracts at his normal retirement age under the plan provisions.

(iv) The benefits provided by the plan for each individual participant must be guaranteed by the life insurance company, described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, issuing the individual contracts to the extent premiums have been paid.

(v) Except as provided in the following sentence, all premiums payable for the plan year, and for all prior plan years, under the insurance or annuity contracts must have been paid before lapse. If the lapse has occurred during the plan year, the requirements of this subdivision will be considered to have been met if reinstatement of the insurance policy, under which the individual insurance contracts are issued, occurs during the year of the lapse and before distribution is made or benefits commence to any participant whose benefits are reduced because of the lapse.

(vi) No rights under the individual contracts may have been subject to a security interest at any time during the plan year. This subdivision shall not apply to contracts which have been distributed to participants if the security interest is created after the date of distribution.

(vii) No policy loans, including loans to individual participants, on any of the individual contracts may be outstanding at any time during the plan year. This subdivision shall not apply to contracts which have been distributed to participants if the loan is made after the date of distribution. An application of funds by the issuer to pay premiums due under the contracts shall be deemed not to be a policy loan if the amount of the funds so applied, and interest thereon, is repaid during the plan year in which the funds are applied and before distribution is made or benefits commence to any participant whose benefits are reduced because of such application.

(c) Group insurance contract plans.

(1) A group insurance contract plan is described in section 412(i) during a plan year if the plan satisfies the requirements of subparagraph (2) for the plan year.

(2) The requirements of this subparagraph are:

(i) The plan must be funded exclusively by the purchase from an insurance company or companies, described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, of group annuity or group insurance contracts, or a combination thereof. The purchase may be made either directly by the employer or through the use of a custodial account or trust. A plan shall not be considered to be funded otherwise than exclusively by the purchase of group annuity or group insurance contracts merely because the employer makes a payment necessary to comply with the provisions of section 411 (c)(2) (relating to accrued benefit derived from employee contributions).

(ii) In the case of a plan funded by a group insurance contract or a group annuity contract the requirements of paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section must be satisfied by the group contract issued under the plan. Thus, for example, each individual participant's benefits under the group contract must be provided for by level annual, or more frequent, payments equivalent to the payments required to satisfy such paragraph. The requirements of this subdivision will not be satisfied if benefits for any individual are not provided for by level payments made on his behalf under the group contract.

(iii) The group annuity or group insurance contract must satisfy the requirements of clauses (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), and (vii) of paragraph (b)(2). Thus, for example, each participant's benefits provided by the plan must be equal to his benefits provided under the group contract at his normal retirement age.

(iv)

(A) If the plan is funded by a group annuity contract, the value of the benefits guaranteed by the insurance company issuing the contract under the plan with respect to each participant under the contract must not be less than the value of such benefits which the cash surrender value would provide for that participant under any individual annuity contract plan satisfying the requirements of paragraph (b) and approved for sale in the State where the principal office of the plan is located.

(B) If the plan is funded by a group insurance contract, the value of the benefits guaranteed by the insurance company issuing the contract under the plan with respect to each participate under the contract must not be less than the value of such benefits which the cash surrender value would provide for that participant under any individual insurance contract plan satisfying the requirements of paragraph (b) and approved for sale in the State where the principal office of the plan is located.

(v) Under the group annuity or group insurance contract, premiums or other consideration received by the insurance company (and, if a custodial account or trust is used, the custodian or trustee thereof) must be allocated to purchase individual benefits for participants under the plan. A plan which maintains unallocated funds in an auxiliary trust fund or which provides that an insurance company will maintain unallocated funds in a separate account, such as a group deposit administration contract, does not satisfy the requirements of this subdivision.

(d) Combination of plans. A plan which is funded by a combination of individual contracts and a group contract shall be treated as a plan described in section 412 (i) for the plan year if the combination, in the aggregate, satisfies the requirements of this section for the plan year.

[T.D. 7746, 45 FR 47676, July 16, 1980; 45 FR 50563, July 30, 1980]

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