26 CFR § 1.801-8 - Contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts.

§ 1.801-8 Contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts.

(a) Definitions -

(1) Annuity contracts include variable annuity contracts. Section 801(g)(1)(A) provides that for purposes of part I, subchapter L, chapter 1 of the Code, an annuity contract includes a contract which provides for the payment of a variable annuity computed on the basis of recognized mortality tables and the investment experience of the company issuing such a contract. A variable annuity differs from the ordinary or fixed dollar annuity in that the annuity benefits payable under a variable annuity contract vary with the insurance company's investment experience with respect to such contracts while the annuity benefits paid under a fixed dollar annuity contract are guaranteed irrespective of the company's actual investment earnings.

(2) Contracts with reserves based on a segregated asset account.

(i) For purposes of part I, section 801(g)(1)(B) defines the term contract with reserves based on a segregated asset account as a contract (individual or group):

(a) Which provides for the allocation of all or part of the amounts received under the contract to an account which, pursuant to State law or regulation, is segregated from the general asset accounts of the company,

(b) Which provides for the payment of annuities, and

(c) Under which the amounts paid in, or the amount paid as annuities, reflect the investment return and the market value of the segregated asset account.

(ii) The term contract with reserves based on a segregated asset account includes a contract such as a variable annuity contract, which reflects the investment return and the market value of the segregated asset account, even though such contract provides for the payment of an annuity computed on the basis of recognized mortality tables, but the term includes such contract only for the period during which it satisfies the requirements of section 801(g)(1)(B) and subdivision (i) of this subparagraph. However, such term does not include a pension contract written on the basis of the so-called new-money concept. Thus, for example, such term does not include a pension contract whereby reserves are credited on the basis of the company's new high yield investments. Furthermore, such term does not include a contract which during the taxable year contains a right to participate in the divisible surplus of the company where such right merely reflects the company's investment return. Nevertheless, the term does include a contract which meets the requirements of section 801(g)(1)(B) and of this subparagraph even if part of the amounts received are, for example, allocated to reserves under provisions of the contract which are written on the basis of the new-money concept. However, such reserves do not qualify as a segregated asset account referred to in section 801(g) and this section.

(iii) If at any time during the taxable year a contract otherwise satisfying the requirements of section 801(g)(1)(B) and subdivision (i) of this subparagraph ceases to reflect current investment return and current market value, such contract shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of section 801(g)(1)(B)(iii) and subdivision (i)(c) of this subparagraph after such cessation. Thus, a contract with reserves based on a segregated asset account includes a contract under which the reflection of investment return and market value terminates at the beginning of the annuity payments, but only for the period prior to such termination. For example, if the purchaser of a variable annuity contract which meets such requirements elects an option which provides for the payment of a fixed dollar annuity, then such contract shall be considered as satisfying such requirements only for the period prior to the time such contract ceases to reflect current investment return and current market value. Furthermore, a group annuity contract which satisfies the requirements of section 801(g)(1)(B) and subdivision (i) of this subparagraph shall be considered as continuing to meet such requirements even though a certificate holder under the group contract elects an option which provides for the payment of a fixed dollar annuity. However, the annuity attributable to such certificate holder shall not be considered as satisfying such requirements as of the time such annuity ceases to reflect current investment return and current market value. On the other hand, a group annuity contract which does not reflect current market value shall not be considered as satisfying such requirements even though a certificate holder under the group contract elects an option which provides for the payment of a variable annuity. However, the variable annuity attributable to such certificate holder shall be considered as satisfying such requirements as of the time such variable annuity commences to reflect current investment return and current market value.

(b) Life insurance reserves. Section 801(g)(2) provides that for purposes of section 801(b)(1)(A), the reflection of the investment return and the market value of the segregated asset account shall be considered an assumed rate of interest. Thus, the reserves held with respect to contracts described in section 801(g)(1) and paragraph (a) of this section shall qualify as life insurance reserves within the meaning of section 801(b)(1) and paragraph (a) of § 1.801-4 provided such reserves are required by law (as defined in paragraph (b) of § 1.801-5) and are set aside to mature or liquidate, either by payment or reinsurance, future unaccrued claims arising from such contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts involving, at the time with respect to which the reserve is computed, life, health, or accident contingencies. Accordingly, a company issuing contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts shall qualify as a life insurance company for Federal income tax purposes if it satisfies the requirements of section 801(a) (relating to the definition of a life insurance company) and paragraph (b) of § 1.801-3.

(c) Separate accounting.

(1) For purposes of part I, section 801(g)(3) provides that a life insurance company (as defined in section 801(a) and paragraph (b) of § 1.801-3) which issues contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts (as defined in section 801 (g)(1)(B) and paragraph (a)(2) of this section) shall separately account for each and every income, exclusion, deduction, asset, reserve, and other liability item which is properly attributable to such segregated asset accounts. In those cases where such items are not directly accounted for, separate accounting shall be made:

(i) According to the method regularly employed by the company, if such method is reasonable, and

(ii) In all other cases in a manner which, in the opinion of the district director, is reasonable.

A method of separate accounting for such items as are not accounted for directly will be deemed “regularly employed” by a life insurance company if the method was consistently followed in prior taxable years, or if, in the case of a company which has never before issued contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts, the company initiates in the first taxable year for which it issues such contracts a reasonable method of separate accounting for such items and consistently follows such method thereafter. Ordinarily, a company regularly employs a method of accounting in accordance with the statute of the State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, in which it operates.

(2) Every life insurance company issuing contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts shall keep such permanent records and other data relating to such contracts as is necessary to enable the district director to determine the correctness of the application of the rules prescribed in section 301(g) and this section and to ascertain the accuracy of the computations involved.

(d) Investment yield.

(1) For purposes of part I, section 801(g)(4)(A) provides that the policy and other contract liability requirements (as determined under section 805), and the life insurance company's share of investment yield (as determined under sections 804(a) or 809(b)), shall be separately computed:

(i) With respect to the items separately accounted for in accordance with section 801(g)(3) and paragraph (c) of this section, and

(ii) Excluding the items taken into account under subdivision (i) of this subparagraph.

Thus, for purposes of determining both taxable investment income and gain or loss from operations, a life insurance company shall separately compute the life insurance company's share of the investment yield on the assets in its segregated asset account without regard to the policy and other contract liability requirements of, and the investment income attributable to, contracts with reserves that are not based on the segregated asset account. Such separate computations shall be made after any allocation required under section 801(g)(4)(B) and subparagraph (2) of this paragraph.

(2)

(i) Section 801(g)(4)(B) provides that if the net short-term capital gain (as defined in section 1222(5)) exceeds the net long-term capital loss (as defined in section 1222(8)), determined without regard to any separate computations under section 801(g)(4)(A) and subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, then such excess shall be allocated between section 801(g)(4)(A) (i) and (ii) and subparagraph (1) (i) and (ii) of this paragraph. Such allocation shall be in proportion to the respective contributions to such excess of the items taken into account under each such section and subparagraph. The allocation under this subparagraph shall be made before the separate computations prescribed by section 801(g)(4)(A) and subparagraph (1) of this paragraph.

(ii) The operation of the allocation required under section 801(g)(4)(B) and subdivision (i) of this subparagraph may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
For the taxable year 1962, T, a life insurance company which issues regular life insurance and annuity contracts and contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts, had (without regard to section 801(g)(4)(A)) realized short-term capital gains of $10,000 and short-term capital losses of $10,000 attributable to its general asset accounts and realized short-term capital gains of $12,000 attributable to its segregated asset accounts. For the taxable year 1962, the excess of the net short-term capital gain ($10,000 + $12,000−$10,000, or $12,000) over the net long-term capital loss (0) was $12,000. Of the excess of $12,000, 100 percent was contributed by the segregated asset accounts. Applying the provisions of section 801(g)(4)(B), T would allocate the entire $12,000 to its segregated asset accounts for such taxable year.
Example 2.
The facts are the same as in example 1 except that for the taxable year 1962, T had (without regard to section 801(g)(4)(A)) realized short-term capital losses of $8,000 attributable to its general asset accounts and realized long-term capital gains of $1,000 and long-term capital losses of $5,000 attributable to its segregated asset accounts. For the taxable year 1962, the excess of the net short-term capital gain ($10,000 + $12,000−$8,000, or $14,000) over the net long-term capital loss ($5,000−$1,000, or $4,000) was $10,000. Of the excess of $10,000, the general asset accounts contributed 20 percent ($2,000 ($10,000−$8,000) ÷ $10,000) and the segregated asset accounts contributed 80 percent ($8,000 ($12,000−$4,000) ÷ $10,000). Applying the provisions of section 801(g)(4)(B), T would allocate $2,000 ($10,000 × 20 percent) to its general asset accounts and $8,000 ($10,000 × 80 percent) to its segregated asset accounts for such taxable year.
Example 3.
W is a life insurance company which issues regular life insurance and annuity contracts and contracts with reserves based on either of two segregated asset accounts, Separate Account C or Separate Account D. For the taxable year 1962, W had (without regard to section 801(g)(4)(A)) realized short-term capital gains of $16,000 and long-term capital losses of $15,000 attributable to its general asset accounts, long-term capital gains of $12,000 and short-term capital losses of $6,000 attributable to Separate Account C and long-term capital gains of $7,000 and short-term capital losses of $5,000 attributable to Separate Account D. For the taxable year 1962, the excess of the net short-term capital gain ($16,000−$6,000−$5,000) over the net long-term capital loss (0) was $5,000. Of the $5,000 excess, 20 percent ($16,000−$15,000 ÷ $5,000) was contributed by the general asset accounts, leaving 80 percent as the amount contributed by the segregated asset accounts. Applying the provisions of section 801(g)(4)(B) W would allocate $1,000 (20 percent of $5,000) to the general asset accounts, leaving $4,000 (80 percent of $5,000) to be allocated among the segregated asset accounts, Separate Account C and Separate Account D. W would allocate $3,000 of the $4,000 to Separate Account C computed as follows:

$ 3,000 = ( $ 4,000 ) × ( $ 12,000 $ 6,000 ) ( $ 12,000 $ 8,000 ) + ( $ 7,000 $ 5,000 )

W would allocate $1,000 of the $4,000 to Separate Account D computed as follows:

$ 1,000 = ( $ 4,000 ) × ( $ 7,000 $ 5,000 ) ( $ 12,000 $ 6,000 ) + ( $ 7,000 $ 5,000 )

(e) [Reserved]

(f) Increases and decreases in reserves.

(1) Section 801(g)(6) provides that for purposes of section 810 (a) and (b) (relating to adjustments for increases or decreases in certain reserves), the sum of the items described in section 810(c) and paragraph (b) of § 1.810-2 taken into account as of the close of the taxable year shall be adjusted:

(i) By subtracting therefrom the sum of any amounts added from time to time (for the taxable year) to the reserves separately accounted for in accordance with section 801(g)(3) and paragraph (c) of this section by reason of realized or unrealized appreciation in value of the assets held in relation thereto, and

(ii) By adding thereto the sum of any amounts subtracted from time to time (for the taxable year) from such reserves by reason of realized or unrealized depreciation in the value of such assets.

(2) The provisions of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following example:

Example.
Company M, a life insurance company issuing only contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts as defined in section 801(g)(1)(B) and paragraph (a)(2) of this section (other than contracts described in section 805(d)(1) (A), (B), (C), or (D)), increased its life insurance reserves held with respect to such contracts during the taxable year 1962 by $275,000. Of the total increase in the reserves, $100,000 was attributable to premium receipts, $50,000 to dividends and interest, $100,000 to unrealized appreciation in the value of the assets held in relation to such reserves, and $25,000 to realized capital gains on the sale of such assets. As of the close of the taxable year 1962, the reserves held by company M with respect to all such contracts amounted to $1,275,000. However, under section 801(g)(6) and this subparagraph, this amount must be reduced by the $100,000 unrealized asset value appreciation and the $25,000 of realized capital gains. Accordingly, for purposes of section 810(a) and (b), the amount of these reserves which is to be taken into account as of the close of the taxable year 1962 under section 810(c) is $1,150,000 ($1,275,000 less $125,000). However, for purposes of section 810 (a) and (b), the amount of these reserves which is to be taken into account as of the beginning of the taxable year 1963 under section 810(c) is $1,275,000 (the amount as of the close of the taxable year 1962 before reduction of $125,000 for unrealized appreciation and realized capital gains).

(3)

(i) Under section 801(g)(6), the deduction allowable for items described in section 809(d) (1) and (7) (relating to death benefits and assumption reinsurance, respectively) with respect to segregated asset accounts shall be reduced to the extent that the amount of such items is increased for the taxable year by appreciation (or shall be increased to the extent that the amount of such items is decreased for the taxable year by depreciation) not reflected in adjustments required to be made under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph.

(ii) The provisions of this subparagraph may be illustrated by the following example:

Example.
On June 30, 1962, X, a life insurance company, reinsured a portion of its insurance contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts with Y, a life insurance company, under an agreement whereby Y agreed to assume and become solely liable under the contracts reinsured. The reserves on the contracts reinsured by X were $90,000, of which $10,000 was attributable to unrealized appreciation in the value of the assets held in relation to such reserves. However, no amounts had been added to the reserves by reason of the unrealized appreciation of $10,000 and consequently, the $10,000 was not reflected in adjustments to reserves under section 809(g)(6) or subparagraph (1) of this paragraph. Under the reinsurance agreement, X made a payment of $90,000 in cash to Y for assuming such contracts. Applying the provisions of section 809(d)(7), and assuming no other such reinsurance transactions by X during the taxable year, X would have an allowable deduction of $90,000 as a result of this payment on June 30, 1962. However, applying the provisions of section 801(g)(6) and this subparagraph, the actual deduction allowed would be $80,000 ($90,000 less $10,000). See section 806 (a) and § 1.806-3 for the adjustments in reserves and assets to be made by X and Y as a result of this transaction. For the treatment by Y of this $90,000 payment, see section 809(c)(1) and paragraph (a)(1)(i) of § 1.809-4.

(g) Basis of assets held for certain pension plan contracts. Section 801(g)(7) provides that in the case of contracts described in section 805(d)(1) (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) (relating to the definition of pension plan reserves), the basis of each asset in a segregated asset account shall (in addition to all other adjustments to basis) be (i) increased by the amount of any appreciation in value, and (ii) decreased by the amount of any depreciation in value; but only to the extent that such appreciation and depreciation are reflected in the increases and decreases in reserves, or other items described in section 801(g)(6), with respect to such contracts. Thus, there shall be no capital gains tax payable by a life insurance company on appreciation realized on assets in a segregated asset account to the extent such appreciation has been reflected in reserves, or other items described in section 801(g)(6), for contracts described in section 805(d)(1) (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) based on segregated asset accounts.

(h) Additional separate computation -

(1) Assets and total insurance liabilities. A life insurance company which issues contracts with reserves based on segregated asset accounts (as defined in section 801(g)(1)(B) and paragraph (a)(2) of this section) shall separately compute and report with its return the assets and total insurance liabilities which are properly attributable to all of such segregated asset accounts. Each foreign corporation carrying on a life insurance business which issues such contracts shall separately compute and report with its return assets held in the United States and total insurance liabilities on United States business which are properly attributable to all of such segregated asset accounts.

(2) Foreign life insurance companies. For adjustment under section 819 in the case of a foreign life insurance company which issues contracts based on segregated asset accounts under section 801(g), see § 1.819-2(b)(4).

[T.D. 6886, 31 FR 8681, June 23, 1966, as amended by T.D. 6970, 33 FR 12044, Aug. 24, 1968; T.D. 7501, 42 FR 42341, Aug. 23, 1977; T.D. 9911, 85 FR 64392, Oct. 13, 2020]

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