26 CFR § 1.848-1 - Definitions and special provisions.

§ 1.848-1 Definitions and special provisions.

(a)Scope and effective date. The definitions and special provisions in this section apply solely for purposes of determining specified policy acquisition expenses under section 848 of the Internal Revenue Code, this section, and §§ 1.848-2 and 1.848-3. Unless otherwise specified, the rules of this section are effective for the taxable years of an insurance company beginning after November 14, 1991.

(b)Specified insurance contract -

(1)In general. A “specified insurance contract” is any life insurance contract, annuity contract, noncancellable or guaranteed renewable accident and health insurance contract, or combination contract. A reinsurance agreement that reinsures the risks under a specified insurance contract is treated in the same manner as the reinsured contract.

(2)Exceptions -

(i)In general. A “specified insurance contract” does not include any pension plan contract (as defined in section 818(a)), flight insurance or similar contract, or qualified foreign contract (as defined in section 807(e)(4)).

(ii)Reinsurance of qualified foreign contracts. The exception for qualified foreign contracts does not apply to reinsurance agreements that reinsure qualified foreign contracts.

(c)Life insurance contract. A “life insurance contract” is any contract -

(1)Issued after December 31, 1984, that qualifies as a life insurance contract under section 7702(a) (including an endowment contract as defined in 7702(h)); or

(2)Issued prior to January 1, 1985, if the premiums on the contract are reported as life insurance premiums on the insurance company's annual statement (or could be reported as life insurance premiums if the company were required to file the annual statement for life and accident and health companies).

(d)Annuity contract. An “annuity contract” is any contract (other than a life insurance contract as defined in paragraph (c) of this section) if amounts received under the contract are subject to the rules in section 72(b) or section 72(e) (determined without regard to section 72(u)). The term “annuity contract” also includes a contract that is a qualified funding asset under section 130(d).

(e)Noncancellable accident and health insurance contract. The term “noncancellable accident and health insurance contract” has the same meaning for purposes of section 848 as the term has for purposes of section 816(b).

(f)Guaranteed renewable accident and health insurance contract. The term “guaranteed renewable accident and health insurance contract” has the same meaning for purposes of section 848 as the term has for purposes of section 816(e).

(g)Combination contract -

(1)Definition. A “combination contract” is a contract (other than a contract described in section 848(e)(3)) that provides two or more types of insurance coverage, at least one of which if offered separately would be a life insurance contract, an annuity contract, or a noncancellable or guaranteed renewable accident and health insurance contract.

(2)Treatment of premiums on a combination contract -

(i)In general. If the premium allocable to each type of insurance coverage is separately stated on the insurance company's annual statement (or could be separately stated if the insurance company were required to file the annual statement for life and accident and health companies), the premium allocable to each type of insurance coverage in a combination contract is subject to the capitalization rate, if any, that would apply if that coverage was provided in a separate contract. If the premium allocable to each type of insurance coverage in a combination contract is not separately stated, the entire premium is subject to the highest capitalization percentage applicable to any of the coverages provided.

(ii)De minimis premiums. For purposes of this paragraph (g)(2) -

(A) A de minimis premium is not required to be separately stated;

(B) In determining the highest capitalization percentage applicable to a combination contract, the coverage to which a de minimis premium is allocable is disregarded;

(C) If the separate statement requirement of this paragraph (g)(2) is satisfied, a de minimis premium is treated in accordance with its characterization on the insurance company's annual statement; and

(D) Whether a premium for an insurance coverage is de minimis is determined by comparing that premium with the aggregate of the premiums for the combination contract. A premium that is not more than 2 percent of the premium for the entire contract is considered de minimis. Whether a premium that is more than 2 percent is de minimis is determined based on all the facts and circumstances.

(3)Example. The principles of this paragraph (g) are illustrated by the following example.

Example.
A life insurance company (L1) issues a contract to an employer (X) which provides cancellable accident and health insurance coverage and group term life insurance coverage to X's employees. L1 charges a premium of $1,000 for the contract, $950 of which is attributable to the cancellable accident and health insurance coverage and $50 of which is attributable to the group term life insurance coverage. On its annual statement, L1 reports the premiums attributable to the accident and health insurance coverage separately from the premiums attributable to the group term life insurance coverage. The contract issued by L1 is a combination contract as defined in paragraph (g)(1) of this section. Pursuant to paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section, only the premiums attributable to the group term life insurance coverage ($50) are subject to the provisions of section 848. The premiums attributable to the cancellable accident and health insurance coverage ($950) are not subject to the provisions of section 848.

(h)Group life insurance contract -

(1)In general. A life insurance contract (as defined in paragraph (c) of this section) is group life insurance contract if -

(i) The contract is a group life insurance contract under the applicable law;

(ii) The coverage is provided under a master contract issued to the group policyholder, which may be a trust, trustee, or agent;

(iii) The premiums on the contract are reported either as group life insurance premiums or credit life insurance premiums on the insurance company's annual statement (or could be reported as group life insurance premiums or credit life insurance premiums if the company were required to file the annual statement for life and accident and health companies);

(iv) The group affiliation requirement of paragraph (h)(2) of this section is satisfied;

(v) The premiums on the contract are determined on a group basis within the meaning of paragraph (h)(3) of this section; and

(vi) The proceeds of the contract are not payable to or for the benefit of the insured's employer, an organization or association to which the insured belongs, or other similar person. (See paragraph (h)(7) of this section for special rules that apply in determining if this requirement is satisfied.)

(2)Group affiliation requirement -

(i)In general. The group affiliation requirement of section 848(e)(2)(A) and this paragraph (h)(2) is satisfied only if all of the individuals eligible for coverage under the contract constitute a group described in paragraphs (h)(2) (ii) through (viii) of this section.

(ii)Employee group. An employee group consists of all of the employees (including statutory employees within the meaning of section 3121(d)(3) and individuals who are treated as employed by a single employer under section 414 (b), (c), or (m)), or any class or classes thereof within the meaning of paragraph (h)(2)(x) of this section, of an employer. For this purpose, the term “employee” includes -

(A) A retired or former employee;

(B) The sole proprietor, if the employer is a sole proprietorship;

(C) A partner of the partnership, if the employer is a partnership;

(D) A director of the corporation, if the employer is a corporation; and

(E) An elected or appointed official of the public body, if the employer is a public body.

(iii)Debtor group. A debtor group consists of all of the debtors, or any class or classes thereof within the meaning of paragraph (h)(2)(x) of this section, of a creditor. For this purpose, the term “debtor” includes a borrower of money or purchaser or lessee of goods, services, or property for which payment is arranged through a credit transaction.

(iv)Labor union group. A labor union group consists of all of the members, or any class or classes thereof within the meaning of paragraph (h)(2)(x) of this section, of a labor union or similar employee organization.

(v)Association group. An association group consists of all of the members, or any class or classes thereof within the meaning of paragraph (h)(2)(x) of this section, of an association that, at the time the master contract is issued -

(A) Is organized and maintained for purposes other than obtaining insurance;

(B) Has been in active existence for at least two years (including, in the case of a merged or successor association, the years of active existence of any predecessor association); and

(C) Has at least 100 members.

(vi)Credit union group. A credit union group consists of all of the members or borrowers, or any class or classes thereof within the meaning of paragraph (h)(2)(x) of this section, of a credit union.

(vii)Multiple group. A multiple group consists of two or more groups from any single category described in paragraphs (h)(2) (ii) through (vi) of this section. A multiple group may not include two or more groups from different categories described in paragraph (h)(2) (ii) through (vi) of this section.

(viii)Certain discretionary groups. Provided that the contract otherwise satisfies the requirements of paragraph (h)(1) of this section, a contract issued to one of the following discretionary groups is treated as satisfying the group affiliation requirement of this paragraph (h)(2) -

(A) A contract issued to a group consisting of students of one or more universities or other educational institutions;

(B) A contract issued to a group consisting of members or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces;

(C) A contract issued to a group of individuals for the payment of future funeral expenses; and

(D) A contract issued to any other discretionary group as specified by the Commissioner in subsequent guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. (See § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter.)

(ix)Employees treated as members. In determining whether the group affiliation requirement of paragraph (h)(2) of this section is satisfied, the employees of a labor union, credit union, or association may be treated as members of a labor union group, a credit union group, or an association group, respectively.

(x)Class or classes of a group determined without regard to individual health characteristics -

(A)In general. A class or classes of a group described in paragraphs (h)(2) (ii) through (viii) of this section may be determined using any reasonable characteristics (for example, amount of insurance, location, or occupation) other than individual health characteristics. The employees of a single employer covered under a policy issued to a multi-employer trust are considered a class of a group described in paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section.

(B)Limitation of coverage based on certain work and age requirements permissible. A limitation of coverage under a group contract to persons who are actively at work or of a pre-retirement age (for example, age 65 or younger) is not treated as based on individual health characteristics.

(3)Premiums determined on a group basis -

(i)In general. Premiums for a contract are determined on a group basis for purposes of section 848(e)(2)(B) and this paragraph (h) only if the premium charged by the insurance company for each member of the group (or any class thereof) is determined on the basis of the same rates for the corresponding amount of coverage (for example, per $1,000 of insurance) or on the basis of rates which differ only because of the gender, smoking habits, or age of the member.

(ii)Exception for substandard premium rates for certain high risk insureds. Any difference in premium rates is disregarded for purposes of this paragraph (h)(3) if the difference is charged for an individual who was accepted for coverage at a substandard rate prior to January 1, 1993.

(iii)Flexible premium contracts. In the case of a group universal life insurance contract, the identical premium requirement is satisfied if the premium rates used by the insurance company in determining the periodic mortality charges applied to the policy account value of any member insured by the contract differ from those of other members (within the same class) only because of the gender, smoking habits, or age of the member.

(iv)Determination of actual age. For purposes of this paragraph (h)(3), determinations of actual age may be made using any reasonable method, provided that this method is applied consistently for all members of the group.

(4)Underwriting practices used by company. [Reserved]

(5)Disqualification of group -

(i)In general. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (h)(5), if the requirements of paragraphs (h)(1), (2), and (3) of this section are not satisfied with respect to one or more members of the group, or of a class within a group (within the meaning of paragraph (h)(2)(x) of this section), the premiums for the entire group (or class) are treated as individual life insurance premiums.

(ii)Exception for de minimis failures. If the requirements of paragraphs (h) (1), (2), or (3) of this section are not satisfied with respect to one or more members of the group (or class), but the sum of the premiums charged by the insurance company for those individuals is no more than 5 percent of the aggregate premiums for the group (or class), only the premiums charged for those individuals are treated as premiums for an individual life insurance contract.

(6)Supplemental life insurance coverage. For purposes of determining whether the requirement in paragraph (h)(3)(i) of this section is satisfied, any supplemental life insurance coverage (including optional coverage for members of the group, their spouses, or their dependent children) is (or is treated as) a separate contract. In determining whether the group affiliation requirement of paragraph (h)(2) of this section is satisfied for the supplemental coverage, a member's spouse and dependent children are treated as members of the group if they are eligible for coverage.

(7)Special rules relating to the payment of proceeds. The following rules apply for purposes of section 848(e)(2) and paragraph (h)(1)(vi) of this section.

(i)Contracts issued to a welfare benefit fund. If a contract issued to a welfare benefit fund (as defined in section 419) provides for payment of proceeds to the welfare benefit fund, the proceeds of the contract are not considered payable to or for the benefit of the insured's employer, an organization or association to which the insured belongs, or other similar person, provided the proceeds are paid as benefits to the employee or the employee's beneficiary.

(ii)Credit life insurance contracts. If a credit life insurance contract provides for payment of proceeds to the insured's creditor, the proceeds of the contract are not treated as payable to or for the benefit of the insured's employer, an organization or association to which the insured belongs, or other similar person, provided the proceeds are applied against an outstanding indebtedness of the insured.

(iii)“Organization or association” limited to the sponsor of the contract or the group policyholder. The term “organization or association” means the organization or association that is either the sponsor of the contract or the group policyholder.

(i)General deductions. The term “general deductions” is defined in section 848(c)(2). An insurance company determines its general deductions for the taxable year without regard to amounts capitalized or amortized under section 848(a). The amount of a company's general deductions is also determined without regard to the rules of § 1.848-2(f), which apply only for purposes of determining net consideration for reinsurance agreements.

[T.D. 8456, 57 FR 61819, Dec. 29, 1992; 58 FR 9245, Feb. 19, 1993]