Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6378

Public Act No. 03-53

AN ACT CONCERNING MINIMUM NONFORFEITURE PROVISIONS FOR CERTAIN ANNUITIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 38a-440 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) This section shall not apply to any reinsurance, group annuity purchased under a retirement plan or plan of deferred compensation established or maintained by an employer, including a partnership or sole proprietorship, or by an employee organization, or by both, other than a plan providing individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities under Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code, as now or hereafter amended, premium deposit fund, variable annuity, investment annuity, immediate annuity, any deferred annuity contract after annuity payments have commenced, or reversionary annuity, nor to any contract which shall be delivered outside this state through an agent or other representative of the company issuing the contract.

(b) In the case of contracts issued on or after the effective date specified in accordance with the provisions of [subsection (k)] subsections (k) and (l) of this section, no contract of annuity, except as stated in subsection (a) of this section, shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless it contains in substance the following provisions, or corresponding provisions which in the opinion of the commissioner are at least as favorable to the contractholder, upon cessation of payment of considerations under the contract: (1) That upon cessation of payment of considerations under a contract, or upon the written request of the contract owner, the company [will] shall grant a paid-up annuity benefit on a plan stipulated in the contract of such value as is specified in subsections (d), (e), (f), (g) and (i) of this section; (2) if a contract provides for a lump sum settlement at maturity, or at any other time, that upon surrender of the contract at or prior to the commencement of any annuity payments, the company [will] shall pay in lieu of any paid-up annuity benefit a cash surrender benefit of such amount as is specified in subsections (d), (e), (g) and (i) of this section. The company [shall] may reserve the right to defer the payment of such cash surrender benefit for a period [of] not to exceed six months after demand therefor with surrender of the contract after making written request and receiving written approval of the commissioner, provided such request addresses the deferral's necessity and equitability with respect to all policyholders; (3) a statement of the mortality table, if any, and interest rates used in calculating any minimum paid-up annuity, cash surrender or death benefits that are guaranteed under the contract, together with sufficient information to determine the amounts of such benefits; and (4) a statement that any paid-up annuity, cash surrender or death benefits which may be available under the contract are not less than the minimum benefits required by the statutes of the state in which the contract is delivered and an explanation of the manner in which such benefits are altered by the existence of any additional amounts credited by the company to the contract, any indebtedness to the company on the contract or any prior withdrawals from or partial surrenders of the contract. Notwithstanding the requirements of this subsection, any deferred annuity contract may provide that if no considerations have been received under a contract for a period of two full years and the portion of the paid-up annuity benefit at maturity on the plan stipulated in the contract arising from considerations paid prior to such period would be less than twenty dollars monthly, the company may at its option terminate such contract by payment in cash of the then present value of such portion of the paid-up annuity benefit, calculated on the basis of the mortality table, if any, and interest rate specified in the contract for determining the paid-up annuity benefit, and by such payment shall be relieved of any further obligation under such contract.

(c) The minimum values as specified in subsections (d), (e), (f), (g) and (i) of this section of any paid-up annuity, cash surrender or death benefits available under an annuity contract shall be based upon minimum nonforfeiture amounts as defined in this subsection: (1) [With respect to contracts providing for flexible considerations, the] The minimum nonforfeiture amount at any time at or prior to the commencement of any annuity payments shall be equal to an accumulation up to such time at [a rate] rates of interest, [of three per cent per annum of percentages] as indicated in subdivision (3) of this subsection, of the net considerations, as [hereinafter] defined in this subsection, paid prior to such time, decreased by the sum of (A) any prior withdrawals from or partial surrenders of the contract accumulated at [a rate] rates of interest [of three per cent per annum, and (B)] as indicated in subdivision (3) of this subsection; (B) an annual contract charge of fifty dollars, accumulated at rates of interest as indicated in subdivision (3) of this subsection; and (C) the amount of any indebtedness to the company on the contract, including interest due and accrued. [; and increased by any existing additional amounts credited by the company to the contract. The] (2) The net considerations for a given contract year used to define the minimum nonforfeiture amount shall be an amount [not less than zero and shall be equal to the corresponding] equal to eighty-seven and one-half per cent of the gross considerations credited to the contract during that contract year. [less an annual contract charge of thirty dollars and less a collection charge of one dollar and twenty-five cents per consideration credited to the contract during that contract year. The percentages of net considerations shall be sixty-five per cent of the net consideration for the first contract year and eighty-seven and one-half per cent of the net considerations for the second and later contract years, except the percentage shall be sixty-five per cent of the portion of the total net consideration for any renewal contract year which exceeds by not more than two times the sum of those portions of the net considerations in all prior contract years for which the percentage was sixty-five per cent; (2) with respect to contracts providing for fixed scheduled considerations, minimum nonforfeiture amounts shall be calculated on the assumption that considerations are paid annually in advance and shall be defined as for contracts with flexible considerations which are paid annually with two exceptions: (A) The portion of the net consideration for the first contract year to be accumulated shall be the sum of sixty-five per cent of the net consideration for the first contract year plus twenty-two and one-half per cent of the excess of the net consideration for the first contract year over the lesser of the net considerations for the second and third contract years; (B) the annual contract charge shall be the lesser of (i) thirty dollars or (ii) ten per cent of the gross annual consideration. (3) With respect to contracts providing for a single consideration, minimum nonforfeiture amounts shall be defined as for contracts with flexible considerations except that the percentage of net consideration used to determine the minimum nonforfeiture amount shall be equal to ninety per cent and the net consideration shall be the gross consideration less a contract charge of seventy-five dollars. ] (3) The interest rate used in determining minimum nonforfeiture amounts shall be an annual rate of interest determined as the lesser of three per cent per annum or the rate calculated pursuant to subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of this subdivision, which shall be specified in the contract if the interest rate will be reset: (A) The five-year Constant Maturity Treasury Rate reported by the Federal Reserve as of a date, or average over a period of time, rounded to the nearest one-twentieth of one per cent, specified in the contract no later than fifteen months prior to the contract issue date or redetermination date under subparagraph (D) of this subdivision; (B) reduced by one hundred twenty-five basis points; (C) where the resulting interest rate is not less than one per cent; and (D) where such interest rate applies for an initial period of time and may be redetermined for additional periods of time. The redetermination date, basis and period, if any, shall be stated in the contract. The basis is the date or average over a specified period of time that produces the value of the five-year Constant Maturity Treasury Rate to be used at each redetermination date. (4) During the period of time or term that a contract provides substantive participation in an equity indexed benefit, the contract may increase the reduction described in subparagraph (B) of subdivision (3) of this subsection by an amount up to an additional one hundred basis points to reflect the value of the equity index benefit. The present value at the contract issue date, and at each redetermination date thereafter, of the additional reduction shall not exceed the market value of the benefit. The commissioner may require a demonstration that the present value of the additional reduction does not exceed the market value of the benefit. If there is no such demonstration that is acceptable to the commissioner, the commissioner may disallow or limit the additional reduction. (5) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of subdivision (4) of this subsection and to provide for further adjustments to the calculation of minimum nonforfeiture amounts for contracts that provide substantive participation in an equity index benefit and for other contracts for which the commissioner determines adjustments are justified.

(d) Any paid-up annuity benefit available under a contract shall be such that its present value on the date annuity payments are to commence is at least equal to the minimum nonforfeiture amount on that date. Such present value shall be computed using the mortality table, if any, and the interest [rate] rates specified in the contract for determining the minimum paid-up annuity benefits guaranteed in the contract.

(e) For contracts which provide cash surrender benefits, such cash surrender benefits available prior to maturity shall not be less than the present value as of the date of surrender of that portion of the maturity value of the paid-up annuity benefit which would be provided under the contract at maturity arising from considerations paid prior to the time of cash surrender reduced by the amount appropriate to reflect any prior withdrawals from or partial surrenders of the contract, such present value being calculated on the basis of an interest rate not more than one per cent higher than the interest rate specified in the contract for accumulating the net considerations to determine such maturity value, decreased by the amount of any indebtedness to the company on the contract, including interest due and accrued, and increased by any existing additional amounts credited by the company to the contract. In no event shall any cash surrender benefit be less than the minimum nonforfeiture amount at that time. The death benefit under such contracts shall be at least equal to the cash surrender benefit.

(f) For contracts which do not provide cash surrender benefits, the present value of any paid-up annuity benefit available as a nonforfeiture option at any time prior to maturity shall not be less than the present value of that portion of the maturity value of the paid-up annuity benefit, provided under the contract arising from consideration paid prior to the time the contract is surrendered in exchange for, or changed to, a deferred paid-up annuity, such present value being calculated for the period prior to the maturity date on the basis of the interest rate specified in the contract for accumulating the net considerations to determine such maturity value, and increased by any existing additional amounts credited by the company to the contract. For contracts which do not provide any death benefits prior to the commencement of any annuity payments, such present values shall be calculated on the basis of such interest rate and the mortality table specified in the contract for determining the maturity value of the paid-up annuity benefit. In no event shall the present value of a paid-up annuity benefit be less than the minimum nonforfeiture amount at that time.

(g) For the purpose of determining the benefits calculated under subsections (e) and (f) of this section, in the case of annuity contracts under which an election may be made to have annuity payments commence at optional maturity dates, the maturity date shall be deemed to be the latest date for which election shall be permitted by the contract, but shall not be deemed to be later than the anniversary of the contract next following the annuitant's seventieth birthday or the tenth anniversary of the contract, whichever is later.

(h) Any contract which does not provide cash surrender benefits or does not provide death benefits at least equal to the minimum nonforfeiture amount prior to the commencement of any annuity payments shall include a statement in a prominent place in the contract that such benefits are not provided.

(i) Any paid-up annuity, cash surrender or death benefits available at any time, other than on the contract anniversary under any contract with fixed scheduled considerations, shall be calculated with allowance for the lapse of time and the payment of any scheduled considerations beyond the beginning of the contract year in which cessation of payment of considerations under the contract occurs.

(j) For any contract which provides, within the same contract by rider or supplemental contract provision, both annuity benefits and life insurance benefits that are in excess of the greater of cash surrender benefits or a return of the gross considerations with interest, the minimum nonforfeiture benefits shall be equal to the sum of the minimum nonforfeiture benefits for the annuity portion and the minimum nonforfeiture benefits, if any, for the life insurance portion computed as if each portion were a separate contract. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (d), (e), (f), (g) and (i) of this section, additional benefits payable (1) in the event of total and permanent disability, (2) as reversionary annuity or deferred reversionary annuity benefits, or (3) as other policy benefits additional to life insurance, endowment and annuity benefits, and considerations for all such additional benefits, shall be disregarded in ascertaining the minimum nonforfeiture amounts, paid-up annuity, cash surrender and death benefits that may be required by this section. The inclusion of such additional benefits shall not be required in any paid-up benefits, unless such additional benefits separately would require minimum nonforfeiture amounts, paid-up annuity, cash surrender and death benefits.

(k) On or after October 1, 1978, but prior to January 1, 1981, any company may file with the commissioner a written notice of its election to comply with the provisions of this section after a specified date and the provisions of this section shall apply to annuity contracts issued by such company on or after such specified date. On or after January 1, 1981, the provisions of this section shall apply to annuity contracts issued by any company.

(l) On or after the effective date of this section, but prior to July 1, 2005, any company may file with the commissioner a written notice of its election to comply with the provisions of this section with respect to contract forms specified in the notice and issued on and after the effective date of this section, except that (1) no such notice shall be required for a company that elects to comply with the provisions of this section as set forth in the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2003, and (2) on and after July 1, 2005, the provisions of this section shall apply to all annuity contracts issued by any company on and after July 1, 2005.

(m) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section.

Approved May 23, 2003