Tax changes affecting life insurance
The new version of the illustration software (version 6.0) including all 2017 tax changes will be released on December 20, 2016.
A new updated insurance application form as well as the policy change without evidence of insurability form will be available as of December 12, 2016. Previous versions of applications and policy change forms will be accepted up until February 28, 2017.
Following a series of measures adopted in the 2012 federal budget, a number of changes will be made to tax rules affecting life insurance contracts, effective January 1, 2017. These changes are primarily aimed at standardizing the tax treatment of products as well as provide greater consistency among life insurance products offered by insurance companies.
These changes will have an impact on all contracts, particularly universal life insurance contracts. Prescribed annuity contracts will also be affected.
Certain changes to our product features will be made effective January 1, 2017 to comply with the new tax rules.
- Multi-life coverage will no longer be offered for universal life insurance
- The conversion of multiple term life coverages covering more than one insured into different universal life coverages within the same contract will no longer be possible.
- The Maximizer face amount adjustment option offered with universal life insurance is simplified. Only one amount will be requested, and will now apply until the date specified by the policyowner.
Changes to in-force contracts and grandfathering
Policies issued prior to January 1, 2017, will be grandfathered under the current tax rules, UNLESS specific policy changes are made on or after January 1, 2017. Should this be the case, the new tax rules will then apply. Policy changes that could result in a loss of grandfathering should be considered now, before the start of the new rules, as they may be in the best interest of your client.
Important dates AND ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
Generally, in order for a contract to be governed under the current tax rules, meaning rules in place prior to January 1, 2017, the date that the policy is approved by underwriting as well as the policy date (or coverage effective date) must be on or before December 31, 2016. All other contracts will be governed under the new tax rules.
It may be a good opportunity to meet with your clients to discuss whether it is in their interest to make changes to their existing policy or take out a new policy now. A detailed analysis of their needs and situation will help you to determine whether it would be best to make certain changes in 2016 or in future years.
The changes stemming from the new tax rules are significant. You are advised to contact your clients and to review their current needs. However, these changes will not have a major impact on most clients.
For more information about these changes, contact your SSQ representative or SSQ Client Services.