Life Bureau Filing Guidance Note

Guidance Date: May 8, 2020

Expedited Approval of SECURE Act of 2019 Submissions

The Setting Every Community Up Retirement Enhancement Act (“SECURE Act”) was enacted in December of 2019.  The SECURE Act made changes to the tax treatment of certain types of retirement arrangements, which may impact provisions of annuity contracts that are drafted in accordance with the tax law.

In addition to updating policy forms for new issue, companies may need to amend in-force annuity contracts whose language is no longer accurate, otherwise the policy forms would be misleading.  Amendments to existing contracts must be done on approved policy forms (i.e. endorsement/rider) in accordance with Insurance Law section 3201(b).

The Life Bureau, in anticipation of the submission of policy forms for SECURE Act purposes, is offering guidance as follows to expedite approval:

  1. The submission should be filed through SERFF under the Circular Letter No. 6 (2004) certified process following usual procedures for that process.
  2. The first line of the SERFF Filing Description should state “SECURE ACT Filing”.
  3. If the submitted form is replacing a previously approved policy form, the SERFF Filing Description must identify (by form number, approval date, and Department file number) the previously approved policy form.
  4. If the form being submitted is an endorsement or rider, the SERFF Filing Description must identify (by form number, approval date, and Department file number) the previously approved form with which it will be used, or, if for more general use, describe the type or group of such forms as well as whether the endorsement or rider will be used with new and/or previously issued contracts.
  5. The new form being submitted must have a distinguishing form identification number. The use of "REV" or a date e.g. 5/20 after the form number would be acceptable.
  6. The changes being made to the previously approved policy form must be identified in a redlined copy of the policy form attached under the Supporting Documentation tab in SERFF or explained in the SERFF Filing Description.