A Fresh Look at Accounting for Reinsurance of Universal Life

Link: https://www.soa.org/sections/financial-reporting/financial-reporting-newsletter/2022/september/fr-2022-09-malerich/

Excerpt:

Under LDTI, DAC amortization will no longer obscure the relationship between direct and ceded accounting. It is now possible to align ceded accounting with direct, without any noise from DAC amortization. With poor alignment, distortions within the results reported to management and financial statement users will be different, sometimes greater than before. Whether the goal is to improve reporting or to avoid making it worse, a fresh look can help.

Most of the approaches that have been used to account for UL reinsurance can still be used. One exception is the implicit approach where, in lieu of explicit accounting for reinsurance, the gross profits used to amortize DAC were adjusted to be net of reinsurance. With the elimination of gross profits as an amortization base, this approach no longer has meaning.

For surviving approaches, it is now easier to evaluate their effectiveness in presenting the economic protection provided by reinsurance.

In this article, I begin an evaluation by examining the fundamentals of accounting for the insurance element of universal life. After that, I consider the economic protection provided by reinsurance and look for an ideal—a way to effectively account for that protection.

In a second article to be published later this year, I’ll evaluate several reinsurance approaches in terms of noise from missing the ideal, then end with some thoughts on what might be done to eliminate noise.

The focus of both articles is on the insurance element. Accounting for the deposit element, embedded derivatives, and market risk benefits is beyond the scope of these articles. Also outside of scope is the requirement, in Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 326, to recognize a current estimate of credit losses from the failure of a reinsurer to reimburse reinsured benefits.

Author(s): Steve Malerich

Publication Date: Sept 2022

Publication Site: Financial Reporting newsletter, SOA

Late-in-Life Decisions Guide

Link: https://www.soa.org/resources/research-reports/2022/2022-lil-decisions-guide/

report: https://www.soa.org/497f1c/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2022/lil-decisions-guide.pdf

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Excerpt:

Much of retirement planning focuses on financial, investment, and estate planning needs. Earlier research,
such as the SOA’s Retirement Health & Happiness brief, showcases how this retirement planning overlooks some challenges of late-in-life retirees.


Retirees have access to more than 200,000 personal finance professionals, 10,000 senior centers, and
approximately 28,000 assisted living facilities. Still, do retirees have all the information they need to make
critical decisions throughout retirement, particularly in the latter stages of retirement?

In collaboration with Financial Finesse, the SOA Aging and Retirement Strategic Research Program
prepared this guide as a resource to help older retirees and those who assist them. This guide will
help the reader ask impactful questions to make informed decisions.

Author(s): SOA Aging and Retirement Strategic Research Program

Publication Date: 2022

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries

2020-2021 Excess Deaths in the U.S. General Population by Age and Sex

Link: https://www.soa.org/resources/research-reports/2022/excess-death-us/

Full report: https://www.soa.org/4a55a7/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2022/excess-death-us.pdf

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Excerpt:

The data used for this analysis was provided by the CDC as of August 17, 2022 and includes incurred deaths
by week, beginning on December 29, 2019 and going through July 2, 2022. For 2020, the CDC defines Week
1 as ranging from December 29, 2019 through January 4, 2020 and Week 52 as ranging from December 19,
2020 through December 26, 2020, so when reporting on 2020 results, this convention is used. The year
2021 begins on December 27, 2020 and runs through January 2, 2022. For the purposes of this analysis, the
start of the COVID-19 active period is March 22, 2020.
Due to the delay in reporting, the actual deaths have been completed based on factors that vary by age
and sex. These are shown below along with the expectations that are based on the five-year trend after
adjusting for seasonality.

These data are as of August 17, 2022 and exclude deaths that occurred after July 2, 2022. Figure 1 shows
that, for most months, the total A/E ratio is much greater than 100%, while the A/E ratio excluding COVID19 deaths is also greater than 100% by a few percent.

Author(s): Rick Leavitt, ASA, MAAA

Publication Date: August 2022

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries Research Institute

COVID-19 and the Short-Term Impact on Future U.S. Mortality

Link: https://www.soa.org/resources/research-reports/2022/covid-19-short-term-impact-us-mort/

PDF of report: https://www.soa.org/4a28d8/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2022/covid-19-short-term-impact-us-mort-report.pdf

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Excerpt:

Excess mortality is expected to occur for all years studied with amounts varying by year and age.
Although the largest mortality excess numbers for the U.S. general population are foreseen for
2022, excess mortality is expected to decline each year so that by 2030, excess mortality numbers
are nearing expected levels. For 2030, mortality is projected to be 2% higher than expected for all
ages except age 85. At this age, 2030 projected mortality is estimated to be 1% higher than
expected.

Based on the average of the participants, generally, the amount of mortality excess is anticipated to be highest at the younger ages. For example, for 2022, projected mortality is anticipated to be 14% higher
compared to expected levels for age 25, 13% higher for age 45, and 10% higher for ages 65 and 85.

Author(s): Ronora Stryker, ASA, MAAA

Publication Date: August 2022

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries

Covid-19 Impact on the South African Life Insurance Industry: What Can we Learn?

Link: https://www.soa.org/sections/international/international-newsletter/2022/july/isn-2022-07-hoberg/

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Excerpt:

The impact of Covid-19 in South Africa in terms of excess deaths was substantial, when considering the reported excess deaths as published by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).[4] Please note that in this article we will not further consider whether all excess deaths can be directly attributed to Covid-19, however, as per the article “Correlation of Excess Natural Deaths with Other Measures of the Covid-19 Pandemic in South Africa,”[5] it is estimated that 85 percent to 95 percent of excess natural deaths are attributable to Covid-19.

Based on the SAMRC excess deaths, taking the expected plus excess deaths as Actual and expected natural deaths as per their methodology as Expected, we observe an Actual versus Expected (AvE) ratio of 116 percent in 2020, a ratio of 131 percent in 2021, and a ratio of 113 percent in 2022 up to May 1. When we look at the AvE for each wave, we can see that the 2nd wave (predominantly Beta variant) and the 3rd wave (predominantly Delta variant), had the most severe impact on the general population (see figure 2 and figure 3)

Author(s): Idelia Hoberg

Publication Date: July 2022

Publication Site: SOA International News

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider Financing Approaches

Link: https://www.soa.org/sections/product-dev/product-dev-newsletter/2022/june/pm-2022-06-scholz-eaton/

Excerpt:

Living benefit riders to life insurance policies (also known as ‘combo’ or ‘hybrid’ policies) have become a core component of life insurance sales strategy. LIMRA reported that in 2020 “Combination products represented 24 percent of life insurance sales based on total premium.”[1] Concurrently, the long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry reached an inflection point when more LTCI (and chronic illness) benefits were sold through hybrid products than from standalone LTCI coverage.

On the spectrum of life and LTCI hybrid policies, the richest of these provide coverage of LTCI first through accelerating the policy’s death benefit, and then by providing extended LTCI benefits for many more years. There are a handful of individual and worksite insurers who sell these rich hybrid policies. On the other end of this spectrum are acceleration-only riders to life insurance policies. These riders provide policyholders the opportunity to receive a portion of the policy’s death benefit in advance, under certain conditions. Some of these riders do not cover qualified LTCI, but instead cover ‘chronic illness,’ which has a similar benefit trigger but is not formally LTCI.

This article outlines industry practice and consideration for pricing these acceleration-only policies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Model Regulation #620 addresses accelerated death benefit riders to life insurance policies.[2] Model Regulation #620 outlines three financing methods for accelerated death benefit riders which we describe in this article. The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (the IIPRC, or the “Compact”) adopted standards for some of these riders in the Additional Standards for Accelerated Death Benefits (IIPRC-L-08-LB-I-AD-3).[3] For companies filing chronic illness, critical illness, and terminal illness products in the Compact, these standards define—among other items—the form and actuarial submission requirements and benefit design options for accelerated death benefit riders. If a company is filing an acceleration rider for a qualified LTCI benefit, that product would be subject to the IIPRC individual LTC insurance standards.

Author(s): Stephanie Scholz and Robert Eaton

Publication Date: June 2022

Publication Site: Product Matters!, SOA

The Mortality Improvement Model, MIM-2021-v2

Link: https://www.soa.org/resources/research-reports/2021/mortality-improvement-model/

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Excerpt:

Different mortality projection methodologies are utilized by actuaries across applications and practice areas. As a result, the SOA’s Longevity Advisory Group (“Advisory Group”) developed a single framework to serve as a consistent base for practitioners in projecting mortality improvement.  The Mortality Improvement Model, MIM-2021-v2, Tools and User Guides, compose the consistent approach and are defined below.

  1. A report describing MIM-2021-v2 which summarizes the evolution of MIM-2021-v2; provides an overview of MIM-2021-v2; presents considerations for applying mortality assumptions in the model; and outlines issues the Advisory Group is currently considering for future model enhancements.
  2. A status report of the items listed in Section V of Developing a Consistent Framework for Mortality Improvement. This report advises practitioners about subsequent research and analysis conducted by the Advisory Group regarding these items.
  3. An Excel-based tool, MIM-2021-v2 Application Tool, and user guide, MIM-2021-v2 Application Tool User Guide, for practitioners to construct sets of mortality improvement rates under this framework for specific applications.
  4. An Excel-based tool, MIM-2021-v2 Data Analysis Tool, and user guide, MIM-2021-v2 Data Analysis Tool User Guide, for practitioners to analyze the historical data sets included in the MIM-2021-v2 Application Tool.

The Longevity Advisory Group is planning to update the framework annually as new data and enhancements become available. MIM-2021-v2 is the first revision since the initial release in April 2021.  This version uses the same underpinning as the initial MIM-2021 release but has been refreshed to include another year of historical U.S. population mortality data as well as more user flexibility and functionality to replicate RPEC’s MP-2021 and O2-2021 scales.  

Author(s): Longevity Advisory Group

Publication Date: June 2022, most recent update

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries

A Widening Gap in Life Expectancy Makes Raising Social Security’s Retirement Age a Particularly Bad Deal for Low-Wage Earners

Link: https://sections.soa.org/publication/?m=58953&i=668685&view=articleBrowser&article_id=3731911&ver=html5

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Excerpt:

Many recent studies find the life expectancy gap is growing. By how much depends on how and when it’s measured. In 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated that a 65-yearold man in the upper quintile (fifth) of life earnings could be expected to live more than three years longer than a similar man in the lowest quintile. By 2039, the difference would double to six years.

In a 2015 report, the National Academy of Sciences compared the 1930 and 1960 birth cohorts and found that life expectancy for the bottom quintile of men at age 50 decreased slightly to 26.1 years over the 30-year period. Meanwhile, life expectancy rose for men age 50 in higher-income quintiles. As shown in Figure 1, the life expectancy gap between the bottom (quintile 1) and top fifth of the income distribution widened from 5.1 to 12.7 years. In 2016, a Brookings study found, for men born in 1940, those in the lowest income decile at age 50 could expect to live to be about 76 years old compared with 88 years for the highest income decile. Another research team, led by Raj Chetty, found that disparity in longevity continued to increase over 2001–2014; the average gap between the bottom and top 1 percent was 14.6 years for men and 10.1 years for women.

Author(s): Karl Polzer

Publication Date: August 2020

Publication Site: In the Public Interest, SOA

A Resilient Future

Link: https://theactuarymagazine.org/a-resilient-future/

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Excerpt:

If we consider how risk events unfold in reality, they usually occur through a sequence of interacting factors (see Figure 1). For example: A control does not quite work as intended because the usual supervisor is not available, and coincidentally a staff member has unintended access to a system from which they are able to extract personal information. On any other day, those conditions might have been different and resulted in another outcome. The reality, therefore, is that risks emerge as a result of a complex series of interactions among a large number of factors, and small changes in conditions can lead to significantly different risk outcomes.

Risk events also often involve active participants who learn and adapt their behaviors accordingly. Cyber is a good example—the attacker generally is trying to outthink their adversary and stay one step ahead. All of this means that past performance is not necessarily a reliable predictor of the future. There are too many things that can be subtly different, leading to hugely different outcomes.

Author(s): Neil Cantle

Publication Date: May 2022

Publication Site: SOA

COVID-19 Mortality Study: Analytics – 2021 Q2

Link: https://www.limra.com/en/research/benchmarks/u.s.-individual-life-insurance-covid-19-mortality-experience-study/analytics/2021-q2/

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Excerpt:

LIMRA, Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute, and TAI have collaborated on an ongoing effort to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on the
individual life insurance industry’s mortality experience and share the emerging results with the insurance industry and the public. The Individual Life COVID-19 Project Work Group (Work
Group) was formed as a collaboration of LIMRA, RGA, the SOA Research Institute, and TAI to design, implement, and create the study and to produce and distribute a variety of analyses.
This report is the fifth public release from this collaboration and contains the results of the study of excess mortality for individual life insurance to include the second quarter of 2021.
Data from 31 companies representing approximately 72% of the industry face amount in force have been included in the analysis in this report. A total of 3.0 million death claims from
individual life policies from 2015 through June 30, 2021 make up the basis of the analysis.


Highlights for the 2nd Quarter

  • The second quarter of 2021 showed a significant realignment of the actual to expected relative mortality ratios, across many different cuts of the data.
  • It is worth noting that the third quarter 2021 results will likely not be as favorable due to the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant whose impact first started in July 2021 and peaked
    around mid- September
  • All age groups improved in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2021, but the improvement was more dramatic in the older ages. While the three age groups shown under
    age 65 were still significantly over the trend established by 2015-2019, the age 65-84 group was within the 95% confidence bands and the age 85+ group was significantly better than the
    2015-2019 trend (p < 0.05).
  • Whereas the pandemic experience so far had showed substantial variations across different regions, this appears to have moderated during the 2nd quarter of 2022.

Author(s): Individual Life COVID-19 Project Work Group, SOA

Publication Date: May 2022, accessed 21 May 2022

Publication Site: LIMRA

U.S. Individual Life COVID-19 Reported Claims Analysis, Fourth Quarter, 2021 Update

Link: https://www.soa.org/resources/experience-studies/2022/us-ind-life-covid-q4/

PDF: https://www.soa.org/49ab0d/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2022/us-ind-life-covid-q4.pdf

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Description:

LIMRA, Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), the Society of Actuaries Research Institute (SOA), and TAI have collaborated on an ongoing effort to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on the individual life insurance industry’s mortality experience and share the emerging results with the insurance industry and the public. This report documents a high-level analysis of the claims that have been reported through December 31, 2021. The results presented here are based on data from 32 companies representing approximately 72% of the individual life insurance in force for the experience period of the study.

Author(s): Individual Life COVID-19 Project Work Group

Publication Date: May 2022, accessed 21 May 2022

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries