New York State

Insurance

Department

New York State seal

LIFE BUREAU

FILING GUIDANCE NOTE

Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

GUIDANCE DATE: 10/31/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Equity index annuity contract or life insurance policy paid dividend disclosure under Section 3209(b)(2)(C)
October 31, 2008

Section 3209(b)(2)(C) has been added to the New York Insurance Law and applies to both life policies and annuity contracts whether or not they are illustrated.  Section 3209(b)(2) reads in part as follows:

(2) no annuity contract or life insurance policy or certificate with an equity index account shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless, no later than at the time of application, the prospective purchaser has been provided with a disclosure statement containing the following:

…(C) a statement indicating whether paid dividends are included in changes in the equity index, together with a description of how such dividends, or lack thereof, would affect the changes in the equity index; the statement must provide the average dividend rate over the lesser of ten years or the calculable life of the index;

The following is guidance on calculating and communicating the average dividend rate required by Section 3209(b)(2)(C). 

This average dividend rate should be calculated on the most recent completed 10 calendar years and be provided as the average dividend rate in communications by the first of the month following the end of the latest completed calendar year (i.e., by February 1 the average dividend rate for the most recent 10 completed calendar years would be provided in the disclosure required by Section 3209(b)(2)(C)).   The average dividend rates may be rounded to the nearest 0.1%. 

The dividend rate for a year is calculated as (a)-(b) where:

(a) is the value at the end of the year of $1 invested at the beginning of the year in the securities underlying the index with any dividends during the year reinvested in the underlying securities.

(b) is the value at the end of the year of $1 invested at the beginning of the year in the securities underlying the index where any dividends are ignored.

If the composition of the securities underlying the index change during the year, the values in (a) and (b) should be adjusted accordingly. 
 
The following are examples of Section 3209(b)(2)(C) disclosure that would be satisfactory to the Department.  For these examples, the index used is the S&P 500® Index for the ten year period ending December 31, 2007.  This information was derived from the Standard and Poor’s Website http://www2.standardandpoors.com/spf/xls/index/MONTHLY.xls

S&P 500
Year
Ending
(a)
Total Return
(b)
Index Without Dividends
(a)-(b) Dividend Component
12/31/2007 5.49% 3.53% 1.96%
12/29/2006 15.79% 13.62% 2.17%
12/31/2005 4.91% 3.00% 1.91%
12/31/2004 10.88% 8.99% 1.89%
12/31/2003 28.69% 26.38% 2.31%
12/31/2002 -22.10% -23.37% 1.26%
12/31/2001 -11.89% -13.04% 1.16%
12/29/2000 -9.10% -10.14% 1.03%
12/31/1999 21.04% 19.53% 1.52%
12/31/1998 28.58% 26.67% 1.91%
Arithmetic
Average
    1.71%

During this ten year period, the arithmetic average of the annual dividend returns in the S&P 500 index was 1.71%.

Examples:

If dividends are not included, the following is satisfactory disclosure for the period from February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009.

The index used in determining the interest crediting is the S&P 500 Index without dividends.  Dividends paid on the securities underlying the index are not included in the index return.  Over the ten year period ending December 31, 2007 the returns on the index were lower by an average of 1.7% each year compared to the same index with dividends.

If dividends are included, the following is satisfactory disclosure for the period from February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009.

The index used in determining the interest crediting is the S&P 500 Index with dividends.  Dividends paid on the securities underlying the index are included in the index.  Over the ten year period ending December 31, 2007, the returns on the index were higher by an average of 1.7% each year compared to the same index without dividends.

“S&P 500®” is a trademark of the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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