Monday, September 09, 2019

Problem solved? Sorta, maybe.

Just about two years ago, we reported on a potential problem still lurking under the radar:

"For decades, life insurance carriers ... sold permanent universal life insurance policies, marketed as "insurance for life," utilizing outdated mortality tables that did not take into account the fact that Americans were, and are, increasingly living to and past the age of 100."

To be sure, there are still quite a few other permanent-type plans out there with the same issue.

And what issue is that, Henry?

Well, when these plans "mature" while the insured is still alive, that person is likely to be hit with a pretty hefty tax bill; that is, the policy is paid out as a lump sum to the insured, and any excess over the total premiums paid are taxable. That could be a sizeable sum indeed, and is a double whammy (since that policy is now canceled).

Until now, there really wasn't much one could do about in-force plans (hence the clarion call for a class action lawsuit).

But in a Long Term Care insurance (LTCi) product training session last week, I learned about another product that might be a solution to the tax issue:

OneAmerica Life offers an annuity product that's available to folks up to 99 years old, and doesn't require forced annuitization (or Required Minimum Distributions). While marketed as a potential LTCi alternative, it struck me as solving at least part of that "maturation" problem, since there's no immediate funds to pay out and thus be taxed. Called "Legacy Care®,"  it lets one roll-over the cash value of an existing life insurance policy and continue to defer taking the tax "hit" (although it's going to fall to one's heirs eventually).

Not perfect, of course, but at least a little light at the end of the tunnel.

[Hat Tip: FoIB Randy G]
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