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Financial Institution Letters
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Office of Thrift Supervision
Interagency Statement on the Purchase and Risk Management of Life Insurance
Institutions should follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) applicable to life insurance for financial and regulatory reporting purposes. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Technical Bulletin No. 85 4, Accounting for Purchases of Life Insurance (TB 85 4), discusses how to account for holdings of life insurance. Under TB 85-4, only the amount that could be realized under an insurance contract as of the balance sheet date (that is, the CSV reported to the institution by the carrier, less any applicable surrender charges not reflected by the insurance carrier in the reported CSV) is reported as an asset. The guidance set forth in TB 85 4 concerning the carrying value of insurance on the balance sheet is generally appropriate for all forms of BOLI.
An institution may purchase multiple permanent insurance policies from the same insurance carrier with each policy having its own surrender charges. In some cases, the insurance carrier will issue a rider or other contractual provision stating that it will waive the surrender charges if all of the policies are surrendered at the same time. Because it is not known at any balance sheet date whether one or more of the policies will be surrendered before the deaths of the insureds, the possibility that the institution will surrender all of these policies simultaneously and avoid the surrender charges is a gain contingency. Under FASB Statement No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies, "[c]ontingencies that might result in gains usually are not reflected in the accounts since to do so might be to recognize revenue prior to its realization." Accordingly, an institution should report each of the insurance policies on its balance sheet at the policy's CSV reported by the insurance carrier, less any applicable surrender charges not reflected in the reported CSV, without regard to the existence of the rider.
In accordance with the instructions for Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income and Thrift Financial Reports, an institution should report the carrying value of its BOLI holdings as an "other asset" and the earnings on these holdings should be reported as "other noninterest income."
The agencies have seen a number of cases in which institutions have failed to account properly for a type of deferred compensation agreement, commonly referred to as a revenue-neutral plan or an indexed retirement plan. The accounting for such plans is separate and distinct from the accounting for BOLI. However, because many institutions buy BOLI to help offset the cost of providing such deferred compensation, the agencies have issued guidance addressing the accounting requirements for both deferred compensation agreements and BOLI. See the "Interagency Advisory on Accounting for Deferred Compensation Agreements and Bank-Owned Life Insurance," dated February 11, 2004, for a complete description, including examples, of the appropriate accounting treatment.
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