IRS Rules Captive Reinsurance Arrangement Involving Retiree Medical Benefits Qualifies as Insurance for Federal Tax Purposes

On May 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruled that an employer’s wholly owned captive insurance subsidiary could reinsure the employer’s retiree medical benefit risks and still qualify as insurance for federal tax purposes, even though the retiree medical reinsurance policy was the only business of the captive.  The IRS held that the insured risks were those of the retirees and their dependents, not of the employer or the employer’s voluntary employee benefit association that purchased the insurance policy reinsured through the captive.  The ruling will serve as guidance for employers seeking to structure and implement similar captive reinsurance arrangements that are eligible for favorable federal tax treatment.

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Brian Tiemann
Brian J. Tiemann counsels public and private companies on a broad range of employee benefit matters, including matters related to pension plans, 401(k) plans and executive and incentive compensation. He advises plan fiduciaries with respect to their fiduciary duties, investment policies and alternative investments. He also advises multinational clients on global employee benefits matters, particularly with respect to global incentive compensation plans. Brian has extensive experience negotiating investment management agreements and service provider agreements. Read Brian Tiemann's full bio.


Elizabeth Erickson
  Elizabeth Erickson provides legal counsel on complex civil tax controversies, including tax litigation and transfer pricing matters. She has extensive experience in resolving domestic and international tax matters at all stages of dispute, including Internal Revenue Service examinations, administrative appeals, and litigation in the US Tax Court and district courts. She has advocated for clients before the Internal Revenue Service National Office, negotiated Advance Pricing Agreements with the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities, and resolved disputes through the Competent Authority process. Read Elizabeth Erickson's full bio.


Kristen E. Hazel
Kristen E. Hazel has extensive experience representing clients in US and international aspects of federal tax matters, including international acquisitions and divestitures, international joint ventures, and capital plan design and implementation, including tax planning with respect to intellectual property. Her work includes both inbound and outbound transactions. Kristen is the co-chair of the Firm's Captive Insurance Affinity Group. She regularly counsels clients with respect to the tax aspects of organizing, operating and defending captive insurance companies. Read Kristen Hazel's full bio.


Thomas M. Jones, PC
Thomas (Tom) M. Jones advises clients on federal and state tax, insurance regulatory and legal matters concerning captive insurance and other alternatives to commercial insurance. He counsels multinational corporations, private businesses, taxable and exempt health care providers, trade associations, joint ventures, government instrumentalities, labor unions and enterprises of all types. Read Tom Jones's full bio.

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