The New York State Department of Financial Services says a company needs to handle pension risk transfer business in New York state through its New York state subsidiary, not through insurance companies based in other states.
The department has underscored that point by imposing a $45 million fine on Athene Annuity and Life Company and Athene Annuity’s parent, Athene Holding Ltd.
Athene Holding is based in Pembroke, Bermuda, and Athene Annuity is based in Iowa.
New York officials say Athene made 14 pension risk transfer deals that affected 6,394 New York state residents, and that it used an insurance company based outside of New York to handle relationships with those New York state residents.
- A link to the new pension risk transfer consent order is available here.
- An article about New York’s pension risk transfer circular letter is available here.
“An unauthorized insurer may not make telephone calls, provide access to web portals (save for limited circumstances…), or engage in any other manner of communication with any person in New York from outside New York, other than by mail (including email),” according to a consent order signed by New York department officials and Athene representatives. “In addition, an unauthorized life insurer may not solicit, negotiate, or sell group annuity contracts (“GACs”) through in-person meetings, telephone calls, mail, emails, access to web portals, or any other form of communication from a location in New York.”
Athene has agreed to handle New York state pension plan participants through a subsidiary based in New York state, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York, according to the consent order.
Linda Lacewell, New York’s superintendent, said in a statement about the consent order that enforcing the restrictions on unauthorized insurers helps the state protect retirement investments.