Section 9B: Annual actuary opinion
Section 9B. (A) Every life insurance company doing business in the commonwealth shall annually submit the opinion of a qualified actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial items held in support of the policies and contracts specified by the commission by regulation are computed appropriately, are based on assumptions which satisfy contractual provisions, are consistent with prior reported amounts and comply with applicable laws of the commonwealth. The commissioner by regulation shall define the specifics of this opinion and add any other items deemed to be necessary to its scope.
(1) The opinion shall be submitted with the annual statement reflecting the valuation of such reserve liabilities for each year ending on and after December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and ninety-two.
(2) The opinion shall apply to all business in force, including individual and group accident and sickness insurance plans, in form and substance acceptable to the commissioner as specified by regulation.
(3) The opinion shall be based on standards adopted from time to time by the Actuarial Standards Board and on such additional standards as the commissioner may by regulation prescribe.
(4) In the case of an opinion required to be submitted by a foreign or alien company, the commissioner may accept the opinion filed by the company with the insurance supervisory official of another state if the commissioner determines that the opinion reasonably meets the requirements applicable to a company domiciled in the commonwealth.
(5) For the purposes of this section, ''qualified actuary'' shall mean a member in good standing of the American Academy of Actuaries who meets the requirements set forth in regulations prescribed by the commissioner.
(6) Except in cases of fraud or willful misconduct, the qualified actuary shall not be liable for damages to any person, other than the insurance company and the commissioner, for any act, error, omission, decision or conduct with respect to the actuary's opinion.
(7) Disciplinary action by the commissioner against the company or the qualified actuary for violation of this section shall be defined in regulations by the commissioner.
(8) A memorandum, in form and substance acceptable to the commissioner as specified by regulation, shall be prepared to support each actuarial opinion.
(9) If the insurance company fails to provide a supporting memorandum at the request of the commissioner within a period specified by regulation, or the commissioner determines that the supporting memorandum provided by the insurance company fails to meet the standards prescribed by the regulations, or is otherwise unacceptable to the commissioner, the commissioner may engage a qualified actuary at the expense of the company to review the opinion and the basis for the opinion and prepare such supporting memorandum as is required by the commissioner.
(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of the General Laws, including clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four and chapter sixty-six, any memorandum in support of the opinion, and any other material provided by the company to the commissioner in connection therewith, shall be kept confidential by the commissioner and shall not be made public and shall not be subject to subpoena, other than for the purpose of defending an action seeking damages from any person by reason of any action required by this section or by regulations promulgated hereunder; provided, however, that the memorandum or other materials may otherwise be released by the commissioner (a) with the written consent of the company or (b) to the American Academy of Actuaries upon request stating that the memorandum or other material is required for the purpose of professional disciplinary proceedings and setting forth procedures satisfactory to the commissioner for preserving the confidentiality of the memorandum or other material. Once any portion of the confidential memorandum is cited by the company in its marketing or is cited before any governmental agency other than a state insurance department or is released by the company to the news media, all portions of the confidential memorandum shall be no longer confidential.
(B) Every life insurance company, except as exempted by or pursuant to regulation, shall also annually include in the opinion required by paragraph (1) of subsection (A) an opinion of the same qualified actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial items held in support of the policies and contracts specified by the commissioner by regulation, when considered in light of the assets held by the company with respect to the reserves and related actuarial items, including but not limited to the investment earnings on the assets and the considerations anticipated to be received and retained under the policies and contracts, make adequate provision for the company's obligations under the policies and contracts, including but not limited to the benefits under and expenses associated with the policies and contracts.
(C) The commissioner may, pursuant to chapter thirty A, promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(D) The commissioner may provide by regulation for a transition period for establishing any higher reserves which the qualified actuary may deem necessary in order to render the opinion required by this section.