A Comprehensive Look at U.S. Reserving Principles for Universal Life Insurance: Fixed, Indexed and Variable


June 07, 2018


Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown
Chicago, IL

  • External Forces & Industry Knowledge

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The Society of Actuaries and PolySystems are co-sponsoring their annual Reserves Seminars this June. The seminars offer a comprehensive and hands on look at on the latest U.S. reserving principles for VM-20, traditional life, universal life and deferred annuity products. 

All actuaries learn about reserving principles while in school or studying for exams. However, applying reserving principles as part of a company’s financial reporting process requires additional education that cannot be provided by a book. 

The Reserves Seminars have been specifically designed by PolySystems to demonstrate how to apply the fundamental principles of reserving to the practical, on-the-job demands of statutory, GAAP, and tax financial reporting. 

Registration is open to all. The concentrated syllabus and classroom style atmosphere of each seminar provides an environment in which new students and senior management alike will expand their knowledge and learn from actuaries with broad and deep experience in valuation processes. 

About The Sponsors

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the largest global professional actuarial organization. With unmatched research and education, and more than 28,000 of the highest skilled actuarial professionals, we prepare the individuals trusted to drive better business decisions and promote financial security in an ever-changing world.

PolySystems is a leading provider of comprehensive valuation, modeling and experience study software to life, health and annuity companies. PolySystems’ core strength is designing software solutions that meet regulatory reserve requirements. Their integrated solutions can be used to calculate reserves and capital, run asset/liability projections for CFT and planning, set assumptions, carry out sensitivity and stochastic analyses, manage inforce profitability, price products and more.

PolySystems has been co-sponsoring this Reserves Seminar with the SOA for over a decade and is an industry leader in U.S. reserving methods and techniques. PolySystems has over 100 actuaries and IT professionals working in Chicago, New Jersey and South Carolina to meet actuarial software needs at both the product and enterprise level.

Course Overview

Join us at the 2018 Universal Life Reserves Seminar for a comprehensive, introductory-level session on U.S. reserving principles for fixed, indexed and variable universal life products.

Universal life insurance was introduced in the early 1980s to offer policyholders flexibility over traditional products. Over time, the universal life contract design has evolved as insurers add product features to meet consumer demands, including persistency bonuses, secondary guarantees, and equity market participation via indexed and variable universal life. As the product has evolved, new reserving regulations and guidelines have emerged for these new features. 

The presentation begins with a review of the basic product design as a building block for reserving concepts. The presenters walk through the essential concepts (such as the ULCRVM model reserve calculation) and then continue to build on the basics, while explaining the newer and more intricate features of today’s products and their impact on the reserve calculations. All topics, including the PBR Net Premium Reserve for a ULSG product, are illustrated with comprehensive worksheet examples that are made available to all participants. 

Course materials will be distributed via email the week before the class. Class participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to dive into the spreadsheet examples along with the presenters. 


Overview of Universal Life Product Features

Fixed, indexed, and variable products

Flexible and fixed premium products

Persistency bonuses

Secondary guarantees (with and without shadow accounts)

Various types of reinsurance and the reinsurance reserve offset

Statutory and Tax Valuation

Statutory model law valuation and alternative minimum reserves

ULSG reserves under Regulation XXX and Actuarial Guideline 38

Actuarial Guideline 36 for indexed universal life

Actuarial Guideline 37 for variable universal life guaranteed minimum death benefits

Actuarial Guideline 38 for universal life with secondary guarantees

Principles-based reserves for universal life with secondary guarantees (VM-20)

Tax reserve under the new tax reform legislation

GAAP Valuation

FAS97 estimated gross profits

FAS97 deferred acquisition costs

SOP 03-1 reserving

Who Should Attend

Registration is open to all. PolySystems has specifically designed this seminar to demonstrate how to apply the fundamental principles of reserving to the practical, on-the-job demands of statutory, GAAP and tax financial reporting.  The concentrated syllabus and classroom style atmosphere of each seminar provide an environment in which new students and senior management working as actuaries or other professionals will expand their knowledge and learn from actuaries with broad and deep experience in valuation processes.  





Demonstrating the listening, writing and speaking skills required to effectively address diverse technical and nontechnical audiences in both formal and informal settings.

Professional Values

Adhering to standards of professional conduct and practice where all business interactions are based on a foundation of integrity, honesty and impartiality.

External Forces & Industry Knowledge

Identifying and incorporating the implications of economic, social, regulatory, geo-political and business changes into the design and delivery of actuarial solutions.


Initiating, innovating, inspiring, creating or otherwise acting to influence others regardless of level or role toward a common goal.

Relationship Management & Interpersonal Collaboration

Creating mutually beneficial relationships and work processes toward a common goal.

Technical Skills & Analytical Problem Solving

Applying the actuarial knowledge, skills and judgment required to provide value-added services.

Strategic Insight & Integration

Anticipating trends and strategically aligning actuarial practice with broader organizational business goals.

Results-Oriented Solutions

Providing effective problem solving that addresses relevant interests and needs.