Annuity operations

Contract Administration related to CARES Act, New York Executive Order, New Jersey Executive Order, and USPS International Mail Suspension

April 20, 2020

Please note: Given the fluid nature of this situation, these questions and responses are reflective of a current point in time and may evolve as necessary. Should you have additional questions or need additional detail, please reach out to your Lincoln sales or service contact.

Customer service

How might service be impacted if Lincoln employees are affected by the coronavirus?

Lincoln Financial Group has a robust crisis management plan and is ensuring that we are fully prepared from a business continuity perspective, as well as keeping the health and safety of our employees as a top priority.

Will Lincoln’s hours of operation change?

The Customer Care Center hours will remain Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern, at 877-275-5462.

How do I access my contract information?

You can access your contract information 24/7 by logging into your online account.

How do I register for online access?

Register here for convenient, fast and secure online access to your account.

  • Track your account values and update your allocations
  • Receive your statements and confirmations electronically
  • Request a withdrawal
  • Review and update your beneficiaries
  • And more
How do I sign up for eDelivery of my statement and other correspondence?
  • Select eDelivery Preferences on the Account Details page

  • Select the option for annual and semi-annual reports, prospectuses, supplements, statements, daily confirmation statements

  • Click Accept to confirm

How do I request a withdrawal or a contract change?

Option 1: Transactions, including withdrawals may be requested via LincolnFinancial.com (any dollar amount) or via our Customer Care Center (<$50,000).

Option 2: An image of an executed withdrawal form (PDF or photo) may be emailed to Annuityforms@LFG.com.

Can I have a disbursement request expedited?

Yes, select Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and receive your funds in 2-3 business days.

Will Lincoln pay the death claim if the cause of death is related to COVID-19?

Our individual annuity and life policies do not contain exclusions related to any specific disease or a pandemic. If a claim is received where a death occurred due to COVID-19, it will be paid in accordance with our normal procedures, subject to our standard contestability provisions. We remain committed to paying death claims as quickly as possible. If you need to file a death claim, you may do so online by clicking here.

For more than 115 years, Lincoln Financial has been there for our customers. In 2019, we paid out over $7.5 billion in benefits for our individual life and annuity products.


IRA Contributions

When is the last day to file my 2019 federal income tax return?

On March 20, 2020, U.S. Treasury and the IRS announced that the federal income tax filing due date for 2019 income tax returns is extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. You will need to consult your tax advisor or CPA if you have any questions about filing your federal income tax return.

When is the last day that I can contribute to my IRA for 2019?

Generally, contributions can be made to your IRA for a particular year at any time during the year, or by the due date for filing your return for that year. Because the due date for filing 2019 federal income tax returns has been postponed to July 15, 2020, the deadline for making contributions to your IRA for 2019 is also extended to July 15, 2020.

Was there any change to the contribution limits for 2019?

No, the contribution limits were not impacted. Only the deadline to make contributions changed.

Does Lincoln send me any documentation confirming my contributions for 2019?

Lincoln will send you an IRS 2019 Form 5498 showing your total IRA contributions in Box 1.

When will I receive my 2019 Form 5498?

Lincoln will mail your Form 5498 by August 31, 2020. 

Can I still contribute to my IRA for 2020?

Yes. You can still make contributions to your IRA for 2020. The deadline to make contributions to your IRA for 2020 is April 15, 2021.


CARES Act

Waiver of 2020 Required Minimum Distributions

What is the CARES Act of 2020?

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. It includes several provisions that impact retirement plans and IRAs, including the waiver of the 2020 RMD.

Do I have to take my RMD for 2020?

No. Your RMD is waived for calendar year 2020. This includes the RMD from your 401(a), 403(a) and (b), or 457(b) plans, and your IRAs. All systematic withdrawals setup on your contract will continue unless a request is submitted by you to suspend or terminate the payment stream. 

I’m a beneficiary taking RMDs from my qualified inherited contract. Do I have to take my 2020 RMD?

No. Your 2020 RMD from your qualified inherited contract is waived.

I’m a beneficiary taking distributions from my qualified inherited contract over a five-year (or ten-year) distribution period. How does the CARES Act impact my contract?

2020 will not be included in the calculation of the five-year or ten-year distribution period from your qualified inherited contract. For example, if the IRA owner died in 2018, and the beneficiary elected a five-year deferral, the beneficiary would have been required to withdraw the entire value of the IRA by December 31, 2023. Since the RMD is waived for 2020, the beneficiary now has until December 31, 2024, to withdraw the entire value of the IRA.

If I have a systematic withdrawal program for my RMD, can I suspend the scheduled withdrawals until 2021?

Yes. If you have previously authorized Telephone Transfer Authorization (TTA), instructions to suspend any current systematic RMD programs until 2021 may be given over the phone to an Annuity Customer Service representative. If you have not previously authorized TTA, written instructions must be provided to suspend your systematic RMD program. If you choose to suspend payments until 2021 no further action will be required to restart payments. If you choose to terminate, written instruction will be required to restart payments.

If I take my 2020 RMD, can I roll it over?

Yes. If you take your RMD for 2020, you may roll it over within 60 days of the date your RMD is distributed.

Special extension of 60-day deadline: If you took your distribution on or after February 1, 2020, you have until July 15, 2020, to complete the 60-day rollover.

I already took my RMD in 2020. Can I recontribute it to my contract?

Yes. If you already took your RMD in 2020, dependent on your product’s contractual specifications you may be able to contribute it to your contract as a reinstatement or another contract as a rollover (if funds are rolled over to a Lincoln contract, minimum purchase payment will apply) within 60 days of the date your RMD was distributed. Absent additional Guidance from the IRS, if more than 60 days have passed since you took your RMD, then you cannot contribute it to your contract or another contract as a rollover. 

Note that if you met the requirements to receive a tax favored distribution because of a COVID-19 event, you may be able to contribute the distribution to your contract pursuant to those rules.

Important note: A beneficiary of an inherited contract cannot recontribute an RMD to the contract or roll it over to another contract.

I already took my RMD in 2020. Can I recontribute it to my contract?

Yes. If you already took your RMD in 2020, dependent on your product’s contractual specifications you may be able to contribute it to your contract as a reinstatement or another contract as a rollover (if funds are rolled over to a Lincoln contract, minimum purchase payment will apply) within 60 days of the date your RMD was distributed. Absent additional Guidance from the IRS, if more than 60 days have passed since you took your RMD, then you cannot contribute it to your contract or another contract as a rollover. 

Note that if you met the requirements to receive a tax favored distribution because of a COVID-19 event, you may be able to contribute the distribution to your contract pursuant to those rules.

Important note: A beneficiary of an inherited contract cannot recontribute an RMD to the contract or roll it over to another contract.

Were there any changes to the RMD rules for 2019?

Yes, but only if you attained age 70½ in 2019 and were required to take your 2019 RMD prior to April 1, 2020. If you did not take your first RMD prior to December 31, 2019, your RMD for 2019 is also waived. However, if you attained age 70½ prior to 2019, the waiver of the 2020 RMD does not impact your 2019 RMD.

Does the RMD waiver apply to nonqualified annuity contracts?

No. The waiver of the 2020 RMD for retirement plans and IRAs does not impact your nonqualified contract. If you are the owner of a nonqualified contract taking annuity payments, you must take your annuity payment for 2020. If you are a beneficiary taking distributions from an inherited nonqualified annuity contract, you must take your required distribution for 2020.

If my qualified contract is annuitized, can I suspend the annuity payments until 2021?

No. You cannot suspend your annuity payments.  The waiver of the 2020 RMD does not impact annuitized contracts.


Tax Favored Withdrawals & Loan Relief from Retirement Plans

Am I eligible for tax favored treatment of my withdrawal and loan relief?

You are eligible for tax favored treatment and loan relief if:

  • you were diagnosed with COVID-19; or
  • your spouse or dependent was diagnosed with COVID-19; or
  • you experienced adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off, or having reduced work hours, or being unable to work due to lack child care due to COVID-19.
What retirement plans are eligible for tax favored treatment?

Retirement plans that are eligible include 401(a), 403(a) and (b), or 457(b) plans, and IRAs.

Can I take a withdrawal from my plan or IRA during 2020?

Generally, yes, you can take a withdrawal from your retirement plan or IRA, subject to your plan’s distribution requirements. The CARES Act provides for certain “tax favored” treatment for withdrawals that you take from your retirement plans or IRAs for 2020.

What tax favored treatment for withdrawals is provided by the CARES Act?

The CARES Act waives the 10% additional tax that is normally imposed on early distributions from retirement plans and IRAs. This additional tax is waived for distributions up to $100,000 made during the 2020 calendar year. The CARES Act also waives the mandatory 20% withholding that would apply to any rollover eligible distribution.

Can I repay the withdrawal into my retirement plan or IRA?

Yes, you can repay the withdrawal into your retirement plan or IRA within three (3) years of the distribution, and the repayment will be treated as a direct rollover.

Will I have to pay tax on the tax favored withdrawal?

Yes, your withdrawal will be subject to normal state and federal income tax. However, you can include the distribution in income ratably over a three (3) year period beginning on the date of the distribution.

Will Lincoln withhold state and federal income tax from my tax favored withdrawal?

Your tax favored distribution will not be subject to the 20% mandatory federal tax withholding. Distributions from your IRA will be subject to 10% federal income tax withholding, unless you elect out of withholding. State tax withholding may apply.

How will Lincoln report my tax favored withdrawal?

Lincoln will report your tax favored withdrawal on your 2020 Form 1099-R.  Absent additional guidance from the IRS, Lincoln will report your withdrawal with distribution Code ‘1’ (premature, no known exception) and you can file Form 5329 with your 2020 income tax return to claim the exception to the 10% additional tax. However, if you have attained age 59½, Lincoln will report the withdrawal with distribution Code ‘7’ (normal distribution).

Does the tax favored treatment apply if I withdraw $100,000 from each of my plans and IRAs during 2020?

No. The $100,000 limit is an aggregate limit and is applied to distributions from all qualified retirement plans and IRAs that you hold.

Can I take a loan from my retirement plan?

Generally, you can borrow a maximum of $50,000 or 50% of your vested balance from your retirement plan. The CARES Act increases the maximum loan amount from $50,000 to $100,000. If you have less than $100,000 in your retirement plan, you can take 100% of your vested balance in your retirement plan.

Do I have to continue to make loan repayments in 2020?

You will not have to make a payment toward your loan in 2020, and 2020 will not be counted toward your five-year maximum repayment period.


State guidelines

New York Executive Order No. 202.13

What if I am impacted by COVID-19 and need additional time to exercise contractual rights within my annuity contract?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order (Order) that impacts life insurance policies and annuities contracts issued in New York for those policyholders who have experienced a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) also declared an emergency regulation to provide relief to certain policyholders/contract holders impacted by COVID-19.

The Order became effective March 30, 2020, and expires June 6, 2020, unless extended by the Governor.

The New York Insurance Law provides life insurance policyholders and annuity contract holders with 90 days to exercise other rights or benefits under a life insurance policy or annuity contract if you are unable to timely exercise those rights and benefits as a result of COVID-19.

If you need additional time to exercise other rights identified in your contract during the COVID-19 impact period, please contact us at 877-275-5462 to discuss your situation.


New jersey Executive Order No. 123

What if I am impacted by COVID-19 and need additional time to exercise contractual rights within my annuity contract?

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order No 123 (Order) that impacts insurance policies and annuity contracts issued in the state of New Jersey for those policyholders who have experienced a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Order became effective April 9, 2020, and expires May 1, 2020, unless extended by the Governor. 

The Order provides life insurance policyholders and annuity contract holders with 90 days to exercise other rights or benefits under a life insurance policy or annuity contract if you are unable to timely exercise those rights and benefits as a result of COVID-19.

If you need additional time to exercise other rights identified in your contract during the COVID-19 impact period, please contact us at 877-275-5462 to discuss your situation.


Other

Has COVID-19 impacted our ability to send international packages via the United States Postal Service?

Due to service disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Postal Service (USPS) received notice that various postal operators are no longer able to process or deliver international mail or services originating from the United States (U.S.). 

As a result, effective April 3, 2020, the Postal Service is currently unable to accept items destined for affected countries at any Post Office® or postal facility location, until further notice. 

Lincoln has been asked to refrain from submitting postal items addressed to any of the impacted countries into the USPS system effective immediately. 

For annuity contracts within impacted countries, we are working closely with clients to provide electronic options for mail delivery.

This link provides more information from the Postal Service including the list of impacted countries.

  
For life insurance policy owners and annuity contract holders currently residing outside the United States,  click here. (PDF)

Lincoln Financial Group, its affiliated companies, and its representatives/insurance agents do not provide tax advice. Consult with your tax advisor to learn more about your specific situation.

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and insurance company affiliates. Insurance products issued by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN and Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Contractual obligations are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company does not solicit business in the state of New York, nor is it authorized to do so.

For Use with the General Public.