Date:April 21, 2014
To:Charities Issuing Gift Annuities in Wisconsin
From:Theodore K. Nickel, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:Regulation of Charitable Gift Annuities in Wisconsin

Effective April 18, 2014, 2013 Wisconsin Act 271 passed by the Senate and Assembly and signed by the Governor amended the definition of "insurer" in the statutes to exclude "a person that issues only qualified charitable gift annuities, as defined in s. 632.65 (1)," and repealed ch. 615, Wis. Stat., which referenced charitable gift annuities. The Act excludes qualified charitable gift annuities from regulation under chs. 600 to 646, Wis. Stat. As a result, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance will no longer license, monitor the financial condition of, or accept consumer complaints about, charitable gift annuity issuers. All licenses issued to charitable gift annuity issuers are terminated as of the effective date of the Act. Any Orders previously issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to entities licensed under ch. 615, Wis. Stat., are terminated as of the effective date of the Act. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance will no longer receive annual statements or other filings or fees from charitable gift annuity issuers.

The Act requires that all gift annuity agreements issued on or after the effective date include the following disclosure statement: "A qualified charitable gift annuity is not insurance under the laws of this state and is not subject to regulation by the commissioner of insurance of this state or protected by an insurance guaranty fund or an insurance guaranty association."

The Act also requires that any qualified charitable gift annuity that is in existence on the effective date shall provide notice of the provisions to the policy owner or beneficiary, whichever is appropriate, of the qualified charitable gift annuity.

All charities issuing gift annuities in this state shall remove any references in their Web sites and literature to being licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance to do business in Wisconsin. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance will remove the Charitable Gift Annuity license type and related forms from the OCI Web site.

Any questions concerning this bulletin should be directed to Steve Caughill at (608) 267-2049 or steve.caughill@wisconsin.gov.