24 December 2010 - Following on from feedback on its recent consultation on variable annuity business, the Central Bank of Ireland published Requirements on Reserving and Risk Governance for Variable Annuities (the Paper), which took effect on 1 January 2011. The Paper describes what the Central Bank considers as "variable annuity business" (VA business) as being any form of life insurance or reinsurance business where the undertaking potentially bears any investment risk, i.e. any business other than pure unit linked business or pure protection business. Before 31 March 2011, all Irish authorised life insurers and life reinsurers are required to submit a board-approved declaration to the Variable Annuities team at the Central Bank. The declaration must address whether the insurer/reinsurer believes that it is transacting VA business and the level of such activity as compared to its overall business. Each life insurer/reinsurer completing the declaration must also provide details as to which of the following three categories applies to them (1) it transacts VA business, (2) it has no investment guarantee business in force, or (3) while it transacts some VA business, it does not believe the additional requirements for VA business set out in the Paper should be applied to it and provide reasons why (e.g. because it only writes a small amount of VA business). The Paper sets out additional requirements for insurers/reinsurers specific to their VA business. Those entities must (1) adhere to minimum capital and reserves standards, (2) submit an actuarial report annually with regulatory returns and (3) have independent oversight, in the manner set out in Paper.