OSFI’s new Guideline E-16 provides enhanced clarity and disclosure for life insurers with participating accounts

News release

For immediate release

OTTAWA ─ January 18, 2023 ─ Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions

Today, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) published final Guideline E-16, which sets out OSFI’s expectations for how requirements in the Insurance Companies Act (the Act) and the Policyholders Disclosure Regulations (the Regulations) should be applied to participating and adjustable policies.

Final Guideline E-16 is the result of public consultations held by OSFI in 2022. These consultations were driven by OSFI’s observations that insurance companies had varying interpretations of parts of the original Guideline E-16, the Act and the Regulations.

After consulting with the life insurance industry, OSFI took steps to address these issues through the new final Guideline E-16. The new guideline clarifies OSFI’s expectations regarding participating accounts and helps insurance companies better interpret the relevant legislation. This, in turn, will help facilitate more consistent practices across the industry.

“The changes to Guideline E-16 will provide more clarity and certainty to life insurers with participating account business. I would like to thank all who provided feedback on the draft version during consultations this summer and thereby helped OSFI finalize this updated guidance.”

- Peter Routledge, Superintendent, OSFI

Quick facts

  • Participating policies enable the policyholder to participate in a life insurer’s profits.
  • Guideline E-16 first came into effect in September 2011.
  • Key comments received during the consultation can be grouped into three broad categories: wording changes proposed for several areas, consistency of terminology used, and clarity of additional disclosure requirements.
  • Releasing an updated final Guideline E-16 was included as a guidance priority in OSFI’s Annual Risk Outlook for 2022-2023.

Media contact

OSFI – Media Relations

About OSFI

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is an independent agency of the Government of Canada, established in 1987, to protect depositors, policyholders, financial institution creditors and pension plan members, while allowing financial institutions to compete and take reasonable risks. OSFI supervises more than 400 federally regulated financial institutions and 1,200 pension plans to determine whether they are in sound financial condition and meeting their prudential requirements.

Related links