Life Insurance Return – Section II – Filing Requirements

Type of document
Filing requirements
Insurance companies
Life Insurance Return and Instructions
Last updated
November 2019


The LIFE return is generally self-explanatory, and accordingly, the text on each page of the Return is considered to be part of the instructions. Additional information to assist in the preparation of the LIFE Quarterly and Annual Return filings (Life Core Financial Statement Return (LF1), Life Supervisory Quarterly Return (LF2), Life Supervisory Annual Supplement Return (LF3) and Life Provincial Return (LFPROV)).

  1. The filing deadlines found in "Section V - Jurisdictional Requirements" are the dates by which the regulators must receive the Quarterly and Annual Return filings. A February 28 deadline refers to the last day of February.

  2. A sample LIFE return can be found on OSFI's website.

    Some jurisdictions require the LIFE returns to be submitted electronically through an approved software provider. Some jurisdictions also require a supplementary file to be included with the LIFE return filing. Please refer to "Section V - Jurisdictional Requirements" for details.

  3. The full name of the insurer/society and the year must be shown on the cover page and on page 10.010. The insurer/society is required to be identified on every page; an abbreviated form of the name is acceptable on the inside pages.

    The code number assigned to each insurer/society by its primary regulator must also be indicated in the lower right-hand corner of the cover.

  4. The LIFE returns must be properly verified by affidavit(s) (pages 10.000, 10.002, 10.004, 10.005 and 10.006). Please refer to "Section V - Jurisdictional Requirements" for details.

    All filed copies of the LIFE returns must bear the original signatures of the appropriate officers (Chief Agent/Chief Executive Officer), directors, commissioner and/or notary public. Where the LIFE returns are filed electronically, the original signature pages must be retained on file for regulatory review as required.

  5. Pages containing no data must be included with the filed LIFE returns; failure to include will render the filing incomplete for most jurisdictions.

  6. All dollar amounts reported in the LIFE returns are to be reported in Canadian dollars. Insurers/societies are to follow the requirements of the applicable accounting standards with regard to foreign currency conversion.

  7. Dollar amounts must be rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, except for certain figures such as per-share data. Individual items must be adjusted so that the total is not affected by rounding to the nearest thousand dollars.

  8. Information or descriptions within the LIFE returns must not be changed. Write-in information is not permitted except where explicitly noted. For most schedules, adequate blank lines are provided for additional information. Any permitted write-in information must be self-explanatory. If additional pages are required for detailed information, the information should be provided in an electronic format, such as embedded within the special Excel file.

  9. All subtotals and totals must be calculated and reported on the form, since regulators use these amounts as reference points. If filing supplementary listings (e.g. investments), the totals must be carried forward to the actual exhibits in the LIFE returns.

  10. To indicate a number contrary to normal expectation, insurers must use brackets rather than a minus sign, for example "(649)" rather than "-649."

  11. An Appointed Actuary's Report must be filed with the LIFE returns; failure to include one would render the filing incomplete for most jurisdictions.

    Please refer to "Section V - Jurisdictional Requirements" for more information. Also note that a certificate of opinion, in lieu of a full report, is not acceptable.

  12. For Canadian insurers/societies, Auditor Reports must be filed with the annual LIFE returns; failure to include both would render the filing incomplete.

    The Auditor Reports should be addressed to the primary regulator (OSFI / Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)), and (other) provincial superintendents, where applicable). For example: "To the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, and the provincial superintendents of financial institutions / insurance."

    Please refer to "Section V" for specific jurisdictional requirements. The Reports must cover the "Financial Statements" section (pages 20.010 through 20.060) of the LIFE return. The Reports and opinion must be based on the total business of the insurer/society regardless of the division of business between in-Canada and out-of-Canada operations.

    The Auditor Report to the shareholders/policyholders, together with the annual Financial Statement, must be filed with the LIFE returns where required (refer to "Section V"). If there are material differences in classification between the annual Financial Statement and the financial statements included in the LIFE returns, a reconciliation should be completed and filed with the LIFE returns, and the Auditor Report to the regulator(s) on the LIFE returns should include a comment indicating that the auditor has reviewed the reconciliation and that it appropriately reflects the reconciliation of items between the annual Financial Statement and the financial statements included in the LIFE returns.

    For foreign insurers/societies, Auditor Reports must be filed as close as possible to the filing date of the LIFE returns, but no later than May 31; failure to file both would render the filing incomplete. The Auditor Reports should be addressed "To the Chief Agent and the Superintendents of Financial Institutions / Insurance".

    Please refer to "Section V" for specific jurisdictional requirements. The Reports and opinion must be on the Company's insurance business in Canada, and should include a comment effectively confirming that the financial statements attached to the Auditor Reports agree with those filed with the superintendent(s) on ………….. (date filed), or identifying any exceptions.

  13. Financial statements of subsidiaries: refer to "Section V" for specific jurisdictional requirements, where applicable.

  14. Foreign insurers/societies are required to file a copy of their "Statement of Total (Worldwide) Business" with OSFI, under the provisions of section 664 of the Insurance Companies Act, as follows:

    U.S. companies are required to file a copy of a completed NAIC form within 30 days of the date for filing with the company's home state;

    All other foreign companies are required to file a copy of the audited financial statements prepared for their shareholders or other stakeholders, no later than 30 days after they have been approved by the company's Board of Directors.

  15. Foreign insurers/societies are requested to submit a copy of the Branch's Annual Report and/or MD&A (where available) for the current year operations, as well as the Annual Report and MD&A of the home office life insurer/society.

  16. For amended return filings, see Amendments to the LIFE Returns in this section.

  17. If the filed information is inaccurate or incomplete, the LIFE returns will not be considered filed.

  18. Dates are to be reported using the convention DD/MM/YYYY, and names are to be reported with the surname first (e.g. ABLE, Ingrid M.).

  19. Supporting information and working papers should be available at the insurer's/society's offices for review by the Regulator. This information includes details of both the consolidated and non‑consolidated financial statements. Life insurers and Fraternal benefit societies must maintain working papers to support the allocation of income, expenditure and other items by line of business as well as by fund.

  20. Please refer to OSFI's website for a list of all current validation rules.

Filing Requirements – LIFE Return documents

Quarterly and Annual Return filings must be filed in every jurisdiction where the insurer is licensed, registered or incorporated, in accordance with each jurisdictional requirement.

For the specific list of filing requirements for each jurisdiction, please refer to "Section V - Jurisdictional Requirements."

Mailing Addresses

See "Section V - Jurisdictional Requirements" for the mailing addresses of all regulators.

Penalties for Late Filing

The LIFE returns must be received at the regulator's office on the applicable due date. There are penalties for late filing in all jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, late filing is an offence that may result in prosecution and fines.

Electronic Filing

Insurers are required to consult OSFI's Regulatory Reporting System (RRS) User Guide for the electronic filing requirements with their primary regulator.

Please refer to the schedules in "Section V" for the requirements of other jurisdictions.

Amendments to the LIFE Returns

If amendments are made to the LIFE returns, the amended return must be filed immediately with every jurisdiction where the insurer had filed the original version. A validation report, transmittal form and updated affidavit (pages 10.000, 10.002, 10.004, 10.005 or 10.006) may be required by some jurisdictions. An updated Auditor Report may also be required if there are material changes affecting pages 20.010 to 20.060 of the LIFE Core Financial Statement Return.

Annual Return Filing Specifications

Currently, the only approved software vendor for this return is PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Quarterly Return Filing Specifications

File name

Submission to the primary regulatory, OSFI, using this convention:

Refer to the file naming instructions included in the Regulatory Reporting System (RRS) User Guide, E-filing for Insurance Companies on the OSFI website.

Submission to AMF:

Please refer to the file naming conventions set out in the document entitled Guide – Specific File Transfer Service (FTS) Requirements, which is available on the AMF's website.

Submission to other regulators:

Please contact the jurisdiction in question for further details.

Embedding Objects Within the Special Excel File

The following instructions are based on Excel 2007 and 2010:

  1. Unprotect the page by clicking on Review > Unprotect
  2. Place mouse in the location where you would like to insert the file
  3. Go to Insert > Object
  4. Select the second tab Create from File
  5. Browse to your selected file
  6. Check off the Display as icon check box and select OK
  7. The file will be displayed on the page and when double clicked, it will open up the embedded file

Embedding files is only permitted within the following pages of the LIFE returns:

10.000 – Affidavit Verifying Annual Return (Canadian insurers)
10.002 ‑ Affidavit Verifying Annual Return (Foreign insurers)
10.004 – Affidavit (Foreign insurers)
10.005 ‑ Affidavit Verifying Annual Return (Quebec insurers)
10.006 – Certification (Core Financial Statement Return)
10.012 – Annual Corporate Information
10.013 – Board Committees
10.033 – Corporate and Regulatory Information (Foreign insurers)
10.040 – Corporate Organization Chart
10.060 – General Interrogatories
10.070 – General Interrogatories
10.080 – General Interrogatories
11.050 – General Interrogatories (Foreign insurers)
11.060 – General Interrogatories (Foreign insurers)
11.070 – General Interrogatories (Foreign insurers)
20.050 – Statement of Cash Flows
20.060 – Notes to Financial Statements
21.040 – Significant Exposures
21.060 – Mortgage Loans – 25 Largest Uninsured
21.080 – Investment Properties and Own Use Property and Equipment
21.130 – Substantial Investments
21.140 – Principal Custodians of Cash and Invested Assets
22.040 – Subordinated Debt (Quebec)
60.040 – Interrogatories to Segregated Funds
60.050 – Interrogatories to Segregated Funds
75.010 – Investments in Subsidiaries
75.020 – Investments in Subsidiaries

All totals must be included within each schedule of the quarterly or annual return filings.