Annuity Is Exempt Asset in Bankruptcy.

The debtor bought an individual retirement annuity in 2009 for $267,319.48 which he funded with a rollover from another one of his retirement accounts.  The terms of the annuity specified that the debtor would receive eight annual payments of $40,497.95 beginning on April 12, 2010.  The annuity contained a liquidity feature allowing the debtor to take a single, lump-sum withdrawal of up to 75 percent of the present value of the remaining payments.  The debtor file bankruptcy on June 6, 2012, listing the annuity at a value of $263,370.23, but claiming it as an exempt asset.  The trustee argued that the annuity was not exempt.  The bankruptcy court held that the annuity was exempt, as did the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.  The trustee argued that the annuity had fixed premiums and did not require annual premiums that were under the limit for IRAs for the year, in violation of I.R.C. Sec. 408(b)(2).  The court disagreed.  Even though the contract barred any additional premiums after purchase, the purchase price was not fixed.  On the IRA limit issue, the court held that I.R.C. Sec. 408(b)(2) did not require annual premiums, but if annual premiums were required, the contributions could not exceed the applicable IRA contribution limits.  The court noted that rollover contributions are not subject to premium limitations.  Thus, the annuity was exempt under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 522(b)(3)(C).  In re Miller, No. 13-3682, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2275 (8th Cir. Feb. 13, 2015), aff'g., 500 B.R. 578 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2013).

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