The replacement of an annuity or life insurance cover with a new policy or tenure under Section 1035 Exchange is termed as a Tax-Free 1035 Exchange. Outdated contracts that hold little value in the market can be replaced by the latest contracts that are prevailing over the market with amendments in its plans and policies.

The exchange is done when newer contracts provide better benefits of low-rated expenses as well as a variety of investment options. Since this procedure does not impose any tax consequences, it is often referred to as a Tax-Free 1035 Exchange.

What are the main Exchanges done under Section 1035? 

Here are the three main exchanges that usually take place under the Tax-Free 1035 Exchange:

  • Replacing of an annuity contract with another updated contract, provided the annuitants remain same.
  • Replacing of a life insurance policy with another refined life insurance cover. Life Insurance Policies can also be replaced by an annuity contract or an endowment plan.
  • Replacement of an endowment policy with another endowment policy. Here too, endowment plans can be converted to annuity contracts.

Key Considerations to check upon for the Exchange

  • Purpose of 1035 Exchange: The main motive behind the establishment of Section 1035 Exchange is the replacement of old and outdated policies of insurance plans or annuity contracts with new and updated ones which are more effective in providing better terms and conditions for investment as well as a disbursement.
  • Qualifications for 1035 Exchange: When you are applying for an exchange programme in your insurance policy or annuity contract make sure that the name of the policyholder must be the same in both cases. That is, the applicant for both the original plan and the newly revised one must be the same. Note that transfers are done only in similar plans and policies.
  • Amount of taxes charged: Since the Section 1035 Exchange is termed as a “Tax-Free” Exchange, the switching between policies and plans does not charge you with any extra taxes to be paid, thus, enabling a smoother and pocket-friendly exchange.
  • Consistency in the value: In this Exchange programme, your original investment value remains the same, that is, your account’s worth is the same even if the cost basis lessens when you upgrade your policy to a new company or so.
  • Flexibility in transfers: This type of Exchange plans provides you with the flexibility to partially transfer your investments to a new policy. By this, you can keep the capital investment with the original plan and add a partial cost basis to a new contract.

Thus, the above-mentioned pointers are not just the key considerations for the exchange program me but also, these are the benefits enjoyed by the policyholders or applicants who apply for the Tax-Free 1035 Exchange.


However, always know that there are two sides of the coin which are never the same. Similarly, there are certain drawbacks of the 1035 Exchange which we will acquaint you with. These mainly include a certain amount of surrender fees and some limitations on transfers. Moreover, another limitation of this policy is that you cannot add or remove any other partner as policy owners or contract holders.

Therefore, while picking an Exchange policy, make sure you go for the ones with a lower potential cost having solvency concerns with the original insurance provider. Carefully check the updated features of the new policies which are available and also draw a comparison between the cash value of the original plan and the revised plan. Terms and conditions related to the death benefits as well as payments of higher premiums (if any) should also be noted.

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