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by Crystal Bueno

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Insurance & Retirement Services

DTCC and ACORD announced that the record layouts of DTCC’s standard fixed file formats offered by DTCC’s Insurance & Retirement Services business will now be included in the ACORD Life, Annuity and Health standard. This move is intended to foster further adoption of industry-wide standards for data exchange between insurance carriers and distributors.

“DTCC made these copyrighted record layouts, which enable the processing and electronic exchange of insurance information, freely available and open to the industry over seven years ago, in an effort to enable everyone to speak the same language,” said Adam Bryan, DTCC managing director, Insurance & Retirement Services. “We are very pleased that having them now a part of the ACORD library further defines them not as a proprietary entity, but truly as a recognized industry standard.”

Maintaining standards

ACORD accepts intellectual property contributions from member companies on behalf of the industry, and integrates them through the standards development process to further enhance and expand ACORD standards. ACORD will now maintain these new standards. All requests for changes to the formats will go through ACORD’s Maintenance Request process and an ACORD Working Group will be established.

The formats include Positions and Values (POV); Commissions (COM); Financial Activity Reporting (FAR); Licensing and Appointments (LNA); In-Force Transactions (IFT); and Applications and Premium/Subsequent Premium (APP/SUB). These formats, developed as part of DTCC’s drive to greater standardization and automation, are EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) file specifications that are currently used to communicate data.

In 2007, DTCC announced further support for the insurance industry’s move toward straight-through processing by incorporating new messaging standards into its services that support real-time information exchange across different technology platforms. Following an agreement with ACORD, DTCC’s Insurance & Retirement Services has used ACORD’s Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards.

“As a member-driven association, we rely on our members to help expand and promote standardization and gratefully accept this donation from DTCC. It’s through such donations of intellectual property that ACORD’s standards have been able to evolve and grow so rapidly in both depth and breadth,” stated Lloyd Chumbley, vice president, Standards, ACORD. “DTCC has long been committed to insurance industry standards. This will help promote further standards usage across the annuities sector by making these EDI formats publicly available as a true industry standard.”

The formats will be posted on ACORD’s website ( under Life, Annuity, & Health Downloads and are publicly available.

“This contribution builds on DTCC’s efforts to promote standardization and communication in the insurance business, helping the industry mainstream annuities, life and retirement income products just as we have helped mainstream stocks, bonds and mutual funds,” Bryan said. @