Prudential Financial, Inc.
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (continued)
Premiums, benefits and expenses are stated net of reinsurance ceded to other companies. Estimated reinsurance recoverables and the cost of reinsurance are recognized over the life of the reinsured policies using assumptions consistent with those used to account for the underlying policies.
Foreign Currency Translation Adjustments Assets and liabilities of foreign operations and subsidiaries reported in other than U.S. dollars are translated at the exchange rate in effect at the end of the period. Revenues, benefits and other expenses are translated at the average rate prevailing during the period. The effects of translating the statements of financial position of non-U.S. entities with functional currencies other than the U.S. dollar are included, net of related hedge gains and losses and income taxes, in “Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss).”
Commissions and Other Income Commissions and other income principally includes securities and commodities commission revenues and asset management fees which are recognized in the period in which the services are performed. Realized and unrealized gains from trading activities of the Company’s securities business are also included in “Commissions and other income.”
Derivative Financial Instruments Derivatives are financial instruments whose values are derived from interest rates, foreign exchange rates, financial indices, or the value of securities or commodities. Derivative financial instruments used by the Company include swaps, futures, forwards and option contracts and may be exchange-traded or contracted in the over-the-counter market. See Note 19 for a discussion of the Company’s use of derivative financial instruments and the related accounting and reporting treatment of such instruments.
Income Taxes The Company and its domestic subsidiaries file a consolidated federal income tax return. The Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) limits the amount of non-life insurance losses that may offset life insurance company taxable income. The Code also imposes an “equity tax” on mutual life insurance companies which, in effect, imputes an additional tax to the Company based on a formula that calculates the difference between stock and mutual life insurance companies’ earnings. Effective for the year ended December 31, 2001, the Company, as a stock company, is no longer subject to the equity tax. The provision for income taxes includes an estimate for changes in the total equity tax to be paid for prior years. Subsidiaries operating outside the United States are taxed under applicable foreign statutes.
Deferred income taxes are recognized, based on enacted rates, when assets and liabilities have different values for financial statement and tax reporting purposes. A valuation allowance is recorded to reduce a deferred tax asset to that amount that is expected to be realized.
Demutualization Costs and Expenses Demutualization costs and expenses include the cost of engaging external accounting, actuarial, investment banking, legal and other consultants to advise the Company, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and the New York State Insurance Department in the demutualization process and related matters as well as the cost of printing and postage for communications with policyholders and other administrative costs. Demutualization costs and expenses also include $340 million of demutualization consideration payable to former Canadian branch policyholders pertaining to certain policies that Prudential Insurance transferred to London Life Insurance Company in 1996 in connection with the sale of most of its Canadian branch operations. Under the Plan of Reorganization, these policyholders are required to receive demutualization compensation in the form of cash. All demutualization costs and expenses have been recorded in the periods prior to demutualization.
New Accounting Pronouncements In September 2000, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”) issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (“SFAS”) No. 140, “Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities—a replacement of FASB Statement No. 125.” The Company has adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 140 relating to transfers and extinguishments of liabilities which are effective for periods occurring after March 31, 2001. The adoption did not have a material effect on the results of operations of the Company.