In the 1970s, structured colonies became increasingly popular in the United States as an alternative to flat-rate colonies.  The growing popularity is due to several U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rulings, increased personal injury rewards and rising interest rates. The IRS judgments indicated that applicants would not be liable for a federal tax on collected income if certain conditions were met.  Higher interest rates lead to lower current levels and, as a result, lower financing costs for future periodic payments. Funding agreements support guaranteed regular payments and lump sums, but do not allow for mortality or morbidity quotas. Where the defendant and plaintiff agree in an action to settle a claim through a structured transaction, the parties negotiate a cash sum that is due by the defendant in exchange for the plaintiff who drops the claim. The money is distributed as a number of regular payments, which are usually financed by a pension. Structured comparisons have received strong support from the federal government, lawyers, attorneys general, legislators, judges, disability lawyers and many others who have seen their power to protect victims of injury from rapid dissolution or other over-existence of their income, and would certainly turn to various forms of public or public assistance. As with any statutory or compensation awarded for an unlawful violation or death, structured compensation is tax-exempt.
However, if the recipient of the payments uses the money to make a profit such as interest, investment growth or capital gain, that share is taxable. U.S. general insurers are the market leaders in providing structured benchmark pensions for victims of personal illness, assault or body disease. Periodic non-taxable payments made under these pensions provide for future medical expenses and basic livelihoods and may last for the life of the victim and his or her family. A structured transaction is a negotiated financial or insurance agreement by which an applicant agrees to resolve an action for damages by receiving part or all of the account in the form of periodic payments on an agreed schedule and not as a lump sum. As part of the negotiations, the defendant can make a structured transaction or ask the applicant. Ultimately, both parties must agree on the terms of the settlement. A transaction can allow the parties to an action to reduce legal and other costs by avoiding legal proceedings.  Structured colonies are the most widely used in the United States, but also in Canada, England and Australia.