NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New York Life Insurance Company, America’s largest mutual life insurance company1, announced a 14.7 percent increase in 2014 operating earnings to a record $2.02 billion, and record surplus and asset valuation reserve, which reached $21.9 billion for the year.
“Despite continued low interest rates, competition from a strong stock market, and low growth in the life insurance market nationally, New York Life exceeded $2 billion in earnings for the first time and reached a new high in surplus and asset valuation reserve, a key measure of our financial strength. I want to thank our agents and employees for a remarkable year, and for showing once again why millions of families and businesses choose New York Life as a steward for their financial futures,” said Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas.
“I also want to thank our policyholders for placing their trust in New York Life. Our company’s founders set forth a singular objective for New York Life 170 years ago – to operate for the benefit of our policyholders – and we will not waver from that course,” added Mr. Mathas. “Our continued commitment to the mutual form of governance informs virtually every decision we make, and makes us confident in our promise to be there for those who rely on us no matter what economic weather lies ahead.”
Dividends Paid to Policyholders Increased 30 Percent Since 2011
Mr. Mathas continued, “Dividend payouts, which New York Life has made for 161 consecutive years, are one of the most visible measures of our success in giving back to our policyholders. In 2014 we set a new standard among our large mutual company peers, increasing the dividends being paid to our participating policyholders in 2015 by more than 9 percent. Since 2011 we have increased the dividend payout by 30 percent, far exceeding the three-year growth of our large mutual company peers2. But while we are proud of that achievement, it’s the total $9.1 billion in benefits and dividends we paid last year that demonstrate the full value of promises kept to millions of people and businesses.”
Record Earnings Support Responsible Growth
Operating earnings, the company’s measure to track profitability from ongoing operations, grew 14.7 percent in 2014 to $2.02 billion. This marks the fifth consecutive year in which earnings have achieved a new historical record.
“Through our mutual company model, we are able to allocate resources in a way few other companies can,” Mr. Mathas said. “The fact that we achieved record earnings while maintaining our strong surplus and unsurpassed financial strength ratings from all four major ratings agencies proves our ability to profitably manage the business to the benefit of our policyholders. This we will continue to do.”
Career Agency Force Key to Year’s Success
New York Life is one of the few companies committed to a career agency system as our primary distribution model. In 2014 the company’s diverse field force of more than 12,000 financial professionals helped life insurance sales reach a new high of $1.2 billion.
Mr. Mathas said, “Agents are the heart and soul of New York Life, working tirelessly to secure the financial footing of families and businesses while still finding time to give back to the community. Our performance this year reflects the unsurpassed combination of our agents’ expertise and commitment to helping families and businesses achieve their financial goals.”
Review of Businesses
Insurance and Agency Group
The Insurance and Agency Group includes the company’s life insurance business in the United States, which has been the core business of New York Life since its founding in 1845, and the company’s career agency system of 12,000 licensed agents in cities and towns across the nation. In 2014, $5.7 billion in benefits and dividends was paid out to the Insurance and Agency Group’s domestic life insurance policyholders. Complementing the Group’s successful agency model are two supplemental distribution channels for the U.S. life business:
- New York Life Direct, the company’s direct response business in Tampa, FL, which is the leading direct marketer of life insurance in the U.S. through an endorsed program with AARP geared to its membership;
- The company’s Group Membership Association business, which is the largest underwriter of professional association insurance programs in the U.S., covering members of more than 500 associations across the country.
The Insurance and Agency Group also includes New York Life’s life insurance operation in Mexico, Seguros Monterrey New York Life, one of the country’s largest life insurers.
The Investments Group includes all of the asset management businesses of New York Life, and ranks among the world’s largest asset management firms.3 With $526 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2014, the Investments Group provides investment management services to institutional and retail clients and delivers annuities and guaranteed products to both the qualified and non-qualified markets. By employing a multi-boutique approach, the Group continues to produce excellent risk-adjusted performance in managing the vast majority of New York Life’s general account, which stood at $197 billion in cash and invested assets at year end.
New York Life Investments offers retail mutual funds through its MainStay Funds family. In 2014, the Group reported sales of MainStay mutual funds totaling $25.9 billion for the year, the second-highest sales number in MainStay’s history, through the third party market and New York Life agents.
On the annuity side, New York Life continued to lead the industry in providing guaranteed lifetime income, with a 22 percent market share in fixed immediate annuities and 42 percent of the market for deferred income annuities, according to an industry source.4 The Group’s other retirement solutions include fixed deferred annuities and variable annuities.
More Agency Highlights from 2014
In addition to Agency’s accomplishments noted above, additional key highlights include:
- The company hired 3,680 full-time agents last year, continuing its strong trend of hiring in recent years. Since 2007, the company has grown its active agent force by 24 percent. In 2014, 52 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were individuals who represent the cultural markets.
- New York Life continued its leadership of the MDRT5 for the 60th consecutive year. The company had 2,376 agents achieve this recognition in 2014, about one-quarter of New York Life’s active field force in the United States. New York Life also led the industry in the number of women agents qualifying for MDRT in 2014. Impressively, New York Life has one out of every five MDRT qualifiers in the industry overall, one in every three women qualifiers – and four times more women in the organization than the second place company.
About New York Life
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit www.newyorklife.com for more information.
*Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/16/14. For methodology, please see http://fortune.com/fortune500/.
**Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 3/26/15.
***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.
See final page for details of Fortune 500 ranking.
|2||Based on publicly available information on New York Life’s peer mutual U.S. life insurers. This peer group is comprised of major mutual U.S. insurance companies for whom life insurance is the primary focus and primary line of business, and whose financial information is made publicly available.|
|3||Source: New York Life Investments ranked 29th among the world’s largest money managers in Pensions & Investments, May 26, 2014. Rankings are based on total worldwide institutional assets under management for the year-end Dec. 31, 2013. New York Life Investments assets include assets of affiliated investment advisors.|
|4||Source: LIMRA, U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey, Participants Report, Fixed Immediates and Deferred Income Annuities, Fourth Quarter 2014 results. (Fixed Immediates include Fixed Period Annuities.) Annuities are primarily issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company.|
|5||Million Dollar Round Table, the premier association of financial professionals, is an organization that recognizes excellence in the life insurance industry.|
New York Life Insurance Company
|Surplus and Asset Valuation Reserve2||$||21,937||$||21,141|
|Policyholder Benefits and Dividends3||$||9,076||$||8,622|
|Assets Under Management6||$||540,895||$||425,139|
|Individual Life Insurance In Force7||$||871,138||$||840,455|
|1||Operating Earnings is the measure used for management purposes to track the company’s results from ongoing operations and the underlying profitability of the business. This metric is based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) with certain adjustments we believe are more appropriate as a measurement approach (non-GAAP). Operating earnings equal GAAP net income adjusted for, primarily, the removal of gains and losses from investments and related adjustment.|
|2||Statutory surplus and the asset valuation reserve (“AVR”) is shown on a consolidated basis of the Company.|
|3||Policyholder benefits primarily include death claims paid to beneficiaries and annuity payments. Dividends are payments made to eligible policyholders from divisible surplus. Policyholder benefits and dividends reflect the consolidated results of New York Life Insurance Company and its domestic insurance subsidiaries. Intercompany transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. Dividends are not guaranteed.|
|4||Insurance sales represent annualized first-year premium on participating issued whole life insurance, term life insurance, universal life insurance, long-term care insurance and other health insurance products. A sale is generally counted when the initial premium is paid and the policy is issued. Adjustments are made to reflect the relative importance of certain sales, primarily: single premium sales sold through our Agents and Advanced Markets Network (AMN) retail distribution channel, our network of independent agents and brokers, are counted at 10 percent. Sales are generated from both domestic and Mexican operations. 2013 has been adjusted to conform with our 2014 presentation.|
|5||Investment sales include immediate fixed annuities (Guaranteed Lifetime Income), our flexible premium deferred income annuities (Guaranteed Future Income), deferred annuities (both fixed and variable), mutual funds and third-party asset management funds.|
|6||Assets Under Management represents consolidated domestic and international insurance operations assets (cash and invested assets and separate account assets) and third-party assets principally managed by New York Life Investment Management Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company. 2013 has been adjusted to conform with our 2014 presentation.|
|7||Individual life insurance in force is the total face amounts of individual life insurance contracts (term, whole life, and universal life) outstanding for the Company and its domestic insurance subsidiaries at a given time.|
The New York State Department of Financial Services recognizes only statutory accounting practices for determining and reporting the financial condition and results of operations of an insurance company. The separate statutory financial statements (including assets, liabilities, and surplus and AVR) for our insurance companies, as well as a copy of the GAAP basis consolidated financial statement and a detailed reconciliation to our non-GAAP performance measure (i.e. Operating Earnings) are available on our website, www.newyorklife.com. Copies of these items are also available by contacting the Secretary of New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010.