OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa+” of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its subsidiary, Thrivent Life Insurance Company (both headquartered in Minneapolis, MN) (together known as Thrivent Financial). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Thrivent Financial’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management.
The ratings also recognize Thrivent Financial’s continued growth by expanding its customer membership in the Christian community, as well as favorable persistency from its loyal membership base. Thrivent Financial maintains a diversified product portfolio that is intended to be complementary to its members’ needs over their life cycles. As a result, it maintains some exposure to product lines with higher risk, including long-term care and variable annuities, although variable annuity risk with guaranteed living benefits make up a relatively small portion of the company’s total in-force business. AM Best also notes that Thrivent Financial’s reserves are weighted toward ordinary life, which AM Best views as a more creditworthy liability profile. In addition, Thrivent Financial maintains a high quality capital structure, which utilizes no debt and full retention of all product-related risks on its balance sheet. In addition, its Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) continues to be maintained at the strongest level, and Thrivent Financial utilizes a sophisticated ERM program to manage and report risks, which include a multitude of stress-testing scenarios.
Offsetting rating factors include continued losses within its legacy long-term care block and exposure to living benefit guarantees within variable annuities. Additionally, Thrivent Financial maintains a slightly elevated commercial mortgage loan portfolio as a percentage of total assets. Finally, Thrivent Financial has a large percentage of interest-sensitive reserves and a higher-than-average percentage of annuities lacking surrender charge protection. This exposes Thrivent Financial to spread compression given the continued low interest rate environment, and disintermediation risk within its annuity block should interest rates rise significantly. AM Best also notes Thrivent Financial’s challenges to continue to grow premiums and membership in the competitive life insurance market landscape.
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