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A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Voya Financial, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries


A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of the key life insurance entities of Voya Financial, Inc. (Voya) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NYSE:VOYA]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb+” of Voya, as well as its Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (Please see below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)

The ratings of Voya’s life insurance entities reflect their balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strong, as well as their strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings also reflect Voya’s prudent financial leverage, favorable earnings within core business lines and the discontinuation and sale of more capital intensive lines of business. This includes the strategic decision to cease new individual life insurance sales on Dec. 31, 2018, and retain the in-force block. In addition, Voya during 2018 sold their closed block variable annuity and individual fixed indexed annuity segments. The ratings also consider Voya’s favorable market position in employee benefits and retirement markets, solid risk-adjusted capital position and well-developed enterprise risk management framework. A.M. Best also views favorably the company’s solid growth, including positive retirement and investment management net inflows and increased annualized in-force premiums in employee benefits.

Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is the susceptibility of future earnings to spread compression and fluctuations in the equity markets. A.M. Best notes that Voya has maintained interest rate spreads by reducing crediting rates in recent periods. Moreover, while A.M. Best acknowledges that Voya’s hedge program protects statutory capital against movements in the financial markets, the recent transactions have changed the business profile of the company, given that 80% of its earnings will be generated from its retirement, investment management and employee benefits businesses.

The FSR of A (Excellent) and Long-Term ICRs of “a+” have been affirmed with stable outlooks for the following life insurance subsidiaries of Voya Financial, Inc.:

  • Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company
  • ReliaStar Life Insurance Company
  • ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York
  • Security Life of Denver Insurance Company
  • Midwestern United Life Insurance Company

The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed:

Voya Financial, Inc.—
-- “bbb+” on $850 million 5.50% senior unsecured notes, due 2022
-- “bbb+” on $400 million 3.125% senior unsecured notes, due 2024
-- “bbb+” on $500 million 3.65% senior unsecured notes, due 2026
-- “bbb+” on $400 million 5.70% senior unsecured notes, due 2043
-- “bbb+” on $300 million 4.80% senior unsecured notes, due 2046
-- “bbb-” on $350 million 4.7% fixed-to-floating junior subordinated notes, due 2048
-- “bbb-” on $750 million 5.65% fixed-to-floating junior subordinated notes, due 2053
-- “bbb-” on $325 million 6.125% non-cumulative preferred stock

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

A.M. Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit www.ambest.com for more information.

Copyright © 2018 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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