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New York Life Delivers Strong 2016 Financial Results


New York Life Insurance Company today announced outstanding financial results for 2016, setting company records in life insurance and annuity sales, life insurance in force1, dividend payout, and surplus. The performance of the company's core life insurance business and its strategic businesses, including its annuities and asset management operations, enabled New York Life to pay out a record amount in dividends to its whole life policy owners and benefits to its customers, while growing the company’s surplus to an all-time high.

“New York Life’s ability to grow sales, dividends and surplus simultaneously, despite an unprecedented stretch of low interest rates, reflects the strength of our mutual company model,” said Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas. “The advantages of mutuality are evident in the value we deliver to policy owners each year, as we did again in 2016, measured in benefits and dividends paid. Our unsurpassed financial strength continues to provide financial safety and security to those who rely on us to meet our promises.”

Superior Results Reinforce the Value of New York Life’s Diverse Agent Force

In 2016, New York Life posted its 20th consecutive year of growing life insurance sales through its agents, underscoring the company’s commitment to providing Americans with the expert guidance needed to achieve financial security.

John Kim, president of New York Life, said, “New York Life’s agency force is singular among our peers in their dedication to helping people make smart financial decisions – and their efforts are needed now more than ever. Our own research2 shows more Americans recognize the need to make long-term financial plans than in years past. Our long-term orientation enables us to make the considerable investment needed to grow the nation’s best trained agent force, just as it has enabled us to pay eligible participating policy owners a dividend every year since 1854.”

Record Levels of Surplus and Strong Earnings

Strong results from the company’s in-force block of life insurance and annuity products helped New York Life raise its surplus and asset valuation reserve to a record $23.3 billion, despite a record dividend payout and a challenging interest rate environment. New York Life remains one of only two companies out of more than 900 in the industry to receive the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four major financial rating agencies.

Business performance highlights as of December 31, 2016 included:

  • Operating earnings3 stood at $1.95 billion for 2016, the second highest in the company’s history.
  • Grew total dividend and benefits paid to policy owners to $10.1 billion.
  • Announced a dividend payout of $1.8 billion, a 35 percent increase since 2012.
  • Achieved record highs in life insurance sales ($1.3 billion) and in-force ($957 billion).
  • Reached a record high in annuity sales ($13 billion), with a 24 percent market share in fixed immediate annuities and 33 percent of the market for deferred income annuities4.
  • Reported a general account balance of $230 billion in cash and invested assets, and total assets under management of $538 billion.

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 New York Life’s website at www.newyorklife.com for more information.

*Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/17/16. For methodology, please see http://fortune.com/fortune500/

**Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/9/16.

***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.


New York Life Insurance Company

2016 Financial Highlights (in millions)




Operating Earnings3

    $1,954     $1,875

Surplus and Asset Valuation Reserve5

    $23,336     $22,688

Policyholder Benefits and Dividends6

    $10,093     $9,832

Insurance Sales7

    $1,262     $1,240

Annuity Sales8

    $12,837     $12,015

Assets Under Management9

    $537,783     $528,197

Individual Life Insurance in Force10






1 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.

2 Ipsos poll of 1,863 U.S. adults over the age of 30, conducted in December 2016 on behalf of New York Life: https://www.newyorklife.com/newsroom/2016/optimism-rising/.

3 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 adjustments and dividends to policy holders that are supported by capital gains or earnings from other businesses.

4 Source: LIMRA U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey Participant’s Report for Q4 2016.

5 Statutory surplus and the asset valuation reserve (“AVR”) is shown on a consolidated basis of the Company.

6 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.

7 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. 2015 has been adjusted to conform with our 2016 presentation.

8 Total annuity sales represent premium income on our deferred annuities (both fixed and variable) and on our Guaranteed Income Annuities. Sales are generally recognized when premiums are received. Annuities are primarily issued by NYLIAC.

9 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 and assets under administration.

10 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.

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