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Fitch Affirms New York Life’s Highest Ratings for Financial Strength; Moody’s Restores Stable Outlook

Rating Agencies Cite Company’s Extremely Strong Capital and Effective Distribution Channel Focused on the Middle Market

NEW YORK, August 16, 2013—New York Life, America’s largest mutual life insurer, today announced that Fitch affirmed the company’s highest possible ratings for financial strength, while Moody’s restored the company’s stable outlook following the agency’s return of the U.S. government’s Aaa ratings to stable.

Fitch affirmed the company’s financial strength rating of AAA (highest), its highest possible rating, on August 1, 2013, and on July 19, 2013, Moody’s restored New York Life’s stable outlook. New York Life has the highest rating from Moody’s, Aaa. Also, this past June, A.M. Best affirmed its A++ (superior) financial strength rating on New York Life, its highest possible rating. On June 10, 2013, Standard & Poor’s restored the company’s stable outlook following a similar move restoring the outlook of the United States to stable.

New York Life remains one of only three life insurers with the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded by all four of the major rating agencies, out of about 900 life insurers in the United States.

In its comment about New York Life released on July 19, 2013, Moody’s explained that while the change in outlook on three insurers to stable was driven primarily by the affirmation of the U.S. government’s Aaa rating, “it reflects the companies’ exceptional intrinsic strengths, including leading positions in their core markets and a significant focus on participating products, which lead to resilient balance sheets.” More specifically, the affirmation of the ratings for New York Life reflects “the company’s strong brand and franchise, well-diversified distribution channels, excellent capital base and high quality and liquid investment portfolio. New York Life’s financial flexibility benefits from its large and stable block of participating life insurance business, for which it can adjust policyholder dividends.”

Among the highlights from the major rating agencies’ comments in affirming New York Life’s ratings are:

Fitch Ratings—Rating of AAA (highest) affirmed August 1, 2013

  • Extremely strong capital;
  • Consistent operating earnings;
  • Large book of traditional life insurance reserves;
  • Strong brand name;
  • Leading position in the U.S. life insurance and annuity markets;
  • Effective career distribution channel targeting middle market customers; and
  • Strong performance of diversified and liquid investment portfolio.
In addition to Fitch, the current ratings and opinions of A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s remain in effect.

A.M. Best—Rating of A++ (highest) affirmed June 4, 2013

  • Leading market position in the U.S. life industry;
  • Highly productive career agency force;
  • Superior risk-adjusted capitalization;
  • Favorable liability profile;
  • Stable operating earnings; and
  • Commitment to mutuality.

Moody’s Investors Service—Rating of Aaa (highest) affirmed July 19, 2013

  • Leading position in core market;
  • Excellent distribution channels;
  • Strong underwriting skills;
  • Robust and resilient balance sheets; and
  • Mutual structure that helps align the interests of policyholders, creditors and the company management.

Standard & Poor’s—Rating of AA+ (highest for life insurers) affirmed June 10, 2013 in conjunction with rating action on the U.S. government (excerpts below are from June 18, 2013 S&P review issued on New York Life)

  • Excellent business risk profile which is complemented by an extremely strong financial risk profile;
  • Very strong competitive position, reflecting its widely recognizable brand and significant controlled distribution;
  • The company’s U.S. career agency system has a formidable number of agents and excellent market penetration and overall productivity;
  • Extremely strong capital strength and strong earnings; and
  • Strong enterprise risk management.

For the agencies’ complete news release commentary on New York Life click here:

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 and retirement plan services. 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 for more information.

* Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, May 20, 2013. See for methodology.
**Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/1/13.
***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.