Fitch Ratings Affirms New York Life’s AAA Rating for Financial Strength
Moody’s and A.M. Best Also Have Their Highest Ratings on the Company
NEW YORK, N.Y., September 6, 2011 – New York Life Insurance Company, America’s largest mutual life insurer, today announced that Fitch Ratings has affirmed the company’s highest possible ratings for financial strength. 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 1,000 life insurers in the United States.
On August 23, Fitch affirmed its AAA (exceptionally strong) financial strength rating on New York Life, its highest possible rating, following similar actions by Moody’s and A.M. Best earlier this year. In July, Moody’s confirmed New York Life at its highest possible rating of Aaa (exceptionally strong); and in June, A.M. Best affirmed its financial strength rating of A++ (superior), its highest possible rating. All three agencies have New York Life on a stable outlook as well.
Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO said, “We’re pleased with the affirmation by Fitch of the highest rating they provide to any company or country. And at Moody’s New York Life has the distinction of not only having the agency's highest possible rating, but our rating at Moody's (Aaa/Stable Outlook) is higher than its rating of the United States (Aaa/Negative Outlook). Nevertheless, we manage the company solely in the best interests of our policyholders' safety and not for the reaction of the rating agencies. We maintain robust capital and liquidity so we can always provide the highest level of safety and security for our policyholders, in good times and bad. We will continue to be there for our policyholders just as we have for the last 166 years.”
Standard & Poor’s Adjusts Insurer Ratings In Lockstep with Government Action On Aug. 5, 2011, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to AA+, with a negative outlook. In keeping with its stated policy that no financial institution can be rated higher than its sovereign, S&P lowered its AAA ratings on the long-term counterparty credit and financial strength of five U.S. insurance groups, including New York Life, to AA+. S&P assigned negative outlooks to all five insurers in lockstep with the outlook it assigned to the United States.
New York Life View of the Standard & Poor’s action:
“New York Life disagrees with S&P's view that AAA rated insurers should be adjusted in lockstep with the U.S. government. Both Moody's and Fitch are of the opinion that financial institutions can have a higher rating than the federal government, and we agree with their assessment. Even with this action by S&P, New York Life still has the highest-possible rating from S&P of any life insurer, and remains one of only three life insurers with the highest ratings awarded by the four major rating agencies.”
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 23, 2011
- Very strong capital;
- Consistently solid operating earnings driven by its large book of traditional life insurance reserves;
- Well diversified liquid investment portfolio;
- Leading position in the U.S. life insurance and annuity markets;
- Execution of its strategy to distribute products primarily through a career distribution channel targeting middle-market customers.
Moody’s Investors Service – Rating of Aaa (highest) confirmed July 20, 2011
Moody’s current commentary* on New York Life cites:
- The company’s continued leading position in the U.S. life insurance market, as well as its significant financial flexibility and operational scale;
- The group’s earnings diversity, very strong liquidity, and outstanding capitalization;
- The company’s stable and productive career-agency distribution system;
- The company’s well-recognized and highly regarded brand name; a strong national presence; and significant embedded profitability in the existing book of business.
A.M. Best – Rating of A++ (highest) affirmed June 16, 2011
- The company’s leading market position in the U.S. life insurance industry;
- The company’s highly productive career agency force and superior risk-adjusted capitalization;
- The company’s favorable liability profile, stable operating earnings and commitment to mutuality;
- Strong investment management capabilities.
Standard & Poor’s – Rating of AA+ (highest for life insurers) revised August 8, 2011 in conjunction with government action
- Noted New York Life’s extremely strong competitive position with a high caliber career agency system;
- The company’s very strong operating performance in terms of mortality, persistency and expenses;
- The company’s extremely strong capitalization;
- The company’s 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 financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by all four of the major credit rating agencies. 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 institutional and retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s Web site at www.newyorklife.com for more information.
*Highlights are from most recent credit analysis, September 30, 2010.
**Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500, Ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, May 5, 2011. See http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/faq/ for methodology.
***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.