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New York Life Reports 2011 Financial Results

  • Surplus and asset valuation reserve increased by $1 billion, or 6.4%, to a record $17.9 billion.
  • Operating earnings of $1.44 billion increased 2.1% from 2010, a new record high.
  • Total insurance sales reached $1.3 billion, an increase of 3.8% over 2010, setting a new record.
  • Total investment sales exceeded $51 billion, a rise of 35% over 2010 and a new record.
  • Policyholder benefits and dividends rose to $7.6 billion, a 5.6% increase over $7.2 billion in 2010.
  • Assets under management increased $30 billion to a new record of $338 billion, a 9.8% increase from 2010.
  • Individual life insurance in force rose to a new record of $790 billion, a 4.2% increase from 2010.

NEW YORK, April 9, 2012 – New York Life Insurance Company, America’s largest mutual life insurance company1, announced record 2011 operating earnings of $1.44 billion and added $1 billion to surplus and asset valuation reserve for the year, increasing it to $17.9 billion, an all time high. The company also set new records in sales of insurance and investment products, assets under management and individual life insurance in force.

Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO, said, “The company had an excellent year. We provided more new individual life insurance coverage than in any other single year in our history, and we remained the top provider of life insurance in the United States for the third year in a row.2 We also maintained a strong level of surplus and earnings, helping to ensure we can fulfill all of our commitments decades into the future. We retained the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Most importantly, we delivered more than $7.6 billion in dividends and benefits to our policyholders during the year. In fact, we have paid a cash dividend every year since 1854, an unbroken string of 158 consecutive years. Tied closely to our financial strength is our mutual structure, which perfectly aligns our business with the long-term interests of our policyholders. I am certain we can continue to differentiate our company by staying true to our fundamental strategies, including our focus on life insurance, on career agents, on remaining a mutual company, and of course, maintaining superior financial strength.”

1Source: Fortune 500, ranked within industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual), Fortune magazine, May 23, 2010.

2Source: LIMRA International, see Note to Editors on page 5 for more detail.

Strong Surplus Position Provides Safety

Surplus and asset valuation reserve, a main measure of financial strength, increased 6.4% in 2011 to a new year-end record of $17.9 billion. The increase was driven by strong operating gains as well as gains from the sale of certain international operations. Mr. Mathas said, “Our record level of surplus and asset valuation reserve is a good indicator of the fundamental health of the enterprise. In addition, our discipline of maintaining a large financial cushion has been more than validated in recent years, helping us maintain our highest-possible financial strength ratings and provide peace of mind to policyholders through the financial crisis and its aftermath.”

Record Operating Earnings

Operating earnings, the company’s measure to track profitability from ongoing operations, were a very strong $1.44 billion in 2011. The 2011 result exceeds the record $1.41 billion in operating earnings posted in 2010 and marks the fourth year in the last five years that operating earnings have achieved new record highs. “The company’s operating earnings performance continues to be robust despite a challenging economy, a reflection of how we manage for long-term strength. We maintain a less-volatile operating earnings profile so our policyholders can count on us year after year,” Mr. Mathas said.

Records Set for Sales and Assets Under Management

Insurance sales increased 3.8% in 2011, to $1.3 billion, propelled primarily by strong sales of life insurance through the company’s career agents (up 5%). New York Life is the largest seller of life insurance in the United States, according to an industry source.3 Investment sales increased 35% to $51 billion in 2011, driven by exceptional growth in sales of institutional separate managed accounts, retail mutual funds, and stable value products in our retirement planning providers. Assets under management increased $30 billion in 2011 to a new high of $337.8 billion, up 9.8%.

Review of Businesses

Insurance Group

The newly formed Insurance Group features the company’s industry-leading life insurance business, which has been the core business of New York Life since its founding in 1845. The Group also includes the supplemental distribution channels for the U.S. life business: the direct response business in Tampa, FL, which is the leading direct marketer of life insurance in the U.S. through an endorsed program with AARP geared to its membership; and the Group Membership Association business, which is the largest underwriter of professional association insurance programs in the U.S., covering members of more than 500 associations across the country. Given their closeness to the core U.S. life business, both geographically and strategically, New York Life’s operations in Mexico are part of the Insurance Group, as well.

2011 highlights include:

  • The U.S. life insurance segment once again led the industry with a 10.7% market share.3
  • The long-term care insurance operation generated a 17% increase in sales over the prior year.
  • In 2011, $4.8 billion in benefits and dividends was paid out to life insurance policyholders.

3Source: LIMRA International with single premiums counted at 100%. See Note to Editors on page 5 for more detail.

Investments Group

Retirement Income Security (RIS) is a leader in providing solutions to the retirement income challenge facing Americans, both in the accumulation and income phases of retirement. RIS makes available income annuities, investment annuities, the company’s family of MainStay mutual funds and long-term care insurance.

The newly formed Investments Group includes New York Life Investments, which ranks among the largest asset management firms in the United States, and the businesses of the former Retirement Income Security operation, which provide solutions to the retirement income challenge facing Americans, both in the accumulation and income phases of retirement planning.

With $313 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2011, New York Life Investments and its affiliates provide investment management services to institutional and retail clients, offer retirement plans for corporations, multi-employer trusts and individuals, and deliver guaranteed products to both the qualified and non-qualified markets. New York Life Investments continues to provide superior risk-adjusted performance in managing the majority of New York Life’s $175 billion in cash and invested assets. In 2011, New York Life Investments also achieved company records in both gross and net sales.

The Investments Group offers retail mutual funds through its MainStay Funds family. In 2011, the Group set new sales records for MainStay mutual funds. Barron’s, the business and financial weekly of Dow Jones, named the MainStay Funds to its list of the best mutual fund families of 2011.4 Over the last ten years the MainStay Funds ranked third out of 45 fund families ranked by Barron’s, and MainStay ranked seventh out of 58 fund families over a one-year period.

On the annuity side, New York Life continued to lead the industry in providing guaranteed lifetime income, with a 29.7% market share in fixed immediate annuities. The Group’s other popular solutions included fixed deferred annuities and variable annuities.

In announcing the formation of the two business groups on January 20, 2012, Mr. Mathas said, “This strategic alignment maintains our industry-leading life insurance business as our flagship core business, enhances the prospects of New York Life becoming a true leader in retirement solutions beyond income annuities, where we lead today, and keeps our career agency as our defining core distribution system going forward, as it has been throughout our history. We are confident that these moves will enable us to continue to generate strong growth across our business lines, add consumer benefits to our products and solutions, and enhance the long-term strength of our company, all to the benefit of our millions of policyholders."

4Source: Barron’s, 2/6/12. MainStay also ranked eighth out of 53 fund families over five years. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All mutual funds are subject to market risk and may fluctuate in value.

Agency Highlights from 2011

The Agency Operation includes the company’s primary U.S. distribution channel of more than 12,000 licensed agents located in cities and towns across America. Key highlights of the year include:

  • Agent sales of individual life insurance and guaranteed lifetime income annuities reached new highs, increasing 5% and 29% respectively, from 2010.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, New York Life recruited more than 3,000 financial representatives in the United States in 2011. Agents who plan to work in specific ethnic communities represented more than 40% of agent appointments in 2011.
  • New York Life continued its leadership in the MDRT (formerly known as the Million Dollar Round Table), the industry’s most prestigious professional organization for agents, for the 57th consecutive year. The company had 2,066 agents achieve this recognition in 2011, about one quarter of New York Life’s active field force in the United States. New York Life also led the industry in the number of women agents qualifying for MDRT in 2011.
  • New York Life Ratings Are Exceptionally Strong

    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+).5

    New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States6 and one of the largest life insurers in the world. 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 Investments7 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. Fixed and variable annuities are issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company. Please visit New York Life’s Web site at for more information.

    5Source: Third Party Ratings Reports: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s (Aaa), and Standard & Poor’s (AA+) as of 1/25/12.

    6Based on revenue as reported by "Fortune 500, Ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)," Fortune magazine, May 23, 2011. See methodology.

    7New 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. See page 5 for additional information.

    Note to Editors: New York Life was the number one seller of fixed immediate annuities in 2011, according to an industry source. Source: LIMRA International, U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey, Fixed Immediates, Fourth Quarter YTD 2011 results. (Fixed Immediates include Fixed Period Annuities.) New York Life was the largest seller of individual life insurance, according to an industry source. Note: Sales based on all planned recurring premiums plus 100% of reported single premiums. Source: LIMRA International, Fourth Quarter YTD 2011 Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. Also, New York Life was the sixth largest seller of new individual long-term care insurance premium, according to an industry source. Source: LIMRA International, Fourth Quarter YTD 2011 Individual Long-Term Care Sales Survey, adjusted for level premium pay plans plus 10% of limited premium pay plans.

    Note: “New York Life” or “the Company,” as used throughout this release, can refer either separately to the parent company, New York Life Insurance Company, or one of its subsidiaries, or collectively to all New York Life companies, which include the parent company and its subsidiaries and affiliates.

    Please call 800-MAINSTAY (624-6782) for a prospectus. Investors are asked to consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

    Securities distributed by NYLIFE Distributors LLC, 169 Lackawanna Avenue, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054. MainStay and MainStay Investments are registered names under which New York Life Investments does business. New York Life Investments serves as the investment manager of the MainStay Funds. 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.