NEW YORK, April 15, 2010 - New York Life Insurance Company announced today that it is the number one seller of fixed immediate annuities* for women in 2009, with 64 percent of its record $1.9 billion in sales going to women purchasers.** Together with its leading market share in these annuities, New York Life is the number one provider to women.
"Women are making a wise decision to actively ensure their retirement income needs are in place and the financial strength and peace of mind that come with this New York Life product is what they seek," said Angela Kyle, senior vice president in the company's Retirement Income Security division. "Research has continued to identify the increased need among women to be proactive about planning for their financial needs in retirement. It is gratifying to see that women are heeding this guidance and when ready to make the choice, a significant number pick New York Life."
One academic paper***, "Lifetime Income for Women: A Financial Economists Perspective," found that women's increased longevity and the continued demise of traditional pensions put them at risk for outliving their assets. Traditional advice implored women to invest in high-risk products to get the higher returns necessary to finance longer retirement; however, these investment strategies exposed women to dangerous and unnecessary risk. The study found that lifetime income annuities, which guarantee payments no matter how long the annuitant lives, were a safe alternative that could provide retirement income for less cost and risk than other products.
"Because of an increased life expectancy, women are faced with financing a substantially longer retirement than men - a healthy 65-year-old woman has a 50% chance of living beyond age 88 and a 25% chance of living beyond 94.**** This is great news, but with a volatile stock market and uncertain economy, living well in retirement may seem a difficult goal," Kyle said. "This week is National Retirement Planning Week and we hope that the increased attention to the topic of retirement planning will encourage others to make smart decisions today to lock in the retirement lifestyle and security for tomorrow, helping to assure that retirement years are in fact golden years - safe, secure, and free of financial worry."
New York Life has a history of serving the financial needs of women. In 1894, New York Life became the first U.S. insurer to issue life insurance to women at the same rates as men. At the time, most life insurers refused to underwrite women at all. The few that did charged an extra premium.
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 from 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.
*Fixed annuities are issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation. Guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability of the issuing insurer.
**Based on single purchases by women. If joint purchasers are included, which often includes both males and females purchasing jointly, women represent 49% of all single purchases. Source: LIMRA International, U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey, Fourth Quarter 2009 results. (Note that Fixed Immediates include Fixed Period Annuities.)
***The paper, "Lifetime Income for Women: A Financial Economist's Perspective," by David F. Babbel, Ph.D, is based on the academic study, "Rational Decumulation" co-authored by Professor Babbel and Professor Craig B. Merrill, both Fellows of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center. New York Life and Wharton School co-sponsored the paper.
**** Annuity 2000 mortality table
*****New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company based on the Fortune 500, ranked within industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual), Fortune magazine, posted April 15, 2010.
******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.
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