New York Life announces 2014 financial results.

New Milestones Reached for the First Time: Policyholder Benefits and Dividends Paid Exceeded $9 Billion; Operating Earnings Surpassed $2 Billion; AUM Exceeded $500 Billion.



  • Operating earnings achieved a new record high of $2.02 billion, an increase of 14.7 percent over 2013, marking the fifth consecutive year of record earnings
  • Surplus and asset valuation reserve grew by $796 million to $21.9 billion, an all time high
  • Assets under management increased to a new high of $541 billion in 2014
  • Individual life insurance in force rose to a new record of $871 billion, $31 billion more than 2013, as a new sales record was set in 2014
  • Dividends grew by more than 9 percent for the third consecutive year
  • Policyholder benefits and dividends paid rose to $9.08 billion, up 5 percent

NEW YORK, April 7, 2015—New York Life Insurance Company, America’s largest mutual life insurance company1, announced a 14.7 percent increase in 2014 operating earnings to a record $2.02 billion, and record surplus and asset valuation reserve, which reached $21.9 billion for the year.

“Despite continued low interest rates, competition from a strong stock market, and low growth in the life insurance market nationally, New York Life exceeded $2 billion in earnings for the first time and reached a new high in surplus and asset valuation reserve, a key measure of our financial strength. I want to thank our agents and employees for a remarkable year, and for showing once again why millions of families and businesses choose New York Life as a steward for their financial futures,” said Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas.

“I also want to thank our policyholders for placing their trust in New York Life. Our company’s founders set forth a singular objective for New York Life 170 years ago—to operate for the benefit of our policyholders—and we will not waver from that course,” added Mr. Mathas. “Our continued commitment to the mutual form of governance informs virtually every decision we make, and makes us confident in our promise to be there for those who rely on us no matter what economic weather lies ahead.”

Dividends Paid to Policyholders Increased 30 Percent Since 2011

Mr. Mathas continued, “Dividend payouts, which New York Life has made for 161 consecutive years, are one of the most visible measures of our success in giving back to our policyholders. In 2014 we set a new standard among our large mutual company peers, increasing the dividends being paid to our participating policyholders in 2015 by more than 9 percent. Since 2011 we have increased the dividend payout by 30 percent, far exceeding the three-year growth of our large mutual company peers2. But while we are proud of that achievement, it’s the total $9.1 billion in benefits and dividends we paid last year that demonstrate the full value of promises kept to millions of people and businesses.”

Record Earnings Support Responsible Growth

Operating earnings, the company’s measure to track profitability from ongoing operations, grew 14.7 percent in 2014 to $2.02 billion. This marks the fifth consecutive year in which earnings have achieved a new historical record.

“Through our mutual company model, we are able to allocate resources in a way few other companies can,” Mr. Mathas said. “The fact that we achieved record earnings while maintaining our strong surplus and unsurpassed financial strength ratings from all four major ratings agencies proves our ability to profitably manage the business to the benefit of our policyholders. This we will continue to do.”

Career Agency Force Key to Year’s Success

New York Life is one of the few companies committed to a career agency system as our primary distribution model. In 2014 the company’s diverse field force of more than 12,000 financial professionals helped life insurance sales reach a new high of $1.2 billion.

Mr. Mathas said, “Agents are the heart and soul of New York Life, working tirelessly to secure the financial footing of families and businesses while still finding time to give back to the community. Our performance this year reflects the unsurpassed combination of our agents’ expertise and commitment to helping families and businesses achieve their financial goals.”

Review of Businesses

Insurance and Agency Group

The Insurance and Agency Group includes the company’s life insurance business in the United States, which has been the core business of New York Life since its founding in 1845, and the company’s career agency system of 12,000 licensed agents in cities and towns across the nation. In 2014, $5.7 billion in benefits and dividends was paid out to the Insurance and Agency Group’s domestic life insurance policyholders. Complementing the Group’s successful agency model are two supplemental distribution channels for the U.S. life business:

  • New York Life Direct, the company’s 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;
  • The company’s 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.

The Insurance and Agency Group also includes New York Life’s life insurance operation in Mexico, Seguros Monterrey New York Life, one of the country’s largest life insurers.

Investments Group

The Investments Group includes all of the asset management businesses of New York Life, and ranks among the world’s largest asset management firms.3 With $526 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2014, the Investments Group provides investment management services to institutional and retail clients and delivers annuities and guaranteed products to both the qualified and non-qualified markets. By employing a multi-boutique approach, the Group continues to produce excellent risk-adjusted performance in managing the vast majority of New York Life’s general account, which stood at $197 billion in cash and invested assets at year end.

New York Life Investments offers retail mutual funds through its MainStay Funds family. In 2014, the Group reported sales of MainStay mutual funds totaling $25.9 billion for the year, the second-highest sales number in MainStay’s history, through the third party market and New York Life agents.

On the annuity side, New York Life continued to lead the industry in providing guaranteed lifetime income, with a 22 percent market share in fixed immediate annuities and 42 percent of the market for deferred income annuities, according to an industry source.4 The Group’s other retirement solutions include fixed deferred annuities and variable annuities.

More Agency Highlights from 2014

In addition to Agency’s accomplishments noted above, here are additional key highlights:

  • The company hired 3,680 full-time agents last year, continuing its strong trend of hiring in recent years. Since 2007, the company has grown its active agent force by 24 percent. In 2014, 52 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were individuals who represent the cultural markets.
  • New York Life continued its leadership of the MDRT5 for the 60th consecutive year. The company had 2,376 agents achieve this recognition in 2014, 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 2014. Impressively, New York Life has one out of every five MDRT qualifiers in the industry overall, one in every three women qualifiers—and four times more women in the organization than the second place company.

2014 Financial Highlights

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 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 www.newyorklife.com for more information.

 

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Further Reading
  • Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/16/14. For methodology, see http://fortune.com/fortune500/. 
  • Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 3/26/15. 
  • 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.

 

  • 1 See final page for details of Fortune 500 ranking. 
  • 2 Based on publicly available information on New York Life’s peer mutual U.S. life insurers. This peer group is comprised of major mutual U.S. insurance companies for whom life insurance is the primary focus and primary line of business, and whose financial information is made publicly available. 
  • 3 Source: New York Life Investments ranked 29th among the world’s largest money managers in Pensions & Investments, May 26, 2014. Rankings are based on total worldwide institutional assets under management for the year-end Dec. 31, 2013. New York Life Investments assets include assets of affiliated investment advisors. 
  • 4 Source: LIMRA, U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey, Participants Report, Fixed Immediates and Deferred Income Annuities, Fourth Quarter 2014 results. (Fixed Immediates include Fixed Period Annuities.) Annuities are primarily issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company. 
  • 5 Million Dollar Round Table, the premier association of financial professionals, is an organization that recognizes excellence in the life insurance industry.