New York Life achieves milestone financial results in 2017.

Press Release

Following a record-breaking 2016, New York Life reaches new company highs for operating earnings, insurance and annuity sales, assets under management, and surplus.

Posts largest dividend payout in company’s history.

NEW YORK, March 13, 2018 – New York Life Insurance Company today announced a record-breaking year of financial results in 2017, including all-time company highs for operating earnings, assets under management, and individual life insurance in force. Company records were also achieved in the metrics that directly capture the value New York Life delivers to its policy owners: dividends and benefits paid to eligible policy owners and beneficiaries. In November 2017, New York Life announced the largest dividend payout in the company’s history, up 36 percent since 2012.

“These results again validate New York Life’s business strategy, which pairs our market-leading life insurance and agency franchise with a diverse set of supporting businesses, all aligned with the interests of our policy owners,” said Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO of New York Life. “While markets fluctuate, our time-tested approach has enabled New York Life to consistently grow the value we deliver to policy owners year over year while continuing to provide peace of mind to the families and businesses who rely on us.”

Robust Results Underscore the Value of New York Life’s Agent Force

The company’s outstanding bottom line results were driven by company records in a number of top line measures, none more important than sales of life insurance. New York Life achieved its 21st consecutive year of growth in life insurance sales in 2017, with sales through New York Life agents up 4 percent over the prior year.

John Kim, president of New York Life, said, “Personal guidance, delivered by the dedicated and diverse agents of New York Life, remains at the heart of our business model. At the same time, the company continues to invest in digital capabilities to enhance the service our field force provides. We applaud the outstanding commitment of our 12,000 professional agents, who day after day help people make the important decisions needed to achieve financial security.”

Record Surplus Continues to Drive Unsurpassed Financial Strength Ratings

New York Life is in the enviable position of declaring all-time company highs in both dividend payout and surplus, and remains one of only two companies out of more than 900 in the industry to receive the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by all four major financial rating agencies. 

New York Life’s financial strength reflects the performance of the company’s insurance business, including strong investment results from its $242.5 billion general account portfolio despite a persistent low interest rate environment, and contributions from the company’s diverse set of businesses.

While these results also include a one-time $600 million reduction in surplus related to tax reform, the company expects that tax reform will positively impact its financial position over the long term.

Additional performance highlights as of December 31, 2017

• Reached $2.06 billion in operating earnings  for 2017, the highest in the company’s history.
• Paid over $10.6 billion in total dividends and benefits to policy owners
• Announced a dividend payout of $1.78 billion in 2018, a 36 percent increase since 2012.
• Grew surplus (including the asset valuation reserve) to $24 billion.
• Reported life insurance sales of over $1.3 billion and individual life insurance in force of $993 billion.
• Reached a record high in annuity sales of $13.8 billion.
• Reported a general account balance of $242.5 billion in cash and invested assets, and total assets under management of $586 billion.

  2017 2016
Operating Earnings2 $2,058 $1,954
Surplus and Asset Valuation Reserve3 $24,198 $23,336
Policyholder Benefits and Dividends4 $10,633 $10,093
Insurance Sales5 $1,315 $1,231
Annuity Sales6 $13,809 $12,837
Assets Under Management7 $585,919 $537,783
Individual Life Insurance in Force8 $992,821 $956,615


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.  Visit www.newyorklife.com for more information. 

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