Focusing on you pays dividends.

New York Life puts its financial strength to work on your behalf.

Our priority is always aligned with yours: Backing the guarantees of our insurance and annuity products you and your family are counting on for a secure financial future. But as a company that does not have to answer to Wall Street or shareholders, we are also able to share our success with you today. For many of our clients, this shared success is received in an annual dividend—something we’ve been paying consistently since 1854. Dividends can be used in a few different ways. Some simply take it as cash to spend on other current needs. Others apply the money towards their premium payment to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Many, however, use their dividend to conveniently purchase more insurance. Our long track record reflects our commitment to paying you the strongest dividend possible each year, while maintaining unquestioned financial strength. And that is something we are uniquely positioned to continue to do for you.

And in 2018, our eligible policy owners will receive the largest payout ever of $1.78 billion. This is also our 164th consecutive year of paying a dividend.


Policy Owner Benefits & Dividends

How are we able to consistently deliver a strong dividend payout?

Despite low interest rates over the past several years, since 2012 we’ve increased our dividend payout by 36 percent. This sets us apart from many other life insurers. Why? There are only a few options for companies to offset the impact on policy owner dividends from the smaller investment returns in a low interest rate environment. They can tap into surplus, which is the capital above and beyond the funds already set aside to pay benefits. They can seek larger returns by taking on more investment risk. Or they can operate other businesses to generate additional earnings.

For publicly traded life insurers, exercising these options for the benefit of their policy owners is challenging because their priority is to share their success with shareholders, not you. But even for other life insurers that do not answer to shareholders, these options can be just as challenging if they do not have the cushion of robust surplus or other successful businesses.

Our diverse business strategy and superior financial strength are put to work for you.

All New York Life policy owners benefit from our diversified business portfolio. These businesses generate additional earnings that help keep your company growing. Our whole life policy owners also enjoy a distinct advantage from this business strategy: A portion of those earnings can contribute to the dividend payout without the company taking on additional investment risk. And we are able to do this while continuing to hold the highest ratings for financial strength currently awarded to any life insurer by the four major rating agencies.2 Said another way, our focus on you pays dividends.


You're a part of New York Life's community of customers.

Life insurance is a product that has withstood the test of time. Regardless of the economic cycle or whatever else may be going on in the world around us, it continues to have a place when planning for a secure financial future.

If you own one of our individual life insurance products, you are part of a community of millions who collectively own nearly $1 trillion in protection for their families and businesses. That’s money that can help pay for an education, secure a retirement, or protect the assets you’ve worked hard to accumulate.

The premiums and fees we collect on life insurance and annuity products are prudently invested and managed for the long term to ensure we fulfill the promises we make to you.


Financial strength that belongs to you.

As a life insurer with no shareholders, our interests are aligned with yours. New York Life does not need to meet the quarterly demands of Wall Street. That’s why every dollar of value we create is put to work with your long-term interests in mind, whether it is paying dividends or enhancing our financial strength by growing surplus.

Surplus is one of the most important measures of an insurer’s financial strength, since it shows the company’s ability to help secure your future. This is capital above and beyond the funds already set aside to pay the benefits we promise. Think of it as a cushion against potential future adverse economic events—money that further ensures we can continue to meet our obligations to you whenever you need us.


A secure financial future you can feel confident about.

Protecting your family or business against the unexpected. Paying for college. Saving for retirement, and being able to enjoy it. Whatever your  goals, we have the products that can help you achieve them. Our job is to provide guidance and help you assemble the plan you need, and want. And as your goals evolve you can count on us to help you continue to be free from worrying about your financial future.

Download a PDF of the 2017 Report to Policy Owners

Download PDF

Note: “New York Life” or “the company” as used throughout the Report can refer either separately to the parent company, New York Life Insurance Company (NYLIC), or one of its subsidiaries, or collectively to all New York Life companies, which include NYLIC and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation (NYLIAC) and NYLIFE Insurance Company of Arizona (NYLAZ). NYLAZ is not authorized in New York or Maine, and does not conduct insurance business in New York or Maine. Any discussion of ratings and safety throughout the Report applies only to the financial strength of New York Life, and not to the performance of any investment products issued by the company. Such products’ performances will fluctuate with market conditions.

1) Policy owner benefits primarily include death claims paid to beneficiaries and annuity payments. Dividends are payments made to eligible policyholders from divisible surplus. Divisible surplus is the portion of the company’s total surplus that is available, following each year’s operations, for distribution in the form of dividends. Dividends are not guaranteed. Each year the board of directors votes on the amount and allocation of the divisible surplus. The 36% growth over 2012 is based on $1.78 billion of dividends declared as payable in 2018 compared to $1.31 billion of dividends paid in 2012. Policy owner benefits and dividends reflect the consolidated results of NYLIC and its domestic insurance subsidiaries. Intercompany transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. NYLIC’s policy owner benefits and dividends were $7.38 billion and $7.23 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. NYLIAC’s policy owner benefits were $3.26 billion and $2.95 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

2) The “highest ratings currently awarded” refers to the highest ratings currently awarded to any life insurer, specifically: A.M. Best A++ (as of 7/20/17), Fitch Ratings AAA (as of 6/27/17), Moody’s Aaa (as of 7/27/17), and Standard & Poor’s AA+ (as of 7/14/17). Source: third-party reports.

3) Individual life insurance in force is the total face amount of individual life insurance contracts (term, whole life and universal life) outstanding for NYLIC and its domestic insurance subsidiaries at a given time. The company’s individual life insurance in force totaled $992.8 billion at December 31, 2017 (including $175.7 billion for NYLIAC).

4) Assets under management consist of cash and invested assets and separate account assets of the company’s domestic and international insurance operations, and assets the company manages for third-party investors, including mutual funds, separately managed accounts, retirement plans and assets under administration. The company’s General Account investment portfolio totaled $242.53 billion as of December 31, 2017 (including $102.04 billion invested assets of NYLIAC). As of December 31, 2017, total assets equaled $303.18 billion (including $152.85 billion total assets of NYLIAC). Total liabilities, excluding the Asset Valuation Reserve (AVR), equaled $278.98 billion (including $142.47 billion total liabilities of NYLIAC). See Note 6 for total surplus.

5) Operating earnings is the measure used for management purposes to track the company’s results from ongoing operations and the profitability of the business. This chart is based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) with certain adjustments we believe are more appropriate as a measurement approach (non-GAAP).

Policy owners can view the GAAP-basis consolidated financial statements and a detailed reconciliation to our non-GAAP performance measures by visiting our website,, beginning in mid-March.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (the Department) recognizes only statutory accounting practices for determining and reporting the financial condition and results of operations of an insurance company, for determining its solvency under the New York Insurance Law, and for management determining whether its financial condition warrants the payment of a dividend to its policy owners. No consideration is given by the Department to financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP in making such determinations.

6) Total surplus, which includes the Asset Valuation Reserve (AVR), is one of the key indicators of the company’s long-term financial strength and stability and is presented on a consolidated basis of the company. NYLIC’s statutory surplus was $20.36 billion and $20.11 billion at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Included in NYLIC’s statutory surplus is NYLIAC’s statutory surplus totaling $9.19 billion and $8.72 billion at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. AVR for NYLIC was $2.65 billion and $2.18 billion at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. AVR for NYLIAC was $1.19 billion and $1.05 billion at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Policy owners can view the statutory financial statements applicable to their respective companies by visiting our website,, beginning in mid-March.

7) Insurance sales represent annualized first-year premiums on participating issued whole life insurance, term life insurance, universal life insurance, long-term care insurance, and other health insurance products. A sale is generally counted when the initial premium is paid and the policy is issued. Adjustments are made to normalize non-recurring premiums to align with our annualized recurring premium methodology for insurance sales. Some examples are: single premium products sold through our agents and Advanced Markets Network (AMN) retail and COLI distribution channel, our network of independent agents and brokers, are counted at 10 percent. Sales are generated from both domestic and Mexican operations.

8) Total annuity sales represent premiums on our deferred annuities (both fixed and variable) and on our guaranteed income annuities. Sales are generally recognized when premiums are received. Annuities are primarily issued by NYLIAC.

9) Mutual fund sales represent total cash deposited to new and existing accounts of the MainStay Funds, New York Life’s proprietary mutual funds. MainStay Funds are managed by New York Life Investment Management LLC and distributed through NYLIFE Distributors LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company.

Where applicable, prior period numbers have been restated to conform to current year definition. In addition, non-U.S denominated results are generally valued using applicable year end exchange rates.

For further financial information, including detailed information on our investment strategy, visit our website (, where the 2017 Annual Report will be available in mid-April 2018. A copy of the Report, our GAAP and statutory financial statements, and reconciliation to our non-GAAP operating performance measure are also available by writing to the Secretary of New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010.