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New York Life kicked off 2020 and the company’s 175th anniversary celebration with a new brand campaign titled “Love Takes Action,” including an ad during Super Bowl LIV. The campaign spoke to our past, present, and future, shining a light on the love, fortitude, and actions of our people and the people we serve.

In March, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, and New York Life took action to support its policy owners, agents, employees, and communities.

Planning for tomorrow pays dividends today.


We know times are tough. And with all the changes going on, it’s easy to see why you might be concerned about your family and future. If so, you may find it reassuring to know that our whole life policies are giving millions of people the financial security they need today—and tomorrow.
 

$1.8 billion estimated dividend payout in 2021.

In addition to guaranteed life insurance protection1, participating whole life policy owners are eligible to receive dividends. While dividends are not guaranteed, 2021 will be the 167th consecutive year that our Board of Directors has approved a payout—proof of our ongoing commitment to be there for our clients in good time and in bad.

Policy Owner Benefits & Dividends1

Policy owner benefits dividends

Dividends add up over time.

Using dividends to buy more life insurance (what we call "paid-up additions") is an easy way to build financial security. You see, if you use your dividends to purchase more life insurance, these paid-up additions also become eligible to receive dividends—which then allows you to buy even more coverage. Over time, this provides an opportunity to increase your level of protection.
 

Financial strength you—and your loved ones—can count on.

We aim to pay whole life policy owners the highest-possible annual dividend, while maintaining our financial strength so that we can continue to meet current and future obligations. As a policy owner, you can take comfort in the fact that New York Life enjoys the highest ratings for financial strength currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer by all four major rating agencies2:


Fitch Ratings

AAA

Standard & Poor's

AA+

A.M. Best

A++

Moody's Investors Service

AAA


Protecting your interests is our top priority.

As a mutual life insurance company, we are responsible to our policy owners—not Wall Street shareholders. Whether it’s paying dividends, investing in new businesses, or adding to our surplus, every decision we make has the long-term interests of our clients in mind.
 

Now, more than ever, the need for a surplus is clear.

Surplus is one of the most important measures of an insurer's financial strength since it reflects the company’s ability to withstand potentially harmful economic events such as a recession or national pandemic. While we have already set aside enough money to pay all the benefits we’ve promised, our surplus provides an extra cushion of stability so that our clients know we’ll be there for them when needed.

Surplus and Asset Valuation Reserve3

Surplus And Asset Valuation Reserve

Proven, dependable protection—for what’s most important.

Life insurance is a product that has stood the test of time—regardless of the economic cycle or whatever else may be going on around us. If you own one of our individual life products, you are part of a community who collectively owns more than $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 that you’ve worked hard to accumulate.

We can thrive in any environment.

Even though interest rates remain at historically low levels, New York Life continues to pay eligible owners an attractive dividend. How are we able to do this?

In a low interest rate environment, companies have only a few options to offset the impact that smaller investment returns have on the size of policy owner dividends. They can tap into surplus, which is capital above and beyond the funds already set aside to pay benefits. They can seek larger returns by making more aggressive—sometimes riskier—investments. Or they can operate other businesses to generate additional earnings.

Exercising these options for the benefit of their policy owners, however, can be challenging for some companies. Publicly traded life insurers, for example, may be less able to share their success with policy owners because their priority is generating returns for their shareholders. New York Life, however, is uniquely positioned for your benefit, and we are built for both economic challenges and times of growth.
 

Our diverse business portfolio is put to work for you.

All New York Life policy owners benefit from our diversified business portfolio.4 These businesses are run by us and work for you. These strategic businesses can generate additional earnings to grow surplus and help keep the company strong and growing. Our whole life policy owners also enjoy a distinct advantage from this business strategy: a portion of those earnings can also contribute to the dividend payout. And we have been able to do this while continuing to hold the highest ratings for financial strength currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer by the four major rating agencies.5 Our alignment with your interests pays dividends.

One of the best ways we can continue to improve this portfolio of businesses for you is to make it even more financially strong and diverse, which is the reason behind our acquisition of Cigna’s Group Life & Group Disability Insurance business (now named New York Life Group Benefit Solutions).6 This is the largest acquisition in New York Life’s history and added more than 9 million customers, 10,000 corporate clients, and 3,000 employees to the New York Life family. It enhances our competitive position in the marketplace, making New York Life the #1 seller of retail life, the #5 seller of group life, and the #4 seller of group disability in the country.

We’re here to help.

Need a little stability in these uncertain times? Just click on the link below to have to have a New York Life financial professional answer all your questions.

Download a PDF of the 2018 Report to Policy Owners

Download a PDF of the 2020 Report to Policy Owners

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.

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.

1 Policy owner benefits primarily include death claims paid to beneficiaries and annuity payments. Dividends are payments made to eligible policy owners 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. 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 $8.41 billion and $7.67 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. NYLIAC’s policy owner benefits were $4.18 billion and $3.89 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

2 The “highest ratings currently awarded” refers to the highest ratings currently awarded to any life insurer, specifically: A.M. Best A++ (7/22/20), Fitch Ratings AAA (as of 12/10/20), Moody’s Aaa (as of 1/6/21), and Standard & Poor’s AA+ (as of 12/18/19). Source: third-party reports.

3 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 $21.73 billion and $22.03 billion at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Included in NYLIC’s statutory surplus is NYLIAC’s statutory surplus of $9.45 billion and $9.35 billion at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and LINA’s statutory surplus of $1.85 billion at December 31, 2020. AVR for NYLIC was $3.59 billion and $3.37 billion at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. AVR for NYLIAC was $1.60 billion and $1.56 billion at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. AVR for LINA was $0.07 billion at December 31, 2020. At the time of printing this book, surplus and AVR at December 31, 2020, is preliminary and subject to final audit. Policy owners can view audited statutory financial statements by visiting our website, www.newyorklife.com, beginning in mid-March.

4 New York Life Insurance Company also has wholly owned subsidiaries that issue other non-participating policies.

5 The “highest ratings currently awarded” refers to the highest ratings currently awarded to any life insurer, specifically: A.M. Best A++ (7/22/20), Fitch Ratings AAA (as of 12/10/20), Moody’s Aaa (as of 1/6/21), and Standard & Poor’s AA+ (as of 12/18/19). Source: third-party reports.

6 Cigna’s Group Life and Group Disability Insurance Businesses were acquired on 12/31/2020. As a result, only 2020 Surplus and Asset Valuation Reserve (AVR) and 2020 Assets Under Management amounts, shown in the charts, include the impact of the acquisition.