(Springfield, MA) – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the company’s largest dividend payout ever in the company’s history for 2014: a record payout estimated at $1.49 billion to eligible participating policyowners. The dividends to be paid in 2014 reflect a dividend interest rate1 of 7.10 percent for eligible participating permanent life and annuity blocks of business, an increase over last year’s rate of 7.00 percent.
“As a mutual life insurance company, MassMutual operates for the benefit of our participating policyowners and members, and we manage our business with their long-term interests in mind,” said Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and CEO, MassMutual. “One of the most tangible measures of our commitment to this philosophy is through our strategy to pay out a dividend each year. Our record estimated dividend in 2014 underscores the ongoing value of the strength and stability MassMutual provides, and is the result of the success and soundness of the company’s financial strength, operating fundamentals and long-term investment strategy.”
The approved estimated payout of $1.49 billion represents an increase of $101 million – or approximately 7.3% – from the 2013 estimated payout and reflects updated investment, mortality, morbidity, expense and other experience. MassMutual’s strong performance of its asset management subsidiaries – including OppenheimerFunds, Babson Capital Management and Baring Asset Management – and its non-participating businesses – such as the company’s retirement services business and non-participating product lines – has been a key contributor to the company’s ability to consistently pay a strong dividend. Although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s.
The estimated record payout comes at a time when MassMutual maintains among the highest financial strength ratings2 in its industry and is reporting very strong levels of surplus of approximately $12 billion and total adjusted capital over $14 billion; both are key indicators of the company’s overall financial strength. The 2014 payout marks the 16th consecutive year that MassMutual’s estimated payout exceeds $1 billion, and the company has paid $20 billion in dividends over the past 20 years.
Of the total $1.49 billion dividend payout, an estimated $1.47 billion has been approved for eligible participating policyowners who have purchased whole life insurance, the company’s core product. More than 99 percent of eligible participating life policies will receive a dividend in 2014 that is the same or higher than they received in 2013.
“Our longstanding history of paying strong dividends underscores a key advantage of owning an eligible participating policy from MassMutual,” said Michael Fanning, Executive Vice President and head of MassMutual’s U.S. Insurance Group. “Last year was MassMutual’s seventh consecutive year of whole life insurance record sales3. Interest and demand has continued through the third quarter of this year, which demonstrates consumer value for its guarantees and benefits, including the opportunity to receive dividends.”
Whole life policyowners can use dividends for a broad range of purposes. Options include receiving dividends in cash or using them to pay premiums, purchase paid-up additional insurance coverage, accumulate at interest, or repay policy loans and policy loan interest.
“Helping our customers secure their financial future and protect the ones they love is at the core of who we are,” said Crandall. “And our dividend is one more reason to do business with MassMutual.”
1 The dividend interest rate is not the rate of return on the policy. Dividends consist of an investment component, a mortality component and an expense component. Therefore, dividend interest rates should not be the sole basis for comparing insurers or policy performance. Additionally, dividends for a given policy are influenced by such factors as policy series, issue age, gender, underwriting class, policy year and policy loan rate, as well as changes in experience.
2 Financial strength ratings for MassMutual and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are as follows: A.M. Best Company, A++ (Superior); Fitch Ratings, AA+ (Very Strong); Moody's Investors Service, Aa2 (Excellent); and Standard & Poor's, AA+ (Very Strong). Ratings are as of 11/3/2013 and are subject to change.
3 Sales are classified as weighted sales, which are based on weighted annualized new premium, with single premium payments weighted at 10 percent.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.