MassMutual Continues Strong Dividend Payout for Policyholders
Board of Directors approves $1.23 billion payout for 2011
(Springfield, MA) - Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today it has approved payment of an estimated $1.23 billion in dividends to eligible participating policyholders in 2011, continuing its long legacy of strong dividend payouts and underscoring the value of doing business with a mutual company.
“As a mutual company, we are operated for the benefit of our policyholders, making our mission, strategy and focus extremely clear,” said Roger Crandall, President and CEO, MassMutual. “As MassMutual approaches our 160th anniversary in 2011, we are proud to extend our legacy of strong dividend payouts, which we have consistently paid since the 1860s.”
The total dividends for 2011, approved by MassMutual’s Board of Directors, include a dividend interest rate of 6.85 percent on new eligible participating life insurance policies1. This announcement comes at a time when MassMutual is reporting record levels of surplus2 ($10 billion as of 9/30/10) and total adjusted capital ($12 billion as of 9/30/10), demonstrating the financial strength of the company amid challenging economic conditions. From 1960 to 2010, the company has paid more than $25 billion in dividends to eligible participating policyholders.
“Receiving a competitive dividend payment is one of the key benefits of owning an eligible participating policy with a highly rated3 mutual company, and we’re proud to continue a strong payout amid record levels of surplus and capital,” said Crandall. “Our strong financial position – coupled with our competitive participating product portfolio – will help enable us to continue to provide the long-term financial security our policyholders have come to expect from us.”
Customers who purchase eligible participating products from MassMutual receive an equitable share of the company’s divisible surplus in the form of dividends as approved by MassMutual’s Board of Directors each year. Dividends, which are not guaranteed, come primarily from investment results, underwriting and expense experience. Dividends for a given policy are influenced by such factors as policy series, issue age, gender, underwriting class, policy year and policy loan rate. Of the total dividend payout of $1.23 billion, an estimated $1.2 billion has been approved for eligible participating policyholders who have purchased whole life insurance, the company’s core product.
“At MassMutual, we stand strong in the fundamental belief that every secure financial future begins with good decisions,” said Michael Fanning, Executive Vice President and head of MassMutual’s U.S. insurance business. “The potential to receive dividends is one of the many benefits of whole life insurance. With its guaranteed death benefit, cash value and premiums, whole life insurance is more valued now than ever before. Our weighted4 whole life insurance sales for the first nine months of 2010 have surged 19 percent over the prior year, so we believe the excellent growth in our core product shows a growing number of consumers are recognizing the value of whole life insurance.”
Policyholders can use dividends for a broad range of purposes. Options include receiving dividends in cash, or using them to reduce premiums, purchase additional insurance coverage, accumulate at interest, or repay policy loans and policy loan interest.
1 This refers to business issued since the MassMutual-Connecticut Mutual merger in 1996. For policies issued prior to the merger, the dividend interest rates are 6.80% for those issued by MassMutual and 6.70% for those issued by the former Connecticut Mutual. 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.
2 Surplus is the amount the company has on hand after setting aside reserves to meet projected future obligations.
3 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+ (Exceptionally Strong); Moody’s Investors Service, Aa2 (Excellent); and Standard & Poor’s, AA+ (Very Strong). Ratings are as of 11/1/2010 and are subject to change.
4 Weighted sales 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 policyholders. 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 policyholders every year 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, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
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