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'AAA' Rating for New York Life & Annuity

Fitch Ratings has re-affirmed its highest rating level to New York Life Insurance Company.  This information comes from Reuters’ “Fitch affirms New York Life’s IFS at ‘AAA’.”  The Insurer Financial Strength Rating of ‘AAA’ applies to both New York Life Insurance Company and New York Life Insurance & Annuity Corporation.  Fitch says that their outlook is stable and although they could be effected by some negative ratings triggers, their current situation is very positive.

A very strong capital and earnings from being a leader in the U.S. life insurance and annuity industry are key factors in New York Life’s strong rating.  Their focus on distribution through career distribution channels, which targets customers in the middle market, and keeping their investment portfolio liquid and diversified are two more of the company’s strengths.  Fitch likes the predictable cash flows coming in from New York Life’s products like whole life insurance, variable annuities without aggressive living benefit riders, and income annuities.

In 2011, New York Life’s statutory capital and GAAP operating earnings showed small increases.  Their adjusted capital had an increase of 6%.  Individual life insurance sales increased by 5% in 2011, which can be mostly attributed to whole life sales.  A 29% increase in income annuity sales and a 75% increase in mutual fund sales also helped the company’s financial strength rating.  There are always potentials for any company to receive a downgrade, but Fitch believes that New York Life will maintain its strength and operating performance in 2012, led by their strong capital.

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