New York Life’s annuity sales increased 16% and mutual fund sales increased 10% in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Annuity sales in the quarter were driven by income annuity sales, which are up 17%, and variable annuity sales, up 5% compared with the same period a year ago.
Overall, the company announced strong third quarter gains in sales of life insurance, annuities and mutual funds, as well as an increase in agent new hires in the first nine months of 2012. New York Life agents recorded an increase of 11% in sales of recurring premium whole life insurance over the third quarter of 2011.
The company also announced that its dividend payout to participating policyholders would increase by $100 million in 2013, an 8% rise over the 2012 payout. Even in the face of unprecedented low interest rates, the company had strong operating performance and was able to enhance its surplus and dividend through the divestiture of certain international businesses. The company also has had better than expected persistency as policyholders maintain their policies in force despite the challenging economy.
Mutual fund sales are being driven by consistent investment performance from the company’s investment boutiques in both income oriented and capital appreciation funds.
New York Life has recorded a 4% increase in agent recruitment over the same period in 2011, with 2,396 new agents hired through September 30, 2012. The full year 2012 goal for agent recruitment is 3,700.
New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).
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