A mutual life insurer says it will be paying about $1.38 billion in dividends in 2008.

The board of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., has approved increasing the 2008 dividend total 11.2% above the 2007 total, MassMutual says.

The payout reflects a dividend interest rate of 7.9% on most eligible participating policies, MassMutual says.

About 90% of the 1.4 million policyholders who will receive the dividends are whole life policyholders, the company says.