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Insurer Announces Dividend Plans

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A life insurer will be maintaining the 2007 policy dividend scale for most holders of participating whole life policies but cutting dividends for a few.

Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, says its board has voted to pay $340 million in dividends in 2008 to the participating whole life policyholders in a large block of closed participating whole life policies.

Phoenix is able to hold closed-block dividends steady because of the favorable performance of the closed-block policies, Phoenix says.

But Phoenix says it will be cutting dividends for a small number of customers who own participating whole life policies issued after June 2001.

The dividend scale for the holders of the post-2001 participating whole life policies “will be adjusted for 2008 to reflect current experience, including declining interest rates and favorable mortality,” Phoenix says. “The net result is a dividend reduction for most policies.”

Phoenix put its participating whole life policies in a closed block in June 2001, when it demutualized, and since then has stopped actively selling participating policies.

The company has issued a few participating policies since June 2001, in connection with efforts to meet obligations included in policies issued before the demutualization.

Before the latest announcement, the dividend scale for the post-demutualization participating whole life policies had not been changed since 2002, Phoenix says.