A subsidiary of a major northeastern-based insurer has announced a distribution of dividends to its life insurance policyholders.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., a unit of MetLife, Inc., New York, (NYSE: MET), approved policy dividend payments of approximately $1.5 billion to eligible life insurance policyholders for 2010. The policyholders include MetLife clients with certain in-force permanent life insurance policies, primarily whole life, plus certain term life insurance policies, according to MetLife.

MetLife says the policy dividends are based on the performance of participating policies, including investment returns, mortality, persistency and expenses, among other factors. The dividends are not guaranteed.