New York Life reported strong fourth quarter gains in sales of life insurance, annuities and mutual funds. The company said sales of recurring premium life insurance through agents were up 5 percent and total annuity sales were up 14 percent compared with 2012, representing the best 12 month growth on record for those product lines.
The sales growth of recurring premium life insurance products came from the company’s suite of permanent products – whole life, universal life and variable universal life. The company is also seeing growth in various cultural markets, with 46 percent of the company’s new life insurance sales produced by agents serving the African-American, Chinese, Hispanic, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese markets in the United States.
Agents sold $5.4 billion of annuities of all types in 2013, a 14 percent increase from 2012. Sales of guaranteed lifetime income products through agents, which include single premium immediate annuities and the company’s deferred income annuity, Guaranteed Future Income Annuity, increased 6 percent through the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2012.
Sales of New York Life’s MainStay family of mutual funds through agents increased 16 percent over the prior year, to $938 million.
In 2013, New York Life hired 3,460 full-time agents. It seeks to hire 3,600 financial professionals in 2014, with more than half to be women or individuals who represent the cultural markets.
New York Life’s operations in Mexico, Seguros Monterrey New York Life, saw 14 percent sales growth compared with 2012.
This is the 160th consecutive year New York Life has paid a dividend to its policyholders.
New York Life also earned a spot on Training magazine’s annual Training Top 125 list, which ranks companies’ excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs.
Now in its 14th year, the Training Top 125 ranking is based on myriad benchmarking statistics such as total training budget; percentage of payroll; number of training hours per employee program; goals, evaluation, measurement, and workplace surveys; hours of training per employee annually; and detailed formal programs. The ranking is determined by assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors, including financial investment in employee development, the scope of development programs, and how closely such development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.
In other industry news:
MetLife fourth quarter operating earnings gained 14 percent year over year to $1.6 billion, with operating EPS of $1.37 up 10 percent. One-time adjustments for variable investment income, boosts to litigation reserves, and favorable catastrophe experience about cancelled each other out.
Americas operating earnings were up 13 percent to $1.4 billion. Earnings in Latin America saw hit $173 million, up 17 percent; Asia had $324 million up 64 percent (unusually high investment income from Japan); and EMEA had $89 million, up 51 percent.