The primary driver of the robust earnings were growth within NYLife’s investments business.

New York Life Insurance Company reported that operating earnings grew 11 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, hitting a new high of $1.76 billion. New York Life officials said the increase marked the fourth consecutive year of record earnings.

NY Life chairman and CEO Ted Mathas attributed the strong growth to the “powerful combination” of the company’s mutual company business model, career agency system, market-leading life insurance business and large-scale asset management operation. These factors, he said, have “enabled the company to thrive in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”

The primary driver of the robust earnings were growth within NYLife’s investments business, which includes annuities, mutual funds, institutional asset management and retirement planning services. The investment business, said Mathas, “contributed significantly” to NYLife’s financial strength and increased dividend payout to participating policyholders in 2014. 

New York Life achieved an 8 percent growth in surplus and asset valuation reserve in 2013, a primary measure of financial strength, reaching a record high of $21.1 billion. Mathas said the surplus was “the highest” among mutual life insurers.

Last year was the second year in a row that NYLife had increased the dividend by more than $100 million. Policyholder benefits and dividends paid rose to $8.62 billion, up 6 percent, a record high for the company.

Assets under management grew by nearly $47 billion to a new high of $425 billion in 2013, an increase of 12 percent over 2012. Individual life insurance in force rose to a new record of $840 billion, an increase of $24 billion over the total in 2012

“We are the only large mutual life insurer to raise the dividend by more than $100 million in each of the past two years,” Mathas said. “This is the 160th consecutive year New York Life has paid a dividend to policyholders, a validation of mutual strength since 1854 and a reflection of our singular focus on creating value for our customers.”