SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company today reported strong financial results1 for 2020 – including sales, earnings and capital growth – while making excellent progress on its strategy and providing support to its stakeholders in a year marked by extraordinary environmental challenges.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, MassMutual reported total sales through its domestic insurance and retirement operations of $31 billion, an 8 percent increase over the prior year, including year-over-year growth in weighted whole life insurance and annuity sales, as well as strong sales in its institutional solutions business. This growth, coupled with the recovery in the equity markets during the year, as well as strong business and expense management, drove operating earnings to $2.6 billion, up 14 percent.
MassMutual also maintained its excellent financial strength and flexibility through periods of intense volatility and market uncertainty. Statutory surplus grew 29 percent to $24.3 billion over the prior year and total adjusted capital rose 17 percent to $28.6 billion – both year-end record highs – as the company continued to hold ratings that are among the highest of any company in any industry.2 This enduring strength enabled MassMutual to approve an estimated $1.7 billion dividend payout to eligible participating policyowners in 2021. This payout reflects a 6.00 percent dividend interest rate, the 15th consecutive year it has paid an industry-leading rate among its mutual peer companies.3
Above all, MassMutual continued to provide financial security and confidence while delivering on its long-term commitments. The company increased the insurance protection it provides to $830 billion, while delivering $6.2 billion in insurance and annuity benefits to its policyowners and customers.
“The global pandemic created an incredibly challenging business environment in 2020, causing tremendous economic strain, including volatility and uncertainty in the financial markets as well as intensified pressures from historically low interest rates,” said Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and CEO, MassMutual. “Despite these headwinds, MassMutual delivered another year of strong results, driven by our unwavering financial strength, broad portfolio of holistic solutions powered by a simplified digital experience, and operational agility from our dedicated financial professionals and employees. In addition, we made meaningful progress on our long-term growth strategy, positioning ourselves to help millions more secure their future and protect the ones they love.”
Most notably, MassMutual continued to evolve its portfolio of strategic businesses and investments, a key competitive differentiator that enables it to deliver ongoing value to its policyowners and help with its goal to continue paying a competitive dividend. The company sold its retirement plan business to Empower Retirement, giving it the focus and financial flexibility to grow and strengthen its leadership position in the domestic insurance market and significantly invest in its digital experience. MassMutual also increased its ownership stake in Rothesay, the largest specialist annuity provider in the U.K., which is expected to generate additional earnings to fuel further growth.
And to continue the momentum of this evolution, MassMutual announced an agreement last month to acquire Great American Life Insurance Company from its parent company, American Financial Group, Inc. This acquisition – expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory and other necessary approvals – will complement MassMutual’s existing annuity business through broader product offerings and deeper distribution relationships, while providing another diversified source of earnings to provide long-term value to its policyowners. Taken together, these transactions illustrate MassMutual’s ability to take bold, decisive actions to enhance its competitive position in a rapidly changing landscape.
Furthermore, in a year defined by significant public health and social challenges, MassMutual provided extensive support to its customers, employees, and communities while fostering a culture that is purpose-driven, agile, and inclusive.
- MassMutual’s network of financial professionals provided important guidance and flexibility to its policyowners and customers. In addition, the company took steps to help its customers who may have faced financial hardships by extending grace periods for premium payments.
- The company continued to expand and enhance its digital end-to-end platform that issues life insurance coverage in a fraction of the time, ensuring that people could apply for and receive coverage during the pandemic.
- MassMutual provided support to help employees balance new demands on their work and personal lives, including 80 hours of extra time for COVID-19-related needs, as well as online meditation, exercise, and counseling programs.
- To help those directly battling the pandemic, the company launched HealthBridge, a free life insurance program which aims to provide a total of $3 billion in protection to eligible healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19.4 MassMutual has protected more than 10,000 workers so far under the program.
- And to support the growing movement to end systemic racism, MassMutual offered learning opportunities to employees on how to be better allies and advocates, while taking a leadership role in the CEO Action for Racial Equity.
“As a mutual company that has served its policyowners for nearly 170 years, MassMutual met this moment as we have other crises in our long history: with financial stability and guidance for our customers, support and strength for our employees and communities, and advocacy for fairness and equality for all,” said Crandall. “While many of the same challenges will continue in 2021, so will our steadfast approach to meeting them. MassMutual will continue to be a company that can not only be called upon to help provide financial security in the most tumultuous of times, but also to help advance the greater good.”
MassMutual also continues to earn accolades for its ethical leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion. The company reached No. 89 on the FORTUNE® 500 in 2020 and was named a FORTUNE Most Admired company for the 20th time in 2021.5 Once again, the company earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, and was also named a Disability Equality Index® (DEI) Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion. Most recently, MassMutual was recognized as a World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for the eighth consecutive year.
For more information about MassMutual’s consolidated statutory financial results, visit its new financial summary page: www.massmutual.com/about-us/massmutual-financial-summary.
1 These are consolidated statutory results of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and its U.S.-domiciled life insurance subsidiaries: C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company.
2 Financial strength ratings for MassMutual and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company, are as follows: A.M. Best Company, A++ (Superior); Fitch Ratings, AA+ (Very Strong); Moody's Investors Service, Aa3 (High Quality); and S&P Global Ratings, AA+ (Very Strong). Ratings are current as of February 26, 2021 and are subject to change.
3 The dividend and dividend interest rate (DIR) are determined annually, subject to change and are not guaranteed. Dividends for eligible participating life insurance policies primarily consist of investment, mortality and expense components. The DIR is used to determine the investment component of the dividend. It is not the rate of return on the policy and should not be the sole basis for comparing insurers or policy performance.
4 MassMutual pays the premiums.
5 From FORTUNE. ©2020 FORTUNE Media IP Limited. All rights reserved. FORTUNE 500 (May 2020) and FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Company (February 2021) are registered trademarks of FORTUNE Media IP Limited and are used under license. FORTUNE and FORTUNE Media IP Limited are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of MassMutual.
MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.