The Board of Trustees of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company has approved an estimated $4.63 billion in dividends to be paid to participating policyowners in 2007. The company cites excellent operating and investment results as underpinnings of the total payout, which Northwestern Mutual expects will keep it first by a wide margin in life insurance dividends paid in the U.S. life insurance industry.
The company also announced that it will continue to pay a dividend interest rate of 7.5% on unborrowed funds on most permanent life insurance policies for the third straight year. About 99% of the company's 4.2 million participating life insurance policies that received a dividend in 2006 are expected to receive a larger dividend in 2007.
"It is a pleasure for us to deliver another record level dividend payout to Northwestern Mutual's policyowners," said Edward J. Zore, President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual. "The low interest rate environment seen in recent years has been a challenge to everyone in the industry. Because of our long-term investment strategy, rigorous expense management and dedication to the fundamentals of our business, we are able to again provide a competitive dividend interest rate of 7.5%, while maintaining the company's financial strength."
In addition to the $4.63 billion estimated total dividend payout and the 7.5% dividend interest rate on unborrowed life insurance funds, the company highlights the following estimated elements of the 2007 dividend payout:
-- $360 million increase over the 2006 payout -- This amount approximates
last year's increase, which was the largest in company history.
-- $109 million in individual disability insurance (DI) dividends --
Total individual DI dividends are expected to increase by $13 million
over the 2006 payout.
-- $84 million in dividends on term life insurance policies -- Total term
dividends are expected to increase by $24 million over the 2006
Northwestern Mutual's excellent operating fundamentals include favorable underwriting experience, a superior persistency rate and stringent expense management. At the same time, the company's well-diversified portfolio has seen very strong investment performance, enabling the dividend scale interest rate for unborrowed life insurance funds to remain at 7.5% over the past three years, in the face of a relatively low interest rate environment.
Resources for Policyowners and the Public:
-- Northwestern Mutual explains how it calculates the dividend payout on
most permanent life insurance policies, in the article "How We
( http://www.nmfn.com/tn/learnctr--articles--determine_dividends )
-- Background on Northwestern Mutual's investment strategy can be found
in the company's Corporate Investment Report.
( http://nmfn.com/contentassets/pdfs/investment_2005.pdf )
-- Information on Northwestern Mutual's financial strength is available
on the company's Web site, Financial Strength Ratings
( http://www.nmfn.com/tn/aboutus--fi_financial_ratings )
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual), the nation's largest direct provider of individual life insurance, according to statistics compiled from A. M. Best data, has always received the best possible insurance financial strength ratings from Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings, A. M. Best and Moody's. For 23 years, a FORTUNE magazine survey has named Northwestern Mutual "Most Admired" in its industry. The company has also been recognized as one of the "50 Best Companies to Sell For," by Selling Power magazine (2005).
The company, its subsidiaries and affiliates are also providers of annuities, mutual funds, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance and employee benefit services to the group employee and executive markets. These products and services are distributed through the representatives of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Among Northwestern Mutual's affiliated companies are those that comprise the Russell Investment Group, which provide investment management and advisory services; Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a wholly-owned company of Northwestern Mutual, broker- dealer and member NASD and SIPC; and Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, a wholly-owned company of Northwestern Mutual, limited purpose federal savings bank and a registered investment adviser which provides financial planning, investment management and trust services. A subsidiary, Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, offers long-term care insurance. Further information on Northwestern Mutual can be found at: http://www.northwesternmutualnews.com/ .
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First Call Analyst:
SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual
CONTACT: Jean Towell of Northwestern Mutual, +1-800-323-7033,
Web site: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/