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Rating Action:

MOODY'S UPGRADES NEW YORK LIFE TO Aaa FOR INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH

20 Dec 2005
MOODY'S UPGRADES NEW YORK LIFE TO Aaa FOR INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH

New York, December 20, 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service upgraded the insurance financial strength rating of New York Life Insurance Company (NYLIC) and its principal subsidiary, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, to Aaa from Aa1. The rating on NYLIC's surplus notes was upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, and the rating of the senior debt issued by New York Life's two special-purpose vehicles used in funding agreement-backed medium term note programs was also upgraded to Aaa from Aa1. This action concludes the rating review initiated on October 21, 2005. The outlook is stable on all of New York Life's ratings.

Moody's said the upgrade is based upon New York Life's continued leading position in the domestic life insurance market, mutual form of ownership, strong business and earnings diversification, and substantial financial flexibility, which is based in part on its very stable and predictable businesses. The upgrade also reflects the company's strong capitalization, its stable and productive career agency distribution system, a well recognized and highly regarded brand name, a strong national and growing international presence, and significant embedded profitability in its existing book of business.

Commenting further, the rating agency said New York Life is a leading provider of individual life insurance and related products to the middle and advanced markets, has appropriate corporate governance and internal controls in place, and that, for a mutual insurance company, has good financial disclosure. The rating agency said that, despite the upgrade, the company continues to operate in a highly competitive life insurance and annuity marketplace, especially in the upper-end of the market, and that there are risks associated with the company's growing international business, but that these risks are being properly managed by the company.

Moody's said that the ratings on New York Life incorporate the expectation that NYLIC will remain a mutual insurance company, its NAIC risk-based capital (RBC) ratio will remain in excess of 400% of the company action level, its annual consolidated statutory net income will be at least $1.0 billion, and its annual consolidated GAAP net income will also be at least $1.0 billion. Furthermore, the rating agency expects New York Life's consolidated GAAP financial leverage (debt-to-capital) to remain under 15%, its return on capital (statutory capital before policyholder dividends) to remain above 20%, and individual life insurance premiums to account for at least 25% of its total premiums and deposit type funds.

The following ratings were upgraded:

- New York Life Insurance Company: insurance financial strength to Aaa from Aa1; surplus note rating to Aa2 from Aa3

- New York Life and Annuity Corporation: insurance financial strength rating to Aaa from Aa1

- New York Life Funding: backed senior debt to Aaa from Aa1

- New York Life Global Funding: backed senior debt to Aaa from Aa1

The following ratings were affirmed, with a stable outlook:

- New York Life Insurance Company: short term insurance financial strength at Prime-1

- New York Life Capital Corporation: backed commercial paper at Prime-1

As of December 31, 2004, New York Life reported consolidated GAAP assets of approximately $160 billion and total equity of about $17.8 billion. As of September 30, 2005, New York Life had consolidated statutory assets of about $151 billion and consolidated statutory capital of approximately $13.2 billion. New York Life, a mutual insurance company domiciled in New York State, is based in New York, New York.

Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions of the ability of insurance companies to repay punctually senior policyholder claims and obligations. For more information, visit our website at www.moodys.com/insurance.

New York
Robert Riegel
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Robert P. Donohue
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

No Related Data.
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