TOPEKA, Kan., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a much anticipated announcement this morning, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it raised its long-term counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Security Benefit Life Insurance Co. (SBLIC) and its affiliate, First Security Benefit Life Insurance and Annuity Co. of New York (FSBLIC-NY), to 'A-' from 'BBB+'. The subordinated debt rating on SBLIC's surplus notes is also being raised to 'BBB' from 'BBB-'. The outlook on SBLIC is stable.
"Since we began our partnership with Security Benefit and Guggenheim Partners two years ago, we were confident it was only a matter of time before Security Benefit received this significant improvement in rating. Today marks the culmination of a tremendous amount of focus and determination on the part of the entire Security Benefit and Guggenheim team," said Derek Thompson, Co-Founder at Advisors Excel. SBLIC premiums on a statutory basis increased to more than the 2007 pre-crisis level to $1.6 billion. This was a sharp rebound from a low of $345 million in 2010. The increase was mainly a result of about $950 million of sales of SBLIC's new FIA product, although the 403(b) market also grew during the year. "The quick recovery was a year ahead of our expectations for the company to generate about $1.5 billion of premiums in 2012," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jeremy Rosenbaum.Over the last few years, strong financial ratings have never been more important, nor more difficult to achieve. Between 2009 and 2011, S&P issued 54 downgrades on U.S. Life Insurance companies and only eight upgrades. * During that same period, Security Benefit Life was upgraded three times. Now, in 2012, they have achieved an additional fourth upgrade to A-.With unwavering dedication to high quality investments and products for consumers and the unparalleled leadership of CEO of Security Benefit and Vice Chairman of Guggenheim Investments, Michael P. Kiley, the company has positioned itself as a leading force in the fixed index annuity market. SBLIC successfully launched its first FIA through its new distributor direct channel in 2011. By the end of Q4 2011, Security Benefit held the #4 selling FIA in the industry in the Secure Income Annuity – a proprietary product available exclusively to producers partnering with Advisors Excel.
A significant contributing factor to today's news is the volume of premium generated by those Advisors Excel producers. In just one year's time, they have already written over $1.72 billion in the proprietary Secure Income Annuity. With the recent release of the new Total Value Annuity from Security Benefit and today's ratings upgrade, the outlook for producers aligned with this exclusive distribution channel looks very promising."Today marks a tremendous accomplishment for us all, and truth be told, we're just getting started," noted Advisors Excel Co-Founder, Cody Foster. For more information on the financial products offered by Security Benefit Life Insurance Company and Advisors Excel, visit www.advisorsexcel.com/who-we-are/secure-income-annuity.php or call (888) 834-9435.
*Source: Standard and Poor's U.S. Life Insurance 2012 Outlook