A.M. Best has upgraded the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of American International Group, Inc.’s (AIG) (New York, NY) (NYSE:AIG) four domestic life/health companies. The outlook for the ICRs has been revised to stable from positive, while the outlook for the FSR is stable. AIG’s U.S. life, annuity and health operations are collectively referred to as AIG Life and Retirement (AIGL&R). (See below for a detailed listing of the companies.)
The ratings reflect AIGL&R’s strong risk-adjusted capitalization, significant increase in sales and total revenue, improved operating performance and strong business profile with a significant market presence. AIGL&R continues to benefit from its reinstated relationships with all key distribution networks and has further expanded its marketing by establishing new relationships. The group has maintained its long-standing top ranking in bank fixed annuity sales and its number two ranking for 403(b) retirement plan assets under management, with 2013 being a record year for sales of 403(b) plan assets. In addition, AIGL&R continues to make progress toward achieving strong positions in a number of core business lines. Moreover, after experiencing elevated surrender rates over the last few years, policy surrenders have stabilized and are currently near historical norms. A.M. Best also notes that the group’s overall net flows have improved significantly from $1.3 billion at year-end 2012 to $4.6 billion as of year-end 2013, reflecting favorable experience from fixed annuities, variable annuities and retail mutual funds.
The ratings of AIGL&R recognize its strong risk-adjusted capitalization, diverse business and earnings profile and robust multi-channel distribution platform. The life/health group’s solid and increasing statutory earnings over the past five years have facilitated growth in capital, comparing favorably to its peers. AIGL&R maintains a diverse business profile with established franchises in individual fixed and variable annuities, life insurance, group retirement plans and mutual funds. The group’s market positions are supported by a large and diversified distribution system that is made up of financial institutions; national, regional and independent broker dealers; career financial advisors; independent marketing organizations; insurance agents; and a direct-to-consumer platform. Additionally, AIGL&R’s liability profile is fairly well-balanced between spread, fee and mortality-based products, providing diversified sources of earnings.
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