SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today that its long-term approach will benefit eligible participating policyowners once again through an estimated $1.6 billion dividend payout in 2017. The payout, approved by the company's Board of Directors, reflects a dividend interest rate 1 of 6.70 percent for eligible participating policies. "As a mutual company operating for the benefit of our participating policyowners and members, the people we protect are our top priority, and we are honored to once again share our success with them through our annual dividend payout," said Roger Crandall, MassMutual Chairman, President and CEO. "Today's announcement is a testament to our strength and stability amid global headwinds, including a prolonged, unprecedented low interest rate environment. We are extremely proud of our ability to sustain a highly competitive dividend while providing accessible financial solutions and sound guidance to help generations of families secure their future and protect the ones they love." While dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid them to eligible participating policyowners every year since 1869. In fact, the approved estimated 2017 payout is one of the largest in the company's history and caps a decade in which MassMutual has delivered more than $14 billion of dividends to eligible participating policyowners. During a similar period from 2006 to 2015, MassMutual also paid more than $32 billion in insurance and annuity benefits, achieved 10 straight years of record weighted whole life insurance sales 2, and nearly doubled its total adjusted capital to historic levels of more than $17 billion (as of 9/30/16), while making multiple significant strategic acquisitions. Notably, earlier this year, MassMutual completed the acquisition of the MetLife Premier Client Group, substantially increasing the size of its distribution network to more than 9,300 advisors ready to serve customers across the nation. All of this demonstrates the company's ability to simultaneously deliver exceptional value and excellent service, honor its commitments, and increase its financial strength.