- New York Life is one of the oldest and largest life insurance companies in the United States with about 8% of the U.S. life insurance and annuity market as of their 2nd quarter of 2022.
- Its financial strength has received the highest ratings from each of the four major financial rating agencies.
- New York Life currently offers nine different annuity products that are either variable, fixed deferred and income annuities.
About New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life was founded in 1845 as Nautilus Insurance, rebranding with its current name four years later.
It was the second largest insurance company in the United States in 2021, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. New York Life held 8.3% of the market with more than 13 billion insurance and annuity premiums written.
New York Life consistently ranks among the top annuity providers in the United States. As of the second quarter of 2022, New York Life was the top seller of individual annuities with more than $11.24 billion in sales year to date, according to not-for-profit research, consulting and professional development organization LIMRA.
Types of New York Life Insurance Company Products
New York Life provides three types of annuity options with a total of nine different annuity products.
Fixed Deferred Annuities
Fixed deferred annuities accumulate tax-deferred earnings, so you don’t pay income taxes on the money until you withdraw it from the annuity. They allow you to lock in a guaranteed, fixed interest rate that’s not subject to stock market fluctuations and volatility.
New York Life Fixed Deferred Annuity Products
- Clear Income Fixed Annuity-FP Series
- Secure Term Choice Fixed Annuity II
- Secure Term MVA Fixed Annuity II
- Secure Term Fixed Annuity V
New York Life has discontinued nine other fixed deferred annuity products but continues service for people who purchased them.
Variable annuities are tied to the performance of their investment portfolio, making them subject to market risk. They provide a choice of investment options, tax-deferred savings and a death benefit.
New York Life Variable Annuity Products
- Premier Variable Annuity-FP Series
- IndexFlex Variable Annuity-FP Series
Withdrawing money from these annuities — or surrendering them — may make you subject to income taxes.
New York Life has discontinued seven other variable annuity products but continues service for people who purchased them.
Income annuities convert all or part of your savings into a guaranteed income stream of regular payments. These can be set up for the remainder of your lifetime or for a specific number of years.
New York Life Variable Annuity Products
- Guaranteed Lifetime Income Annuity II
- Guaranteed Future Income Annuity II
- Guaranteed Period Income Annuity II
Pros and Cons of New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life is an old, traditional life insurance and annuity provider. This is reflected in its pros and cons; the pros reflect the stability of an older institution and the cons reflect shortcomings in online offerings.
Pros and Cons of New York Life Insurance
- You work with an agent rather than getting information online.
- Well-established company — dating back more than 175 years.
- Highest ratings for financial strength, highest consumer scores for income annuities from the Life Insurance and Market Research Association and for individual annuity providers from J.D. Power.
- Multiple annuity, life insurance and other financial products makes it a one-stop shop for financial planning.
- Limited online experience and resources.
- Mobile app offers few usable features.
- Only one annuity calculator — for fixed deferred annuities — that is located away from the annuity section on the New York Life website.
Ratings for New York Life Insurance Company
Independent rating agencies consistently rate New York Life among the insurance companies with highest financial strength ratings.
There are four major rating agencies — AM Best, S&P, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings — that routinely rate and report the strength of insurers.
These ratings are a measure of a company’s ability to weather the financial stress created by widespread disasters, international financial crises or other significant events that may bankrupt financially weaker companies.
AM Best Ratings
AM Best rated New York Life Group “A++ Superior” for financial strength in late 2022. This is AM Best’s highest rating, which the agency says is “assigned to insurance companies that have, in our opinion, a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.”
New York Life also received an “AAA Exceptional” issuer credit rating — AM Best’s highest ICR rating. They assign this rating to companies with an exceptional ability to meet ongoing senior financial obligations.
AM Best assessed New York Life’s balance sheet as “strongest,” its operating performance and enterprise risk management as “very strong” and its business profile as “very favorable.”
New York Life scored AA+ (Stable) in S&P’s 2022 ratings. The rating is limited to AA+, instead of AAA, due to the U.S. sovereign rating. This is comparable to other rating agencies. S&P states that New York Life has “excellent financial risk capital with low leverage and long history of ‘AAA’ capital adequacy.”
S&P’s analysis rated New York Life as “excellent” for both business risk and financial risk.
New York Life received an “AAA” rating on its financial strength from Fitch Ratings in late 2021. It’s Fitch’s highest rating.
New York Life received an “AA+” insurer default rating from Fitch.
Moody’s gave New York Life a financial strength rating of “AAA” — its highest rating — in 2022 “based on the company’s intrinsic strengths as the largest U.S. Mutual life insurer, with a well-known brand name” and a long list of other attributes.
Moody’s assessment predicted a stable outlook for the company highlighted by a “well-diversified investment portfolio, strong liquidity and strong capitalization.”
Resources for Clients of New York Life Insurance
Clients with an annuity through New York Life can access their policy online through the New York Life Annuity Portal. New users must register and follow the prompts.
Online access provides policy information, statements and transaction history. You can also change your address and request a partial withdrawal.
The website also provides .pdf files of annuity and other service forms you can download and fill out by hand.