METLIFE RESOLVES MULTI-STATE EXAMINATIONS
NEW YORK, NY, April 23, 2012
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) issued the following statement today regarding its resolution of multi-state examinations related to unclaimed property and the company's use of the Social Security Death Master File:
The company has been working with regulators to develop industry best practices and is pleased to announce new processes that will provide an even stronger safety net for the limited number of beneficiaries who do not submit a claim to the company in the normal course of business.
MetLife paid approximately $12 billion in total life insurance claims in 2011 and its records indicate that over 99 percent of life insurance claims are submitted by beneficiaries and routinely paid in a timely and accurate manner.
MetLife has undertaken a variety of proactive steps over many decades to locate the small percentage of policyholders who have lost contact with the company, including using the Social Security Death Master File as part of this process to match virtually all of its administrative records in 2011. MetLife agrees that periodic matching of administrative records against available external sources such as the Social Security Death Master File is a best practice, and the company is implementing a monthly matching process which it believes will be effective in identifying the small proportion of deaths where a claim is not submitted.
In addition, the company has made the decision to implement further steps to reconnect with many of MetLife's oldest insureds (generally over age 90), many of whom either did not have a Social Security number or did not provide the company with a date of birth at the time their policies were issued. These steps include offering certain of these policyholders an option to receive the value of their life insurance policy sooner than provided for in the policy.
The total insurance in force for these "industrial" policyholders is approximately $438 million, for which the company is appropriately reserved. The company expects that $188 million of the total will be paid out in 2012, with the remainder paid over the next 17 years. In the first quarter of 2012, the company recorded a $52 million post-tax charge representing a multi-state examination payment related to unclaimed property and MetLife's use of the Social Security Death Master File, as well as the expected acceleration of benefit payments to policyholders under the settlement.
In addition to the proactive outreach that MetLife is doing, the company created an online system to help customers find their policies. Individuals can go to www.metlife.com/policyfinder to enter the insured's name along with additional information.
These measures are in keeping with the company's longstanding efforts to keep its promises to customers and their families, and pay benefits to those who are entitled to them.
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 50 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
This press release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.
Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.'s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) concerns over U.S. fiscal policy and the trajectory of the national debt of the U.S., as well as rating agency downgrades of U.S. Treasury securities; (3) uncertainty about the effectiveness of governmental and regulatory actions to stabilize the financial system, the imposition of fees relating thereto, or the promulgation of additional regulations; (4) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to seek financing or access our credit facilities; (5) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us; (6) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (7) exposure to financial and capital market risk, including as a result of the disruption in Europe and possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone; (8) changes in general economic conditions, including the performance of financial markets and interest rates, which may affect our ability to raise capital, generate fee income and market-related revenue and finance statutory reserve requirements and may require us to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in value of specified assets; (9) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (10) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (11) impairments of goodwill and realized losses or market value impairments to illiquid assets; (12) defaults on our mortgage loans; (13) the defaults or deteriorating credit of other financial institutions that could adversely affect us; (14) our ability to address unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, or rating actions arising from acquisitions or dispositions, including our acquisition of American Life Insurance Company and Delaware American Life Insurance Company (collectively, "ALICO") and to successfully integrate and manage the growth of acquired businesses with minimal disruption; (15) uncertainty with respect to the outcome of the closing agreement entered into with the United States Internal Revenue Service in connection with the acquisition of ALICO; (16) the dilutive impact on our stockholders resulting from the settlement of common equity units issued in connection with the acquisition of ALICO or otherwise; (17) MetLife, Inc.'s primary reliance, as a holding company, on dividends from its subsidiaries to meet debt payment obligations and the applicable regulatory restrictions on the ability of the subsidiaries to pay such dividends; (18) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (19) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (20) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as default or failure of counterparties to perform; (21) discrepancies between actual claims experience and assumptions used in setting prices for our products and establishing the liabilities for our obligations for future policy benefits and claims; (22) catastrophe losses; (23) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, distribution of amounts available under U.S. government programs, and for personnel; (24) unanticipated changes in industry trends; (25) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (26) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (27) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (28) exposure to losses related to variable annuity guarantee benefits, including from significant and sustained downturns or extreme volatility in equity markets, reduced interest rates, unanticipated policyholder behavior, mortality or longevity, and the adjustment for nonperformance risk; (29) deterioration in the experience of the "closed block" established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (30) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (31) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (32) discrepancies between actual experience and assumptions used in establishing liabilities related to other contingencies or obligations; (33) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, banking, international, or other operations that may affect the cost of, or demand for, our products or services, or increase the cost or administrative burdens of providing benefits to employees; (34) the effects of business disruption or economic contraction due to disasters such as terrorist attacks, cyberattacks, other hostilities, or natural catastrophes, including any related impact on our disaster recovery systems, cyber-or other information security systems and management continuity planning; (35) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (36) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.'s filings with the SEC.
MetLife, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if MetLife, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the SEC.