2008 was a strong year financially and fraternally for Rock Island-based Modern Woodmen of America, according to recently released results for the year ending Dec. 31, 2008.
Highlights of the year include:
- Premium income increased to a record-high $766.7 million.
- More than $570 million was returned to members through life insurance and annuity benefits paid and $69.3 million was returned to members in dividend payments and excess interest paid into life insurance and annuity certificates.
- Fraternal expenditures contributed $23.8 million to support programs in member communities nationwide.
- Assets neared $8.5 billion.
“2008 was a good year for Modern Woodmen based on income and sales, in spite of the economic crisis that affected some financial institutions,” said W. Kenny Massey, president of the fraternal financial services organization.
Record high premium income
Premium income soared 29.8 percent to a record-high $766.7 million in 2008. This is in large part due to the growth in annuity sales.
“Annuity income rose 46.9 percent resulting from a flight to security. People looked toward the stability and security that Modern Woodmen’s fixed annuities provide,” said Massey.
Modern Woodmen’s assets increased 1.9 percent over 2007, reaching nearly $8.5 billion. Assets are primarily invested in high-quality, low-risk corporate and government bonds.
“We have a responsibility to invest our members’ money wisely and keep the promises that we make to our members and their families through life insurance,” said Massey. “Because of this, we take a conservative and proven approach to investing.”
Life insurance in force, the total amount of life insurance owned by members to protect their families in case of premature death, increased 1.4 percent to $33.5 billion.
Modern Woodmen also had $4.6 billion of annuity assets under management to help provide members with additional funds and income during retirement.
Total life insurance and annuity certificate reserves, which are funds held to guarantee future benefits to members, increased 6.6 percent to $7 billion.
Solvency remains strong
Net gain from operations after dividends reached $62.3 million in 2008, the second best year in Modern Woodmen’s history. Net gain from operations adds to surplus, enhancing Modern Woodmen’s strength and stability.
Total surplus and special reserves were $1.1 billion. Surplus and special reserves provide additional safety for members and ensure Modern Woodmen’s ability to meet unforeseen contingencies, continue the organization’s fraternal programs and provide funds for future growth.
Modern Woodmen’s solvency ratio of 114.98 percent means that for every $100 of liabilities (promises made to members), Modern Woodmen has $114.98 of assets to back up those promises.
“Even with a financial crisis occurring across the nation, our solvency ratio is still over 2 ½ times the industry average,” said Massey.
Payments and benefits to members in 2008 increased 1.1 percent and included:
- $570.1 million in life insurance and annuity certificate benefits, including death benefits, annuity payments and surrender benefits
- $69.3 million in dividend payments and excess interest paid into life insurance and annuity certificates
New permanent life insurance portfolio embraced by members
Modern Woodmen’s shift to the 2001 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) mortality table for its life insurance products continued with the introduction of a new permanent life insurance portfolio, consisting of two universal life insurance and five whole life insurance products, in 2008.
Fraternal programs support members’ communities
Modern Woodmen has a nationwide membership of more than 755,000. Fraternal expenditures supporting Modern Woodmen’s family-oriented member benefits and programs increased by 9.7 percent to $23.8 million. These benefits and programs include disaster relief assistance, college scholarships, a tree-planting program, social and volunteer service programs by adult camps (chapters) and youth service clubs nationwide, and educational programs for schools and youth groups.
Key fraternal results included:
- More than 1.5 million people attended social, educational and volunteer events sponsored by Modern Woodmen camps (chapters).
- 353,864 hours of volunteer service were recorded by youth service club members.
- 1.9 million children were served through Modern Woodmen Youth Educational Programs.
- $6.8 million was contributed through Modern Woodmen’s Matching Fund Program to meet needs in member communities across the country. The fundraising projects, matched by Modern Woodmen’s home office, were conducted by the organization’s 2,424 adult camps and 791 youth service clubs.
Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.