Northwestern Mutual paying out $5.2 billion dividend

Interest rates keep it lower than 2015

Northwestern Mutual headquarters
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.'s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. is paying out a $5.2 billion dividend to its policyowners for 2017, the company announced today.

Northwestern Mutual headquarters
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

The life insurance and financial advisory firm said this is one of its highest dividends ever, despite the low interest rates and economic sluggishness that have forced it to undergo layoffs.

In 2016, Northwestern Mutual paid a record $5.6 billion dividend. The 2017 payout is in line with 2015’s dividend.

About 85 percent of the 2017 dividend will be paid to traditional permanent life insurance, due to favorable mortality and expenses. Of that majority amount, $360 million will be for disability income insurance, $165 million will be on term life and $60 million will go to annuities. About one-third of the payout is the proceeds of interest on investment earnings.

“Our policyowners can feel very good that their company pays more dividends than any other company in the industry,” said John Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer. “No other company even approaches the amount Northwestern Mutual pays in dividends – and our 2017 payout will be no exception.”

Northwestern Mutual has $238.5 billion in assets, $27.9 billion in revenues and more than$1.6 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force. The company has more than 4.4 million customers.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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