Table of Contents

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20549



FORM 10-K


ý

 

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009

or

o

 

Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the transition period from                                    to                                     

Commission File Number 001-11339

PROTECTIVE LIFE CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

DELAWARE
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  95-2492236
(IRS Employer
Identification Number)

2801 HIGHWAY 280 SOUTH
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA 35223

(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code (205) 268-1000



          Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class   Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.50 Par Value   New York Stock Exchange
PLC Capital Trust III 7.5% Trust Originated Preferred Securities, including the Guarantee of Protective Life Corporation   New York Stock Exchange
PLC Capital Trust IV 7.25% Trust Originated Preferred Securities, including the Guarantee of Protective Life Corporation   New York Stock Exchange
PLC Capital Trust V 6.125% Trust Originated Preferred Securities, including the Guarantee of Protective Life Corporation   New York Stock Exchange
7.25% Capital Securities   New York Stock Exchange

          Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

          Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý    No o

          Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes o    No ý

          Note—Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act from their obligations under those Sections.

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý    No o

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ý    No o

          Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ý

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer ý   Accelerated Filer o   Non-accelerated filer o
(Do not check if a smaller
reporting company)
  Smaller Reporting Company o

          Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o     No ý

          Aggregate market value of the registrant's voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2009: $964,256,848

          Number of shares of Common Stock, $0.50 Par Value, outstanding as of February 24, 2010: 85,584,443

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

          Portions of the Registrant's Proxy Statement prepared for the 2010 annual meeting of shareowners, pursuant to Regulation 14A, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.


Table of Contents

PROTECTIVE LIFE CORPORATION
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
   
  Page

 

PART I

   

Item 1.

 

Business

  3

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors and Cautionary Factors that may Affect Future Results

  20

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

  37

Item 2.

 

Properties

  37

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

  38

Item 4.

 

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

  38

 

PART II

   

Item 5.

 

Market for the Registrant's Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

  39

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

  40

Item 7.

 

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

  41

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

  116

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

  117

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

  210

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

  210

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

  211

 

PART III

   

Item 10.

 

Directors and Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

  212

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

  212

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

  212

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

  212

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

  212

 

PART IV

   

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

  213

 

Signatures

  217

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PART I

Item 1.    Business

        Protective Life Corporation is a holding company with subsidiaries that provide financial services through the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and investment products. Founded in 1907, Protective Life Insurance Company ("PLICO") is the Company's largest operating subsidiary. Unless the context otherwise requires, "Company," "we," "us," or "our" refers to the consolidated group of Protective Life Corporation and its subsidiaries.

        The Company operates several operating segments' each having a strategic focus. An operating segment is distinguished by products, channels of distribution, and/or other strategic distinctions. The Company's operating segments are Life Marketing, Acquisitions, Annuities, Stable Value Products, and Asset Protection. The Company has an additional segment referred to as Corporate and Other which consists of net investment income (including the impact of carrying excess liquidity), expenses not attributable to the segments above (including net investment income on capital and interest on debt), a trading portfolio that was previously part of a variable interest entity, and the operations of several non-strategic or runoff lines of business. The Company periodically evaluates operating segments, as prescribed in the Accounting Standard Codification ("ASC" or "Codification") Segment Reporting Topic, and makes adjustments to our segment reporting as needed.

        Additional information concerning the Company's operating segments may be found in Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 22, Operating Segments to Consolidated Financial Statements included herein.

        In the following paragraphs, the Company reports sales and other statistical information. These statistics are used to measure the relative progress of its marketing and acquisition efforts, but may or may not have an immediate impact on reported segment operating income. Sales data for traditional life insurance is based on annualized premiums, while universal life sales are based on annualized planned premiums, or "target" premiums if lesser, plus 6% of amounts received in excess of target premiums and 10% of single premiums. "Target" premiums for universal life are those premiums upon which full first year commissions are paid. Sales of annuities are measured based on the amount of deposits received less surrenders occurring within twelve months of the deposit. Stable value contract sales are measured at the time that the funding commitment is made based on the amount of deposit to be received. Sales within the Asset Protection segment are based on the amount of single premium and fees received.

        These statistics are derived from various sales tracking and administrative systems and are not derived from the Company's financial reporting systems or financial statements. These statistics attempt to measure some of the many factors that may affect future profitability, and therefore, are not intended to be predictive of future profitability.

Life Marketing

        The Life Marketing segment markets level premium term insurance ("traditional"), universal life ("UL"), variable universal life, and bank-owned life insurance ("BOLI") products on a national basis through a variety of distribution channels. The largest distribution system is comprised of brokerage general agencies who recruit a network of independent life agents. The segment also distributes insurance products through a network of experienced independent personal producing general agents who are recruited by regional sales managers and through stockbrokers and banks. The Company markets its BOLI products through independent marketing organizations that specialize in the BOLI market.

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        The following table presents the Life Marketing segment's sales measured by new premium:

For The Year Ended December 31,
  Sales  
 
  (Dollars In Millions)
 

2005

  $ 295  

2006

    228  

2007

    229  

2008

    158  

2009

    163  

Acquisitions

        The Acquisitions segment focuses on acquiring, converting, and servicing policies acquired from other companies. The segment's primary focus is on life insurance policies and annuity products that were sold to individuals. These acquisitions may be accomplished through acquisitions of companies or through the reinsurance of blocks of policies from other insurers. The level of the segment's acquisition activity is predicated upon many factors, including available capital, operating capacity, competitive landscape, and market dynamics. The Company expects acquisition opportunities to continue to be available; however, the Company believes it may face increased competition and evolving capital requirements that may affect the environment and the form of future acquisitions.

        Most acquisitions closed by the Acquisitions segment have not included the acquisition of an active sales force, thus policies acquired through the segment are "closed" blocks of business (no new policies are being marketed). Therefore, the amount of insurance in-force for a particular acquisition is expected to decline with time due to lapses, deaths, and other terminations of coverage. In transactions where some marketing activity was included, the Company generally either ceased future marketing efforts or redirected those efforts to another segment of the Company. However, from time to time, the Company may elect to continue marketing new policies and to operate such operations as a component of other segments.

        The Company believes that its focused and disciplined approach to the acquisition process and its experience in the assimilation, conservation, and servicing of acquired policies provides a significant competitive advantage.

        Since most acquisitions consist of closed blocks of business, earnings and account values from the Acquisitions segment are expected to decline with time unless new acquisitions are made. Therefore, the segment's revenues and earnings may fluctuate from year to year depending upon the level of acquisition activity.

        On July 3, 2006, the Company completed its acquisition of the Chase Insurance Group, which consisted of five insurance companies that manufactured and administered traditional life insurance and annuity products and four related non-insurance companies (which collectively are referred to as the "Chase Insurance Group"). The Chase Insurance Group historically was headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, and primarily offered level premium term and other traditional life products, as well as fixed and variable annuity products. While the Company has ceased marketing level premium term and other traditional life products previously offered by the Chase Insurance Group, as noted above, the Company has continued marketing fixed annuity products and single premium life products through certain of its insurance subsidiaries. The results of continuing sales are included in the Life Marketing and Annuities segments.

        From time to time the Company's other operating segments have acquired companies and blocks of policies which are included in their respective results.

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Annuities

        The Annuities segment markets and supports fixed and variable annuity products. These products are primarily sold through broker-dealers, financial institutions, and independent agents and brokers.

        The Company's fixed annuities include modified guaranteed annuities which guarantee an interest rate for a fixed period. Because contract values for these annuities are "market-value adjusted" upon surrender prior to maturity, in certain interest rate environments, these products afford the Company with a measure of protection from the effects of changes in interest rates. The Company's fixed annuities also include single premium deferred annuities, single premium immediate annuities, and equity indexed annuities. However, equity indexed annuities are not actively being marketed. The Company's variable annuities offer the policyholder the opportunity to invest in various investment accounts.

        The following table presents fixed and variable annuity sales. The demand for annuity products is related to the general level of interest rates and performance of the equity markets. Additionally, the Company has continued the marketing of new annuity products associated with its 2006 acquisition of the Chase Insurance Group, and included these sales as a component of the Annuities segment.

For The Year Ended December 31,
  Fixed
Annuities
  Variable
Annuities
  Total
Annuities
 
 
  (Dollars In Millions)
 

2005

  $ 275   $ 312   $ 587  

2006

    878     323     1,201  

2007

    1,194     472     1,666  

2008

    2,160     452     2,612  

2009

    1,225     796     2,021  

Stable Value Products

        The Stable Value Products segment sells guaranteed funding agreements ("GFAs") to special purpose entities that in turn issue notes or certificates in smaller, transferable denominations. The segment also markets fixed and floating rate funding agreements directly to the trustees of municipal bond proceeds, institutional investors, bank trust departments, to the Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB"), and money market funds. During 2003, the Company registered a funding agreement-backed notes program with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Through this program, the Company is able to offer notes to both institutional and retail investors. The amount available under this program was increased by $4 billion in 2005 through a second registration. In February 2009, the Company updated the second registration in accordance with applicable SEC rules and such updated registration provides for the sale of the unsold portion of notes previously registered under the program. The segment's funding agreement-backed notes complement the Company's overall asset/liability management in that the terms of the funding agreements may be tailored to the needs of Protective Life as the seller of the funding agreements, as opposed to solely meeting the needs of the buyer.

        Additionally, the segment markets guaranteed investment contracts ("GICs") to 401(k) and other qualified retirement savings plans. GICs are contracts which specify a return on deposits for a specified period and often provide flexibility for withdrawals at book value in keeping with the benefits provided by the plan. The demand for GICs is related to the relative attractiveness of the "fixed rate" investment option in a 401(k) plan compared to the equity-based investment options available to plan participants.

        The Company's emphasis is on a consistent and disciplined approach to product pricing and asset/liability management, careful underwriting of early withdrawal risks, and maintaining low distribution and administration costs. Most GIC contracts and funding agreements written by the Company have maturities of one to ten years.

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        The following table presents Stable Value Products sales:

For The Year Ended December 31,
  GICs   Funding
Agreements
  Total  
 
  (Dollars In Millions)
 

2005

  $ 96   $ 1,316   $ 1,412  

2006

    294     140     434  

2007

    133     794     927  

2008

    166     1,803     1,969  

2009

             

        In 2009, the Company chose to not participate in the stable value market.

Asset Protection

        The Asset Protection segment primarily markets extended service contracts and credit life and disability insurance to protect consumers' investments in automobiles, watercraft, and recreational vehicles ("RV"). In addition, the segment markets a guaranteed asset protection product. The segment's products are primarily marketed through a national network of approximately 3,750 automobile, marine, and RV dealers. A network of direct employee sales representatives and general agents distributes these products to the dealer market.

        The following table presents the insurance and related product sales measured by new revenue:

For The Year Ended December 31,
  Sales  
 
  (Dollars In Millions)
 

2005

  $ 489  

2006

    536  

2007

    552  

2008

    411  

2009

    305  

        In 2009, approximately 90.8% of the segment's sales were through the automobile, marine, and RV dealer distribution channel, and approximately 74.4% of the segment's sales were extended service contracts. Approximately 47.7% of the Company's service contract business covers vehicles produced by domestic car makers. A portion of the sales and resulting premium are reinsured with producer-affiliated reinsurers.

Corporate and Other

        The Company has an additional segment referred to as Corporate and Other. The Corporate and Other segment primarily consists of net investment income and expenses not attributable to the other operating segments described above (including net investment income on capital and interest on debt) and a trading portfolio that was previously part of a variable interest entity. This segment also includes earnings from several non-strategic or runoff lines of business (primarily cancer insurance, residual value insurance, surety insurance, and group annuities), various investment-related transactions, and the operations of several small subsidiaries. The earnings of this segment may fluctuate from year to year.

Investments

        As of December 31, 2009, the Company's investment portfolio was approximately $29.1 billion. The types of assets in which the Company may invest are influenced by various state laws which prescribe qualified investment assets. Within the parameters of these laws, the Company invests in assets giving consideration to such factors as liquidity and capital needs, investment quality, investment return, matching of assets and liabilities, and the overall composition of the investment portfolio by asset type and

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credit exposure. For further information regarding the Company's investments, the maturity of and the concentration of risk among the Company's invested assets, derivative financial instruments, and liquidity, see Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, Note 4, Investment Operations to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 21, Derivative Financial Instruments, and Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

        The following table shows the reported values of the Company's invested assets:

 
  As of December 31,  
 
  2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

Publicly issued bonds (amortized cost: 2009—$18,376,802; 2008—$18,880,847)

  $ 18,100,141     62.3 % $ 16,554,695     62.3 %

Privately issued bonds (amortized cost: 2009—$4,851,515; 2008—$4,210,825)

    4,730,286     16.3     3,544,285     13.3  
                   
 

Fixed maturities

    22,830,427     78.6     20,098,980     75.6  

Equity securities (cost: 2009—$280,615; 2008—$358,159)

    275,497     0.9     302,132     1.1  

Mortgage loans

    3,877,087     13.3     3,848,288     14.5  

Investment real estate

    25,188     0.1     14,810     0.1  

Policy loans

    794,276     2.7     810,933     3.1  

Other long-term investments

    204,754     0.7     432,137     1.6  

Short-term investments

    1,049,609     3.7     1,059,506     4.0  
                   
 

Total investments

  $ 29,056,838     100.0 % $ 26,566,786     100.0 %
                   

        Included in the preceding table are $2.9 billion and $3.2 billion of fixed maturities and $250.8 million and $80.4 million of short-term investments classified as trading securities as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. The trading portfolio includes invested assets of $2.7 billion and $2.9 billion as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, held pursuant to modified coinsurance ("Modco") arrangements under which the economic risks and benefits of the investments are passed to third-party reinsurers.

        As of December 31, 2009, the Company's fixed maturity investment holdings were approximately $22.8 billion. The approximate percentage distribution of the Company's fixed maturity investments by quality rating is as follows:

 
  As of
December 31,
 
Rating
  2009   2008  

AAA

    19.9 %   35.2 %

AA

    4.9     6.6  

A

    18.7     19.8  

BBB

    42.9     33.0  

Below investment grade

    13.6     5.4  
           

    100.0 %   100.0 %
           

        The increase in BBB securities in the table above is a result of negative ratings migration on securities owned by the Company. During 2009, the Company did not actively purchase securities below the BBB level.

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        The distribution of our fixed maturity investments by type is as follows:

 
  As of
December 31,
 
Type
  2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Millions)
 

Corporate bonds

  $ 14,847.8   $ 12,076.6  

Residential mortgage-backed securities

    3,917.5     5,013.4  

Commercial mortgage-backed securities

    1,124.3     1,182.1  

Asset-backed securities

    1,120.8     1,102.1  

U.S. government-related bonds

    811.3     534.7  

Other government-related bonds

    608.5     160.3  

States, municipals and political subdivisions

    400.2     29.8  
           
 

Total Fixed Income Portfolio

  $ 22,830.4   $ 20,099.0  
           

        The Company's portfolio consists primarily of fixed maturity securities (bonds and redeemable preferred stocks) and commercial mortgage loans. Within the Company's fixed maturity securities, it maintains portfolios classified as "available-for-sale" and "trading". The Company generally purchases its investments with the intent to hold to maturity by purchasing investments that match future cash flow needs. However, the Company may sell any of its investments to maintain proper matching of assets and liabilities. Accordingly, the Company classified $19.9 billion or 87.1% of its fixed maturities as "available-for-sale" as of December 31, 2009, with the remaining $2.9 billion classified as trading securities. These securities are carried at fair value on the Company's Consolidated Balance Sheets.

        A portion of the Company's bond portfolio is invested in residential mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and asset-backed securities. These holdings as of December 31, 2009, were approximately $6.2 billion. Mortgage-backed securities are constructed from pools of mortgages and may have cash flow volatility as a result of changes in the rate at which prepayments of principal occur with respect to the underlying loans. Excluding limitations on access to lending and other extraordinary economic conditions, prepayments of principal on the underlying loans can be expected to accelerate with decreases in market interest rates and diminish with increases in interest rates. In addition, the Company has entered into derivative contracts at times to partially offset the volatility in the market value of these securities.

        The Company obtains ratings of its fixed maturity securities from Moody's Investors Service, Inc. ("Moody's"), Standard & Poor's Corporation ("Standard & Poor's"), and/or Fitch Ratings ("Fitch"). If a bond is not rated by Moody's, S&P, or Fitch, the Company uses ratings from the Securities Valuation Office of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC"), or the Company rates the bond based upon a comparison of the unrated issue to rated issues of the same issuer or rated issues of other issuers with similar risk characteristics. As of December 31, 2009, over 99.0% of the Company's bonds were rated by Moody's, S&P, Fitch, and/or the NAIC.

        At December 31, 2009, the Company had bonds in its available-for-sale portfolio which were rated below investment grade of $2.7 billion, with an amortized cost of $3.3 billion. In addition, included in its trading portfolio, the Company held $362.7 million of securities which were rated below investment grade. As of December 31, 2009, approximately $30.5 million of the bonds rated below investment grade were securities issued in Company-sponsored commercial mortgage loan securitizations. Approximately $580.2 million of the below investment grade bonds were not publicly traded.

        Risks associated with investments in debt securities rated below investment grade may be significantly higher than risks associated with investments in debt securities rated investment grade. Risk of loss upon default by the borrower is significantly greater with respect to such debt securities than with other debt securities because these obligations may be unsecured or subordinated to other creditors. Additionally,

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there is often a thinly traded market for such securities and current market quotations are frequently not available for some of these securities. Issuers of debt securities that were considered below investment grade at issuance or have subsequently been downgraded to below investment grade usually have higher levels of indebtedness and are more sensitive to adverse economic conditions, such as recession or increasing interest rates, than investment-grade issuers.

        The following table shows the investment results from continuing operations of the Company:

 
   
   
   
  Realized Investment
Gains (Losses)
 
 
  Cash, Accrued
Investment
Income, and
Investments at
December 31,
   
  Percentage
Earned on
Average of
Cash and
Investments
 
For The Year
Ended December 31,
  Net
Investment
Income
  Derivative
Financial
Instruments
  All Other
Investments
 
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 
2005   $ 20,741,423   $ 1,180,502     5.8 % $ (30,881 ) $ 49,393  
2006     28,299,749     1,419,778     6.0     (21,516 )   104,084  
2007     29,476,959     1,675,934     5.9     8,469     8,602  
2008     27,003,687     1,675,164     5.8     116,657     (584,492 )
2009     29,547,513     1,665,036     5.9     (177,953 )   120,149  

Mortgage Loans

        The Company also invests a portion of its investment portfolio in commercial mortgage loans. As of December 31, 2009, the Company's mortgage loan holdings were approximately $3.9 billion. The Company has specialized in making loans on either credit-oriented commercial properties or credit-anchored strip shopping centers and apartments. The Company's underwriting procedures relative to its commercial loan portfolio are based, in the Company's view, on a conservative, disciplined approach. The Company concentrates its underwriting expertise on a small number of commercial real estate asset types associated with the necessities of life (retail, multi-family, professional office buildings, and warehouses). The Company believes these asset types tend to weather economic downturns better than other commercial asset classes in which the Company has chosen not to participate. The Company believes this disciplined approach has helped to maintain a relatively low delinquency and foreclosure rate throughout its history.

        The following table shows a breakdown of the Company's commercial mortgage loan portfolio by property type as of December 31, 2009:

Type
  Percentage of
Mortgage Loans
on Real Estate
 

Retail

    64.5 %

Office Buildings

    14.4  

Apartments

    11.3  

Warehouses

    7.4  

Other

    2.4  
       

    100.0 %
       

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        The Company specializes in originating mortgage loans on either credit-oriented or credit-anchored commercial properties. No single tenant's leased space represents more than 2.6% of mortgage loans. Approximately 75.8% of the mortgage loans are on properties located in the following states:

State
  Percentage of
Mortgage Loans
on Real Estate

Texas

  13.1%

Georgia

  10.7

Tennessee

  8.1

Alabama

  7.9

Florida

  5.7

South Carolina

  5.6

Ohio

  4.9

Utah

  4.2

North Carolina

  4.2

Indiana

  3.5

Michigan

  2.9

Mississippi

  2.5

Pennsylvania

  2.5
     

  75.8%
     

        During 2009, the Company funded approximately $232.9 million of new loans, with an average loan size of $5.7 million. The average size mortgage loan in the portfolio as of December 31, 2009 was $2.5 million, and the weighted-average interest rate was 6.24%. The largest single mortgage loan was $34.4 million.

        Retail loans are predominantly on strip shopping centers anchored by one or more regional or national retail stores. The anchor tenants enter into long-term leases with the Company's borrowers. These centers provide the basic necessities of life, such as food, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and other services. The following were the largest anchor tenants (measured by the Company's level of exposure) as of December 31, 2009:

Type
  Percentage of
Mortgage Loans
on Real Estate

Food Lion, Inc. 

  2.6%

Walgreen Corporation

  1.9

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 

  1.9

United States Government

  1.4

Tractor Supply Company

  1.2
     

  9.0%
     

        At the time of origination, the Company's mortgage lending criteria targets that the loan-to-value ratio on each mortgage is 75% or less. The Company targets projected rental payments from credit anchors (i.e., excluding rental payments from smaller local tenants) of 70% of the property's projected operating expenses and debt service. The Company also offers a commercial loan product under which the Company will permit a loan-to-value ratio of up to 85% in exchange for a participating interest in the cash flows from the underlying real estate. As of December 31, 2009, approximately $808.6 million of the Company's mortgage loans have this participation feature. Exceptions to these loan-to-value measures may be made if the Company believes the mortgage has an acceptable risk profile.

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        Many of the Company's mortgage loans have call or interest rate reset provisions between 3 and 10 years. However, if interest rates were to significantly increase, the Company may be unable to call the loans or increase the interest rates on its existing mortgage loans commensurate with the significantly increased market rates.

        As of December 31, 2009, delinquent mortgage loans and foreclosed properties were less than 0.1% of invested assets. The Company does not expect these investments to adversely affect its liquidity or ability to maintain proper matching of assets and liabilities. As of December 31, 2009, $23.1 million, or 0.6%, of the mortgage loan portfolio was nonperforming. It is the Company's policy to cease to carry accrued interest on loans that are over 90 days delinquent. For loans less than 90 days delinquent, interest is accrued unless it is determined that the accrued interest is not collectible. If a loan becomes over 90 days delinquent, it is the Company's general policy to initiate foreclosure proceedings unless a workout arrangement to bring the loan current is in place.

        Between 1996 and 1999, the Company securitized $1.4 billion of its mortgage loans. The Company sold certain of the senior tranches while retaining the subordinate tranches. During 2007, the Company securitized an additional $1.0 billion of its mortgage loans. The Company sold the highest rated tranche for approximately $218.3 million, while retaining the remaining tranches. The Company continues to service both of these sets of securitized mortgage loans. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had investments related to retained beneficial interests of mortgage loan securitizations of $844.5 million. See Note 10, Commercial Mortgage Securitizations, for additional information on these mortgage loan securitizations.

        The Company does not actively invest directly in real estate. The investment real estate held by the Company consists largely of properties obtained through foreclosures or the acquisition of other insurance companies. Foreclosed properties often generate a positive cash flow enabling the Company to hold and manage the property until the property can be profitably sold.

Ratings

        Various Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations ("rating organizations") review the financial performance and condition of insurers, including the Company's insurance subsidiaries, and publish their financial strength ratings as indicators of an insurer's ability to meet policyholder and contract holder obligations. These ratings are important to maintaining public confidence in an insurer's products, its ability to market its products, and its competitive position. Rating organizations also publish credit ratings for the issuers of debt securities, including the Company. Credit ratings are indicators of a debt issuer's ability to meet the terms of debt obligations in a timely manner. These ratings are important in the debt issuer's overall ability to access certain types of liquidity. Ratings are not recommendations to buy the Company's securities. The following table summarizes the ratings of the Company and its significant member companies from the major independent rating organizations as of December 31, 2009:

Ratings
  A.M. Best   Fitch   Standard &
Poor's
  Moody's  
Insurance companies financial strength ratings:                    
  Protective Life Insurance Company   A+   A   AA-     A2  
  West Coast Life Insurance Company   A+   A   AA-     A2  
  Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company   A+   A   AA-      
  Lyndon Property Insurance Company   A-          

Other ratings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  Issuer Credit/Default Rating—Protective Life Corporation   a-   BBB+   A-      
  Senior Debt Rating—Protective Life Corporation     BBB       Baa2  
  Issuer Credit/Default Rating—Protective Life Ins. Co.    aa-     AA-      

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        On February 11, 2009, A.M. Best Co. ("A.M. Best") affirmed the financial strength ratings of the Company's primary life/health subsidiaries at A+, and announced a one-step downgrade of the debt ratings of the Company to a- from a, and a one-step downgrade of the issuer credit ratings ("ICR") to aa- from aa of the Company's primary life/health subsidiaries. A.M. Best stated that the outlook for all ratings has been revised to negative from stable. On February 12, 2009, Moody's downgraded the senior debt rating of the Company to Baa2 from Baa1. The Insurer Financial Strength ("IFS") ratings of the Company's life insurance subsidiaries, including PLICO, were downgraded to A2 from A1. The outlook for the ratings has been changed to negative. On February 26, 2009, Standard & Poor's lowered both the IFS ratings and the ICR of the Company's life insurance subsidiaries, including PLICO, to AA- from AA. In addition, Standard & Poor's downgraded the ICR for the Company to A- from A. The outlook for the ratings was affirmed as stable.

        On September 16, 2009, Fitch announced a one-step downgrade of the IFS ratings of the Company's life insurance subsidiaries, including PLICO, to A from A+, a one-step downgrade of the Company's issuer default rating to BBB+ from A-, and a one-step downgrade of the Company's senior debt rating from BBB+ to BBB. Fitch stated that the ratings outlook is negative.

        The Company's ratings are subject to review and change by the rating organizations at any time and without notice. A downgrade or other negative action by a ratings organization with respect to the financial strength ratings of the Company's insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect sales, relationships with distributors, the level of policy surrenders and withdrawals, competitive position in the marketplace, and the cost or availability of reinsurance. A downgrade or other negative action by a ratings organization with respect to the Company's credit rating could limit its access to capital markets and increase the cost of issuing debt, and a downgrade of sufficient magnitude, combined with other negative factors, could require the Company to post collateral.

Life Insurance In-Force

        The following table shows life insurance sales by face amount and life insurance in-force:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

New Business Written

                               
 

Life Marketing

  $ 50,621,394   $ 57,534,379   $ 89,463,255   $ 81,389,241   $ 60,435,133  
 

Asset Protection

    1,376,012     2,077,540     2,786,447     3,095,205     3,770,783  
                       
   

Total

  $ 51,997,406   $ 59,611,919   $ 92,249,702   $ 84,484,446   $ 64,205,916  
                       

Business Acquired

                               
 

Acquisitions

  $   $   $   $ 224,498,169   $  
                       

Insurance In-Force at End of Year(1)

                               
 

Life Marketing

  $ 546,049,195   $ 544,248,010   $ 517,797,133   $ 453,937,534   $ 435,430,943  
 

Acquisitions

    226,021,519     227,708,203     243,050,966     265,837,876     26,861,772  
 

Asset Protection

    3,019,142     3,651,779     4,333,952     4,718,018     5,496,543  
                       
   

Total

  $ 775,089,856   $ 775,607,992   $ 765,182,051   $ 724,493,428   $ 467,789,258  
                       
(1)
Reinsurance assumed has been included, reinsurance ceded (2009—$515,136,471; 2008—$540,561,213; 2007—$531,984,866; 2006—$576,790,608; 2005—$393,605,152) has not been deducted.

        The ratio of voluntary terminations of individual life insurance to mean individual life insurance in-force, which is determined by dividing the amount of insurance terminated due to lapses during the year

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by the mean of the insurance in-force at the beginning and end of the year, adjusted for the timing of major acquisitions is as follows:

As of December 31,
  Ratio of
Voluntary
Termination
 

2005

    4.2 %

2006

    3.9  

2007

    4.5  

2008

    4.7  

2009

    4.9  

Investment Products In-Force

        The amount of investment products in-force is measured by account balances. The following table shows stable value product segment, acquisitions segment, and annuity segment account balances. Most of the variable annuity account balances are reported in the Company's financial statements as liabilities related to separate accounts.

As of December 31,
  Stable Value
Products
  Modified
Guaranteed
Annuities
  Fixed
Annuities
  Variable
Annuities
 
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

2005

  $ 6,057,721   $ 2,348,037   $ 777,422   $ 2,639,670  

2006

    5,513,464     2,424,218     4,981,587     4,302,413  

2007

    5,046,463     2,745,123     5,932,336     4,128,666  

2008

    4,960,405     3,497,482     6,087,419     3,220,519  

2009

    3,581,150     3,630,614     6,457,013     4,132,053  

        Below are the fixed annuity account balances by segment:

As of December 31,
  Annuities   Acquisitions   Corporate &
Other
  Total  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

2008

  $ 3,102,602   $ 2,872,014   $ 61,677   $ 6,036,293 *

2009

    3,913,365     2,442,279     57,457     6,413,101 *
*
Note that this amount does not agree to the total in the Fixed Annuities column in the table above as a result of immaterial amounts included within other segments.

        Below are the variable annuity account balances by segment:

As of December 31,
  Annuities   Acquisitions   Total  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

2008

  $ 1,895,808   $ 1,324,711   $ 3,220,519  

2009

    2,808,123     1,323,930     4,132,053  

Underwriting

        The underwriting policies of the Company's insurance subsidiaries are established by management. With respect to individual insurance, the subsidiaries use information from the application and, in some cases, inspection reports, attending physician statements, or medical examinations to determine whether a policy should be issued as applied for, other than applied for, or rejected. Medical examinations of applicants are required for individual life insurance in excess of certain prescribed amounts (which vary based on the type of insurance) and for most individual insurance applied for by applicants over age 50. In the case of "simplified issue" policies, which are issued primarily through the Asset Protection segment,

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coverage is rejected if the responses to certain health questions contained in the application indicate adverse health of the applicant. For other than "simplified issue" policies, medical examinations are requested of any applicant, regardless of age and amount of requested coverage, if an examination is deemed necessary to underwrite the risk. Substandard risks may be referred to reinsurers for evaluation of the substandard risk.

        The Company's insurance subsidiaries generally require blood samples to be drawn with individual insurance applications above certain face amounts based on the applicant's age, except in the worksite and BOLI markets where limited blood testing is required. Blood samples are tested for a wide range of chemical values and are screened for antibodies to certain viruses. Applications also contain questions permitted by law regarding certain viruses which must be answered by the proposed insureds.

        During the third quarter of 2006, the Company introduced an advanced underwriting system, TeleLife®, through the brokerage agent distribution channel for traditional insurance. TeleLife® streamlines the application process through a telephonic interview of the applicant, schedules medical exams, accelerates the underwriting process and the ultimate issuance of a policy mostly through electronic means, and reduces the number of attending physician statements. The TeleLife® program was expanded to include the stock brokerage channel in 2008. In 2009, the Company expanded the scope of the TeleLife® program to include all term applications under $1,000,000 in the individual agent channel.

        During 2008, the Company increased its retention limit to $2,000,000 on certain of its traditional life products.

Reinsurance Ceded

        The Company's insurance subsidiaries cede insurance to other insurance companies. The ceding insurance company remains liable with respect to ceded insurance should any reinsurer fail to meet the obligations assumed by it. The Company has also used reinsurance to reinsure guaranteed minimum death benefit ("GMDB") claims relative to its variable annuity contracts.

        For approximately 10 years prior to mid-2005, the Company entered into reinsurance contracts in which the Company ceded a significant percentage, generally 90% of its newly written business on a first dollar quota share basis. The Company's traditional life insurance was ceded under coinsurance contracts and universal life insurance was ceded under yearly renewable term ("YRT") contracts. In mid-2005, the Company substantially discontinued coinsuring its newly written traditional life insurance and moved to YRT reinsurance as discussed below. The Company continues to reinsure 90% of the mortality risk, but not the account values, on its newly written universal life insurance.

        The Company currently enters into reinsurance contracts with reinsurers under YRT contracts to provide coverage for insurance issued in excess of the amount it retains on any one life. The amount of insurance retained on any one life was $500,000 in years prior to mid-2005. In 2005, this retention was increased to amounts up to $1,000,000 for certain policies, and during 2008, was increased to $2,000,000 for certain policies.

        As of December 31, 2009, the Company had insurance in-force of $775.1 billion, of which approximately $515.1 billion was ceded to reinsurers. See Note 8, Reinsurance to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information related to the Company's use of reinsurance.

Policy Liabilities and Accruals

        The applicable insurance laws under which the Company's insurance subsidiaries operate require that each insurance company report policy liabilities to meet future obligations on the outstanding policies. These liabilities are the amounts which, with the additional premiums to be received and interest thereon compounded annually at certain assumed rates, are calculated in accordance with applicable law to be

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sufficient to meet the various policy and contract obligations as they mature. These laws specify that the liabilities shall not be less than liabilities calculated using certain named mortality tables and interest rates.

        The policy liabilities and accruals carried in the Company's financial reports presented on the basis of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP") differ from those specified by the laws of the various states and carried in the insurance subsidiaries' statutory financial statements (presented on the basis of statutory accounting principles mandated by state insurance regulations). For policy liabilities other than those for universal life policies, annuity contracts, GICs, and funding agreements, these differences arise from the use of mortality and morbidity tables and interest rate assumptions which are deemed to be more appropriate for financial reporting purposes than those required for statutory accounting purposes, from the introduction of lapse assumptions into the calculation, and from the use of the net level premium method on all business. Policy liabilities for universal life policies, annuity contracts, GICs, and funding agreements are generally carried in the Company's financial reports at the account value of the policy or contract plus accrued interest, with certain exceptions as permitted by actuarial guidelines.

Federal Income Tax

        Existing federal laws and regulations affect the taxation of the Company's products. Income tax payable by policyholders on investment earnings is deferred during the accumulation period of certain life insurance and annuity products. This favorable tax treatment may give certain of the Company's products a competitive advantage over other non-insurance products. To the extent that Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the "Code") is revised to reduce the tax-deferred status of life insurance and annuity products, or to increase the tax-deferred status of competing products, all life insurance companies, including the Company and its subsidiaries, will be adversely affected with respect to their ability to sell such products. Also, depending upon grandfathering provisions, the Company will be affected by the surrenders of existing annuity contracts and life insurance policies.

        Additionally, if enacted, proposed changes in the federal tax law would establish new tax-advantaged retirement and life savings plans that will reduce the tax advantage of investing in life insurance or annuity products. Such proposals include changes that create new non-life-insurance vehicles for tax-exempt savings, and such proposals sometimes include provisions for more generous annual limits on contributions, etc.

        In addition, life insurance products are often used to fund estate tax obligations. Legislation was enacted that reduced and eventually eliminated the federal estate tax. Under this legislation, the estate tax will be reinstated, usually in its entirety, in 2011 and thereafter. Members of Congress have expressed a desire to modify the existing legislation, which modification could result in faster or more complete reduction or repeal of the estate tax. If the estate tax is significantly reduced or eliminated, the demand for certain life insurance products could be adversely affected.

        Additionally, the Company is subject to corporate income tax. The Company cannot predict what changes to tax law or interpretations of existing tax law may ultimately be enacted or adopted or whether such changes will adversely affect the Company.

        The Company's insurance subsidiaries are taxed by the federal government in a manner similar to companies in other industries. However, certain restrictions apply regarding the consolidation of recently-acquired life insurance companies into the Company's consolidated U.S. income tax return. Additionally, restrictions apply to the combining, in a consolidated U.S. income tax return, of life-insurance-company taxable income or losses with non-life-insurance-company taxable losses, or income respectively. For 2009, the Company will consolidate all of its subsidiaries into its consolidated U.S. income tax return except for Protective Life Insurance Company of New York. The former Chase life insurance companies that were merged into PLICO were consolidated as of the date at which each was merged. The Company filed short-period returns for those merged companies representing activity during the pre-merger timeframe.

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Competition

        Life and health insurance is a mature and highly competitive industry. In recent years, the industry has experienced little growth in life insurance sales, though the aging population has increased the demand for retirement savings products. The Company encounters significant competition in all lines of business from other insurance companies, many of which have greater financial resources than the Company and which may have a greater market share, offer a broader range of products, services or features, assume a greater level of risk, have lower operating or financing costs, or have lower profitability expectations. The Company also faces competition from other providers of financial services. Competition could result in, among other things, lower sales or higher lapses of existing products.

        The Company's move away from reliance on reinsurance for newly written traditional life products results in a net reduction of current taxes, but an increase in deferred taxes. The Company allocates the benefits of reduced current taxes to the life marketing segment and the profitability and competitive position of certain products is dependent on the continuation of existing tax rules and interpretations and the Company's ability to generate taxable income.

        The insurance industry is consolidating, with larger, potentially more efficient organizations emerging from consolidation. Participants in certain of the Company's independent distribution channels are also consolidating into larger organizations. Some mutual insurance companies have converted to stock ownership, which gives them greater access to capital markets. The ability of banks to increase their securities-related business or to affiliate with insurance companies may materially and adversely affect sales of all of the Company's products by substantially increasing the number and financial strength of potential competitors.

        The Company's ability to compete is dependent upon, among other things, its ability to attract and retain distribution channels to market its insurance and investment products, its ability to develop competitive and profitable products, its ability to maintain low unit costs, and its maintenance of adequate ratings from rating agencies.

        As technology evolves, comparison of a particular product of any company for a particular customer with competing products for that customer is more readily available, which could lead to increased competition as well as agent or customer behavior, including persistency that differs from past behavior.

Risk Management

        Risk management is a critical part of the Company's business, and the Company has adopted risk management processes in multiple aspects of its operations, including product development and management, business acquisitions, underwriting, investment management, asset-liability management, and technology development projects. Risk management includes the assessment of risk, a decision process to determine which risks are acceptable and the ongoing monitoring and management of those risks. The primary objective of these risk management processes is to determine the acceptable level of variations the Company experiences from its expected results.

Regulation

        The Company and its subsidiaries are subject to government regulation in each of the states in which it conducts business. Such regulation is vested in state agencies having broad administrative and in some instances discretionary power dealing with many aspects of the Company's business, which may include, among other things, premium rates and increases thereto, reserve requirements, marketing practices, advertising, privacy, policy forms, reinsurance reserve requirements, acquisitions, mergers, and capital adequacy, and is concerned primarily with the protection of policyholders and other customers rather than shareowners. At any given time, a number of financial and/or market conduct examinations of the Company's subsidiaries may be ongoing. From time to time, regulators raise issues during examinations or

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audits of the Company's subsidiaries that could, if determined adverse, have a material impact on the Company. The Company's insurance subsidiaries are required to obtain state regulatory approval for rate increases for certain health insurance products, and the Company's profits may be adversely affected if the requested rate increases are not approved in full by regulators in a timely fashion.

        The purchase of life insurance products is limited by state insurable interest laws, which generally require that the purchaser of life insurance name a beneficiary that has some interest in the sustained life of the insured. To some extent, the insurable interest laws present a barrier to the life settlement, or "stranger-owned" industry, in which a financial entity acquires an interest in life insurance proceeds, and efforts have been made in some states to liberalize the insurable interest laws. To the extent these laws are relaxed, the Company's lapse assumptions may prove to be incorrect.

        The Company cannot predict whether or when regulatory actions may be taken that could adversely affect the Company or its operations. Interpretations of regulations by regulators may change and statutes, regulations and interpretations may be applied with retroactive impact, particularly in areas such as accounting or reserve requirements. Although the Company and its subsidiaries are subject to state regulation, in many instances the state regulatory models emanate from the NAIC. Some of the NAIC pronouncements, particularly as they affect accounting issues, take effect automatically in the various states without affirmative action by the states. Although with respect to some financial regulations and guidelines, states sometimes defer to the interpretation of the insurance department of the state of domicile. Neither the action of the domiciliary state nor the action of the NAIC is binding on a state. Accordingly, a state could choose to follow a different interpretation. Also, regulatory actions with prospective impact can potentially have a significant impact on currently sold products. In addition, accounting and actuarial groups within the NAIC have studied whether to change the accounting standards that relate to certain reinsurance credits, and if changes were made, whether they should be applied retrospectively, prospectively only, or in a phased-in manner. A requirement to reduce the reserve credits on ceded business, if applied retroactively, would have a negative impact on the statutory capital of the Company. The NAIC continues to work to reform state regulation in various areas, including comprehensive reforms relating to life insurance reserves.

        At the federal level, bills are routinely introduced in both chambers of the United States Congress which could affect life insurers. In the past, Congress has considered legislation that would impact insurance companies in numerous ways, such as providing for an optional federal charter or a federal presence for insurance, pre-empting state law in certain respects to the regulation of reinsurance, increasing federal oversight in areas such as consumer protection and solvency regulation, and other matters. The Company cannot predict whether or in what form reforms will be enacted and, if so, whether the enacted reforms will positively or negatively affect the Company or whether any effects will be material.

        The Company's insurance subsidiaries are required to file detailed annual reports with the supervisory agencies in each of the jurisdictions in which they do business and their business, and accounts are subject to examination by such agencies at any time. Under the rules of the NAIC, insurance companies are examined periodically (generally every three to five years) by one or more of the supervisory agencies on behalf of the states in which they do business. At any given time, a number of financial and/or market conduct examinations of the Company's subsidiaries may be ongoing. To date, no such insurance department examinations have produced any significant adverse findings regarding any of the Company's insurance company subsidiaries.

        Under insurance guaranty fund laws, in most states insurance companies doing business therein can be assessed up to prescribed limits for policyholder losses incurred by insolvent companies. Although the Company cannot predict the amount of any future assessments, most insurance guaranty fund laws currently provide that an assessment may be excused or deferred if it would threaten an insurer's own financial strength.

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        In addition, many states, including the states in which the Company's insurance subsidiaries are domiciled, have enacted legislation or adopted regulations regarding insurance holding company systems. These laws require registration of and periodic reporting by insurance companies domiciled within the jurisdiction which control or are controlled by other corporations or persons so as to constitute an insurance holding company system. These laws also affect the acquisition of control of insurance companies as well as transactions between insurance companies and companies controlling them. Most states, including Tennessee, where PLICO is domiciled, require administrative approval of the acquisition of control of an insurance company domiciled in the state or the acquisition of control of an insurance holding company whose insurance subsidiary is incorporated in the state. In Tennessee, the acquisition of 10% of the voting securities of an entity is deemed to be the acquisition of control for the purpose of the insurance holding company statute and requires not only the filing of detailed information concerning the acquiring parties and the plan of acquisition, but also administrative approval prior to the acquisition. The NAIC is currently considering revising the NAIC Model Insurance Company Holding Act.

        The states in which the Company's insurance subsidiaries are domiciled impose certain restrictions on the subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to the Company. These restrictions are based in part on the prior year's statutory income and surplus. In general, dividends up to specified levels are considered ordinary and may be paid without prior approval. Dividends in larger amounts are subject to approval by the insurance commissioner of the state of domicile. The maximum amount that would qualify as ordinary dividends to the Company by its insurance subsidiaries in 2010 is estimated to be $704.8 million. No assurance can be given that more stringent restrictions will not be adopted from time to time by states in which the Company's insurance subsidiaries are domiciled; such restrictions could have the effect, under certain circumstances, of significantly reducing dividends or other amounts payable to the Company by such subsidiaries without affirmative prior approval by state regulatory authorities.

        The Company's insurance subsidiaries may be subject to regulation by the United States Department of Labor when providing a variety of products and services to employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). Severe penalties are imposed for breach of duties under ERISA.

        Certain policies, contracts, and annuities offered by the Company's subsidiaries are subject to regulation under the federal securities laws administered by the SEC. The federal securities laws contain regulatory restrictions and criminal, administrative, and private remedial provisions.

        Additional issues related to regulation of the Company and its insurance subsidiaries are discussed in Item 1A, Risk Factors and Cautionary Factors that may Affect Future Results and in Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, included herein.

Employees

        As of December 31, 2009, the Company had approximately 2,317 employees, of which 2,302 were full-time and 15 were part-time employees. Included in the total were approximately 1,315 employees in Birmingham, Alabama, of which 1,305 were full-time and 10 were part-time employees. The Company believes its relations with its employees are satisfactory. Most employees are covered by contributory major medical, dental, vision, group life, and long-term disability insurance plans. The cost of these benefits to the Company in 2009 was approximately $10.5 million. In addition, substantially all of the employees are covered by a defined benefit pension plan. In 2009, 2008 and 2007, the Company also matched employee contributions to its 401(k) Plan. Additionally, in 2007, the Company made discretionary profit sharing contributions for employees not otherwise covered by a bonus or sales incentive plan. See Note 13, Stock-Based Compensation and Note 14, Employee Benefit Plans to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

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Available Information

        The Company files reports with the SEC, including Annual Reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and other reports as required. The public may read and copy any materials the Company files with the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. We are an electronic filer and the SEC maintains an internet site at www.sec.gov that contains the reports, proxy and information statements, and other information filed electronically.

        The Company makes available free of charge through its website, www.protective.com, the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The information found on our website is not part of this or any other report filed with or furnished to the SEC

        The Company will also have available copies of the Company's Proxy Statement and the 2009 Annual Report to Shareowners which will be furnished to anyone who requests such documents from the Company. Requests for copies should be directed to: Shareowner Relations, Protective Life Corporation, P. O. Box 2606, Birmingham, Alabama 35202, Telephone (205) 268-3573, Fax (205) 268-5547.

Executive Officers

        As of February 24, 2010, the Company's executive officers were as follows:

Name
  Age   Position

John D. Johns

    58  

Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director

Richard J. Bielen

    49  

Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer

Edward M. Berko

    52  

Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer

Carolyn M. Johnson

    49  

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Deborah J. Long

    56  

Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel

Carl S. Thigpen

    53  

Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer

D. Scott Adams

    45  

Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Brent E. Griggs

    54  

Senior Vice President, Asset Protection

Carolyn King

    59  

Senior Vice President, Acquisitions

Steven G. Walker

    50  

Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer

Judy Wilson

    51  

Senior Vice President, Stable Value Products

        All executive officers are elected annually and serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. None of the executive officers are related to any director of the Company or to any other executive officer.

        Mr. Johns has been Chairman of the Board of the Company since January 2003, and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since December 2001. He has been a Director of the Company since May 1997. Mr. Johns has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1993.

        Mr. Bielen has been Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer since June 2007. From August 2006 to June 2007, Mr. Bielen served as Executive Vice President of the Company and as Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer from January 2002 to June 2007. From January 2002 to September 2006, he was Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer. Mr. Bielen has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1991.

        Mr. Berko has been Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of the Company since August 2009. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Berko served as Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer with MetLife, Inc. from 2005 to 2009.

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        Ms. Johnson has been Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since June 2007. From November 2006 to June 2007, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operations and Technology Officer of the Company. Ms. Johnson served as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Life and Annuity of the Company from May 2006 to November 2006. From August 2004 to May 2006, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Life and Annuity of Protective Life Insurance Company. Ms. Johnson has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 2004.

        Ms. Long has been Executive Vice President of the Company since May 2007 and Secretary and General Counsel of the Company since November 1996. Ms. Long has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1994.

        Mr. Thigpen has been Executive Vice President and Chief Investments Officer of the Company since June 2007. From January 2002 to June 2007, Mr. Thigpen served as Senior Vice President and Chief Mortgage and Real Estate Officer of the Company. Mr. Thigpen has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1984.

        Mr. Adams has been Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of the Company since April 2006. From May 2005 to March 2006, he served as an Executive Search Consultant for the wealth and investment management business sector with Anderson & Associates in Charlotte, NC.

        Mr. Griggs has been Senior Vice President, Asset Protection, of the Company since February 2003. Mr. Griggs has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1997.

        Ms. King has been Senior Vice President, Acquisitions of the Company since May 2008. From June 2007 to May 2008, Ms. King served as Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Corporate Development. From December 2003 to June 2007, she served as Senior Vice President, Acquisitions of the Company. Ms. King has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1995.

        Mr. Walker has been Senior Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer of the Company since March 2004. From September 2003 through March 2004, he served as Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer of the Company. Mr. Walker has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 2002.

        Ms. Wilson has been Senior Vice President, Stable Value Products of the Company since January 1995. Ms. Wilson has been employed by the Company and its subsidiaries since 1989.

        Certain of these executive officers also serve as executive officers and/or directors of various of the Company's subsidiaries.

Item 1A.    Risk Factors and Cautionary Factors that may Affect Future Results

        The operating results of companies in the insurance industry have historically been subject to significant fluctuations. The factors which could affect the Company's future results include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions and the known trends and uncertainties which are discussed more fully below.

The Company is exposed to the risks of natural and man-made catastrophes, pandemics, malicious and terrorist acts that could adversely affect the Company's operations and results.

        While the Company has obtained insurance, implemented risk management and contingency plans, and taken preventive measures and other precautions, no predictions of specific scenarios can be made nor can assurance be given that there are not scenarios that could have an adverse effect on the Company. A natural or man-made catastrophe, pandemic, malicious or terrorist act could adversely affect the mortality or morbidity experience of the Company or its reinsurers. Such events could result in a substantial increase in mortality experience and have a significant negative impact on the Company. In addition, claims arising from such events could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition and results of

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operations. Such events could also have an adverse effect on lapses and surrenders of existing policies, as well as sales of new policies.

        In addition, such events could result in a decrease or halt in economic activity in large geographic areas, adversely affecting the marketing or administration of the Company's business within such geographic areas and/or the general economic climate, which in turn could have an adverse affect on the Company. The possible macroeconomic effects of such events could also adversely affect the Company's asset portfolio, as well as many other variables.

The Company operates in a mature, highly competitive industry, which could limit its ability to gain or maintain its position in the industry and negatively affect profitability.

        The insurance industry is a mature and highly competitive industry. In recent years, the industry has experienced little growth in life insurance sales. The Company encounters significant competition in all lines of business from other insurance companies, many of which have greater financial resources and higher ratings than the Company and which may have a greater market share, offer a broader range of products, services or features, assume a greater level of risk, have lower operating or financing costs, or have different profitability expectations than the Company. The Company also faces competition from other providers of financial services. Competition could result in, among other things, lower sales or higher lapses of existing products.

        The insurance industry is consolidating, with larger, potentially more efficient organizations emerging from consolidation. Participants in certain of the Company's independent distribution channels are also consolidating into larger organizations. Some mutual insurance companies have converted to stock ownership, which gives them greater access to capital markets. The ability of banks to increase their securities-related business or to affiliate with insurance companies may materially and adversely affect sales of all of the Company's products by substantially increasing the number and financial strength of potential competitors. Consolidation and expansion among banks, insurance companies, and other financial service companies with which the Company does business could also have an adverse affect on its financial condition and results of operations if they require more favorable terms than the Company previously offered or if they elect not to continue to do business with the Company following consolidation or expansion.

        The Company's ability to compete is dependent upon, among other things, its ability to attract and retain distribution channels to market its insurance and investment products, its ability to develop competitive and profitable products, its ability to maintain low unit costs, and its maintenance of adequate ratings from rating agencies.

        As technology evolves, comparison of a particular product of any company for a particular customer with competing products for that customer is more readily available, which could lead to increased competition as well as agent or customer behavior, including persistency that differs from past behavior.

The Company operates as a holding company and depends on the ability of its subsidiaries to transfer funds to it to meet its obligations and pay dividends.

        The Company operates as a holding company for its insurance and other subsidiaries and does not have any significant operations of its own. The Company's primary sources of funding are dividends from its operating subsidiaries; revenues from investment, data processing, legal, and management services rendered to subsidiaries; investment income; and external financing. These funding sources support the Company's general corporate needs including its common stock dividends and debt service. If the funding the Company receives from its subsidiaries is insufficient for it to fund its debt service and other holding company obligations, it may be required to raise funds through the incurrence of debt, the issuance of additional equity, or the sale of assets.

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        The states in which the Company's insurance subsidiaries are domiciled impose certain restrictions on the subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends and make other payments to the Company. State insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of dividends or other payments to the Company by its insurance subsidiaries if they determine that the payments could be adverse to the policyholders or contract holders of the insurance subsidiaries.

A ratings downgrade or other negative action by a ratings organization could adversely affect the Company.

        Various Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations ("rating organizations") review the financial performance and condition of insurers, including the Company's insurance subsidiaries, and publish their financial strength ratings as indicators of an insurer's ability to meet policyholder and contract holder obligations. While ratings are not a recommendation to buy the Company's securities, these ratings are important to maintaining public confidence in the Company's products, its ability to market its products, and its competitive position. A downgrade or other negative action by a ratings organization with respect to the financial strength ratings of the Company's insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect the Company in many ways, including the following: reducing new sales of insurance and investment products; adversely affecting relationships with distributors and sales agents; increasing the number or amount of policy surrenders and withdrawals of funds; requiring a reduction in prices for the Company's insurance products and services in order to remain competitive; and adversely affecting the Company's ability to obtain reinsurance at a reasonable price, on reasonable terms or at all. A downgrade of sufficient magnitude could result in the Company, its insurance subsidiaries, or both being required to collateralize reserves, balances or obligations under reinsurance, funding, swap, and securitization agreements. A downgrade of sufficient magnitude could also result in the termination of funding and swap agreements.

        Rating organizations also publish credit ratings for the Company. Credit ratings are indicators of a debt issuer's ability to meet the terms of debt obligations in a timely manner. These ratings are important to the Company's overall ability to access certain types of liquidity. Downgrades of the Company's credit ratings, or an announced potential downgrade, could have a material adverse affect on the Company's financial conditions and results of operations in many ways, including the following: limiting the Company's access to capital markets; increasing the cost of debt; impairing its ability to raise capital to refinance maturing debt obligations; limiting its capacity to support growth of its insurance subsidiaries; and making it more difficult to maintain or improve the current financial strength ratings of its insurance subsidiaries. A downgrade of sufficient magnitude, in combination with other factors, could require the Company to post collateral pursuant to certain contractual obligations.

        Rating organizations assign ratings based upon several factors. While most of the factors relate to the rated company, some of the factors relate to the views of the rating organization, general economic conditions, and circumstances outside the rated company's control. In addition, rating organizations use various models and formulas to assess the strength of a rated company, and from time to time rating organizations have, in their discretion, altered the models. Changes to the models could impact the rating organizations' judgment of the rating to be assigned to the rated company. The Company cannot predict what actions the rating organizations may take, or what actions the Company may take in response to the actions of the rating organizations, which could adversely affect the Company.

The Company's policy claims fluctuate from period to period, resulting in earnings volatility.

        The Company's results may fluctuate from period to period due to fluctuations in policy claims received by the Company. Certain of the Company's businesses may experience higher claims if the economy is growing slowly or in recession, or equity markets decline. Additionally, beginning in the third quarter of 2005, the Company increased its retained amounts on newly written traditional life products. This change will cause greater variability in financial results due to fluctuations in mortality results.

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The Company's results and financial condition may be negatively affected should actual experience differ from management's assumptions and estimates.

        In the conduct of business, the Company makes certain assumptions regarding the mortality, persistency, expenses and interest rates, tax liability, business mix, frequency of claims, contingent liabilities, investment performance, or other factors appropriate to the type of business it expects to experience in future periods. These assumptions are also used to estimate the amounts of deferred policy acquisition costs, policy liabilities and accruals, future earnings, and various components of the Company's balance sheet. These assumptions are used in the operations of the Company's business in making decisions crucial to the success of the Company, including the pricing of products and expense structures relating to products. The Company's actual experiences, as well as changes in estimates, are used to prepare the Company's statements of income. To the extent the Company's actual experience and changes in estimates differ from original estimates, the Company's financial condition is affected.

        Mortality, morbidity, and casualty expectations incorporate assumptions about many factors, including for example, how a product is distributed, for what purpose the product is purchased, the mix of customers purchasing the products, persistency and lapses, future progress in the fields of health and medicine, and the projected level of used vehicle values. Actual mortality, morbidity, and/or casualty experience will differ from expectations if actual results differ from those assumptions. In addition, continued activity in the viatical, stranger-owned, and/or life settlement industry could cause the Company's level of lapses to differ from its assumptions about persistency and lapses, which could negatively impact the Company's performance.

        The calculations the Company uses to estimate various components of its balance sheet and statements of income are necessarily complex and involve analyzing and interpreting large quantities of data. The Company currently employs various techniques for such calculations and it from time to time will develop and implement more sophisticated administrative systems and procedures capable of facilitating the calculation of more precise estimates.

        Assumptions and estimates involve judgment, and by their nature are imprecise and subject to changes and revisions over time. Accordingly, the Company's results may be affected, positively or negatively, from time to time, by actual results differing from assumptions, by changes in estimates, and by changes resulting from implementing more sophisticated administrative systems and procedures that facilitate the calculation of more precise estimates.

The Company's financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted if the Company's assumptions regarding the fair value and future performance of its investments differ from actual experience.

        The Company makes assumptions regarding the fair value and expected future performance of its investments. Expectations that the Company's investments in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities will continue to perform in accordance with their contractual terms are based on assumptions a market participant would use in determining the current fair value and consider the performance of the underlying assets. It is reasonably possible that the underlying collateral of these investments will perform worse than current market expectations and that such reduced performance may lead to adverse changes in the cash flows on the Company's holdings of these types of securities. This could lead to potential future write-downs within the Company's portfolio of mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities. In addition, expectations that the Company's investments in corporate securities and/or debt obligations will continue to perform in accordance with their contractual terms are based on evidence gathered through its normal credit surveillance process. It is possible that issuers of its investments in corporate securities will perform worse than current expectations. Such events may lead the Company to recognize potential future write-downs within its portfolio of corporate securities. It is also possible that such unanticipated events would lead the Company to dispose of those certain holdings and recognize the effects of any market movements in its financial statements.

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        As a result of illiquid markets, the Company also makes certain assumptions when utilizing internal models to value certain of its investments. It is possible that actual results will differ from the Company's assumptions. Such events could result in a material change in the value of the Company's investments.

The use of reinsurance introduces variability in the Company's statements of income.

        The timing of premium payments to and receipt of expense allowances from reinsurers may differ from the Company's receipt of customer premium payments and incurrence of expenses. These timing differences introduce variability in certain components of the Company's statements of income and may also introduce variability in the Company's quarterly results.

The Company could be forced to sell investments at a loss to cover policyholder withdrawals.

        Many of the products offered by the Company allow policyholders and contract holders to withdraw their funds under defined circumstances. The Company manages its liabilities and configures its investment portfolios so as to provide and maintain sufficient liquidity to support expected withdrawal demands and contract benefits and maturities. While the Company owns a significant amount of liquid assets, a certain portion of its assets are relatively illiquid. If the Company experiences unexpected withdrawal or surrender activity, it could exhaust its liquid assets and be forced to liquidate other assets, perhaps at a loss or on other unfavorable terms. If the Company's forced to dispose of assets at a loss or on unfavorable terms, it could have an adverse effect on the Company's financial condition. The degree of the adverse effect could vary in relation to the magnitude of the unexpected surrender or withdrawal activity.

Interest rate fluctuations could negatively affect the Company's interest earnings and spread income, or otherwise impact its business.

        Significant changes in interest rates expose insurance companies to the risk of not earning anticipated interest earnings on products without significant account balances, or anticipated spreads between the interest rate earned on investments and the credited interest rates paid on outstanding policies and contracts that have significant account balances. Both rising and declining interest rates can negatively affect the Company's interest earnings and spread income. While the Company develops and maintains asset/liability management programs and procedures designed to mitigate the effect on interest earnings and spread income in rising or falling interest rate environments, no assurance can be given that changes in interest rates will not affect such amounts.

        From time to time, the Company has participated in securities repurchase transactions that have contributed to the Company's investment income. No assurance can be given that such transactions will continue to be entered into and contribute to the Company's investment income in the future.

        Changes in interest rates may also impact its business in other ways. Lower interest rates may result in lower sales of certain of the Company's insurance and investment products. Certain of the Company's insurance and investment products guarantee a minimum credited interest rate, and the Company could become unable to earn its spread income should interest rates decrease significantly. The Company's expectation for future interest earnings and spreads is an important component in amortization of deferred acquisition costs ("DAC") and value of business acquired ("VOBA") and significantly lowers interest earnings or spreads that may cause it to accelerate amortization, thereby reducing net income in the affected reporting period. Additionally, during periods of declining interest rates, life insurance and annuity products may be relatively more attractive investments to consumers, resulting in increased premium payments on products with flexible premium features, repayment of policy loans and increased persistency, or a higher percentage of insurance policies remaining in force from year to year during a period when the Company's investments carry lower returns.

        Higher interest rates may create a less favorable environment for the origination of mortgage loans and decrease the investment income the Company receives in the form of prepayment fees, make-whole

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payments, and mortgage participation income. Higher interest rates may also increase the cost of debt and other obligations having floating rate or rate reset provisions and may result in lower sales of variable products. During periods of increasing market interest rates, the Company may offer higher crediting rates on interest-sensitive products, such as universal life insurance and fixed annuities, and it may increase crediting rates on in-force products to keep these products competitive. In addition, rapidly rising interest rates may cause increased policy surrenders, withdrawals from life insurance policies and annuity contracts, and requests for policy loans as policyholders and contractholders shift assets into higher yielding investments. Increases in crediting rates, as well as surrenders and withdrawals, could have an adverse effect on the Company's financial condition and results of operations.

        Additionally, the Company's asset/liability management programs and procedures incorporate assumptions about the relationship between short-term and long-term interest rates (i.e., the slope of the yield curve) and relationships between risk-adjusted and risk-free interest rates, market liquidity, and other factors. The effectiveness of the Company's asset/liability management programs and procedures may be negatively affected whenever actual results differ from these assumptions.

        In general, the Company's results are improved when the yield curve is positively sloped (i.e., when long-term interest rates are higher than short-term interest rates), and will be adversely affected by a flat or negatively sloped curve.

Equity market volatility could negatively impact the Company's business.

        Volatility in equity markets may discourage purchasers of variable separate account products, such as variable annuities, that have returns linked to the performance of equity markets and may cause some existing customers to withdraw cash values or reduce investments in those products. The amount of policy fees received from variable products is affected by the performance of the equity markets, increasing or decreasing as markets rise or fall.

        Equity market volatility can also affect the profitability of variable products in other ways, in particular as a result of death benefit and withdrawal benefit guarantees in these products. The estimated cost of providing guaranteed minimum death benefits and guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits incorporates various assumptions about the overall performance of equity markets over certain time periods. Periods of significant and sustained downturns in equity markets, increased equity volatility, or reduced interest rates could result in an increase in the valuation of the future policy benefit or policyholder account balance liabilities associated with such products, resulting in a reduction to net income.

        The amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs relating to variable products and the estimated cost of providing guaranteed minimum death benefits and guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits incorporates various assumptions about the overall performance of equity markets over certain time periods. The rate of amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs and the cost of providing guaranteed minimum death benefits and guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits could increase if equity market performance is worse than assumed.

Insurance companies are highly regulated and subject to numerous legal restrictions and regulations.

        The Company and its subsidiaries are subject to government regulation in each of the states in which they conduct business. Such regulation is vested in state agencies having broad administrative and in some instances discretionary power dealing with many aspects of the Company's business, which may include, among other things, premium rates and increases thereto, underwriting practices, reserve requirements, marketing practices, advertising, privacy, policy forms, reinsurance reserve requirements, acquisitions, mergers, and capital adequacy, and is concerned primarily with the protection of policyholders and other customers rather than shareowners. At any given time, a number of financial and/or market conduct examinations of the Company's subsidiaries may be ongoing. From time to time, regulators raise issues during examinations or audits of the Company's subsidiaries that could, if determined adverse, have a

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material impact on the Company. The Company's insurance subsidiaries are required to obtain state regulatory approval for rate increases for certain health insurance products, and the Company's profits may be adversely affected if the requested rate increases are not approved in full by regulators in a timely fashion.

        Under insurance guaranty fund laws in most states, insurance companies doing business therein can be assessed up to prescribed limits for policyholder losses incurred by insolvent companies. The Company cannot predict the amount or timing of any future assessments.

        The purchase of life insurance products is limited by state insurable interest laws, which in most jurisdictions require that the purchaser of life insurance name a beneficiary that has some interest in the sustained life of the insured. To some extent, the insurable interest laws present a barrier to the life settlement, or "stranger-owned" industry, in which a financial entity acquires an interest in life insurance proceeds, and efforts have been made in some states to liberalize the insurable interest laws. To the extent these laws are relaxed, the Company's lapse assumptions may prove to be incorrect.

        Although the Company and its subsidiaries are subject to state regulation, in many instances the state regulatory models emanate from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC"). State insurance regulators and the NAIC regularly re-examine existing laws and regulations applicable to insurance companies and their products. Changes in these laws and regulations, or in interpretations thereof, are often made for the benefit of the consumer and at the expense of the insurer and, thus, could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition and results of operations. The Company is also subject to the risk that compliance with any particular regulator's interpretation of a legal or accounting issue may not result in compliance with another regulator's interpretation of the same issue, particularly when compliance is judged in hindsight. There is an additional risk that any particular regulator's interpretation of a legal or accounting issue may change over time to the Company's detriment, or that changes to the overall legal or market environment, even absent any change of interpretation by a particular regulator, may cause the Company to change its views regarding the actions it needs to take from a legal risk management perspective, which could necessitate changes to the Company's practices that may, in some cases, limit its ability to grow and improve profitability.

        Some of the NAIC pronouncements, particularly as they affect accounting issues, take effect automatically in the various states without affirmative action by the states. Statutes, regulations, and interpretations may be applied with retroactive impact, particularly in areas such as accounting and reserve requirements. Also, regulatory actions with prospective impact can potentially have a significant impact on currently sold products. As an example of both retroactive and prospective impacts, in late 2005, the NAIC approved an amendment to Actuarial Guideline 38 ("AG38"), commonly known as AXXX, which interprets the reserve requirements for universal life insurance with secondary guarantees. This amendment retroactively increased the reserve requirements for universal life insurance with secondary guarantee products issued after July 1, 2005. This change to AG38 also affected the profitability of universal life products sold after the adoption date. The NAIC is continuing to study reserving methodology and has issued additional changes to AXXX and Regulation XXX, which have had the effect of modestly decreasing the reserves required for certain traditional and universal life policies that were issued on January 1, 2007 and later. In addition, accounting and actuarial groups within the NAIC have studied whether to change the accounting standards that relate to certain reinsurance credits, and if changes were made, whether they should be applied retrospectively, prospectively only, or in a phased-in manner. A requirement to reduce the reserve credits on ceded business, if applied retroactively, would have a negative impact on the statutory capital of the Company. The NAIC continues to work to reform state regulation in various areas, including comprehensive reforms relating to life insurance reserves.

        At the federal level, bills are routinely introduced in both chambers of the United States Congress which could affect life insurers. In the past, Congress has considered legislation that would impact insurance companies in numerous ways, such as providing for an optional federal charter or federal

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presence for insurance, pre-empting state law in certain respects regarding the regulation of reinsurance, increasing federal oversight in areas such as consumer protection and solvency regulation, and other matters. The Company cannot predict whether or in what form reforms will be enacted and, if so, whether the enacted reforms will positively or negatively affect the Company or whether any effects will be material.

        In 2009, the Obama Administration released a set of proposed reforms with respect to financial services entities. As part of a larger effort to strengthen the regulation of the financial services market, the proposal outlines certain reforms applicable to the insurance industry. Although no legislation has been enacted or regulations promulgated with respect to the proposal, there is currently legislation pending before Congress which would require changes to law or regulation applicable to the Company, including but not limited to: the establishment of federal regulatory authority over derivatives, the establishment of consolidated federal regulation and resolution authority over systemically important financial services firms, changes to the regulation of broker dealers and investment advisors, and the imposition of additional regulation over credit rating agencies. Any additional legislation or regulatory requirements applicable to the Company or those entities with which it does business promulgated in connection with the proposal may make it more expensive for the Company to conduct its business and subject the Company to an additional layer of regulatory oversight. Such actions by Congress could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition and results of operations.

        The proposal as well as legislation pending before Congress also calls for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency ("CFPA") with jurisdiction over credit, savings, payment, and other consumer financial products and services, other than investment products already regulated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Certain of the Company's subsidiaries sell products that could be regulated by the CFPA. Any such regulation by the CFPA could make it more difficult or costly for the Company's subsidiaries to sell certain products and have a material adverse effect on its financial condition and results of operations.

        The Company's subsidiaries may also be subject to regulation by the United States Department of Labor when providing a variety of products and services to employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). Severe penalties are imposed for breach of duties under ERISA.

        Certain policies, contracts, and annuities offered by the Company's subsidiaries are subject to regulation under the federal securities laws administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The federal securities laws contain regulatory restrictions and criminal, administrative, and private remedial provisions.

        Other types of regulation that could affect the Company and its subsidiaries include insurance company investment laws and regulations, state statutory accounting practices, anti-trust laws, minimum solvency requirements, state securities laws, federal privacy laws, insurable interest laws, federal anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws, and because the Company owns and operates real property, state, federal, and local environmental laws. The Company cannot predict what form any future changes in these or other areas of regulation affecting the insurance industry might take or what effect, if any, such proposals might have on the Company if enacted into law.

Changes to tax law or interpretations of existing tax law could adversely affect the Company and its ability to compete with non-insurance products or reduce the demand for certain insurance products.

        Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), income tax payable by policyholders on investment earnings is deferred during the accumulation period of certain life insurance and annuity products. This favorable tax treatment may give certain of the Company's products a competitive advantage over other non-insurance products. To the extent that the Code is revised to reduce the tax-deferred status of life insurance and annuity products, or to increase the tax-deferred status of

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competing products, all life insurance companies, including the Company's subsidiaries, would be adversely affected with respect to their ability to sell such products, and, depending upon grandfathering provisions, would be affected by the surrenders of existing annuity contracts and life insurance policies. For example, changes in laws or regulations could restrict or eliminate the advantages of certain corporate or bank-owned life insurance products. Changes in tax law, which have reduced the federal income tax rates on corporate dividends in certain circumstances, could make the tax advantages of investing in certain life insurance or annuity products less attractive. Additionally, changes in tax law based on proposals to establish new tax advantaged retirement and life savings plans, if enacted, could reduce the tax advantage of investing in certain life insurance or annuity products. In addition, life insurance products are often used to fund estate tax obligations. Legislation has been enacted that reduces and eventually eliminates the federal estate tax. Under the legislation that has been enacted, the estate tax will be reinstated, in its entirety, in 2011 and thereafter. Members of Congress have expressed a desire to modify the existing legislation, which this modification could result in a faster or more complete reduction or repeal of the estate tax. If the estate tax is significantly reduced or eliminated, the demand for certain life insurance products could be adversely affected. Additionally, the Company is subject to the federal corporation income tax. The Company cannot predict what changes to tax law or interpretations of existing tax law may ultimately be enacted or adopted or whether such changes could adversely affect the Company.

        The Company's move away from relying on reinsurance for newly written traditional life products results in a net reduction of current taxes (but an increase in deferred taxes). The resulting benefit of reduced current taxes is attributed to the applicable life products and is an important component of the profitability of these products. The profitability and competitive position of these products is dependent on the continuation of current tax law and the ability to generate taxable income.

The Company may be required to establish a valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets, which could materially adversely affect the Company's results of operations, financial condition, and capital position.

        Deferred tax assets refer to assets that are attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets in essence represent future savings of taxes that would otherwise be paid in cash. The realization of the deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of sufficient future taxable income, including capital gains. If it is determined that the deferred tax assets cannot be realized, a deferred tax valuation allowance must be established, with a corresponding charge to net income.

        Based on the Company's current assessment of future taxable income, including available tax planning opportunities, the Company anticipates that it is more likely than not that it will generate sufficient taxable income to realize its material deferred tax assets. If future events differ from the Company's current forecasts, a valuation allowance may need to be established, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations, financial condition, and capital position.

Financial services companies are frequently the targets of litigation, including class action litigation, which could result in substantial judgments.

        A number of civil jury verdicts have been returned against insurers, broker-dealers, and other providers of financial services involving sales, underwriting practices, product design, product disclosure, administration, denial or delay of benefits, charging excessive or impermissible fees, recommending unsuitable products to customers, breaching fiduciary or other duties to customers, refund or claims practices, alleged agent misconduct, failure to properly supervise representatives, relationships with agents or other persons with whom the insurer does business, payment of sales or other contingent commissions, and other matters. Often these lawsuits have resulted in the award of substantial judgments that are disproportionate to the actual damages, including material amounts of punitive non-economic compensatory damages. In some states, juries, judges, and arbitrators have substantial discretion in awarding punitive and non-economic compensatory damages, which creates the potential for unpredictable

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material adverse judgments or awards in any given lawsuit or arbitration. Arbitration awards are subject to very limited appellate review. In addition, in some class action and other lawsuits, companies have made material settlement payments.

        Group health coverage issued through associations and credit insurance coverages have received some negative publicity in the media as well as increased regulatory consideration and review and litigation. The Company has a small closed block of group health insurance coverage that was issued to members of an association; a purported class action lawsuit is currently pending against the Company in connection with this business.

        In connection with the Company's discontinued Lender's Indemnity product, it has discovered facts and circumstances that support allegations against third parties (including policyholders and the administrator of the associated loan program), and it has instituted litigation to establish the rights and liabilities of various parties. A counterclaim in the litigation and separate related lawsuits has been filed by various parties seeking to assert liability against the Company for various matters. Claims that have been asserted against the Company in this litigation include alleged contractual claims, bad faith, claims with respect to policies for which premiums were not received by the Company, and recoupment based on a fraudulent transfer theory; with the exception of one remaining party, the litigation has been resolved and the Company continues to vigorously defend the remaining claim. Although the Company cannot predict the outcome of any litigation, it does not believe that the outcome of these matters will have a material impact on the Company's financial condition or results of operations.

        The Company, like other financial services companies in the ordinary course of business, is involved in litigation and arbitration. Although the Company cannot predict the outcome of any litigation or arbitration, the Company does not believe that any such outcome will have a material impact on the financial condition or results of operations of the Company.

Publicly held companies in general and the financial services industry in particular are sometimes the target of law enforcement investigations and the focus of increased regulatory scrutiny.

        Publicly held companies in general and the financial services and insurance industries in particular are sometimes the target of law enforcement and regulatory investigations relating to the numerous laws and regulations that govern such companies. Some companies have been the subject of law enforcement or other actions resulting from such investigations. Resulting publicity about one company may generate inquiries into or litigation against other publicly held companies and/or financial service providers, even those who do not engage in the business lines or practices at issue in the original action. It is impossible to predict the outcome of such investigations or actions, whether they will expand into other areas not yet contemplated, whether they will result in changes in insurance regulation, whether activities currently thought to be lawful will be characterized as unlawful, or the impact, if any, of such scrutiny on the financial services and insurance industry or the Company. From time to time, the Company receives subpoenas, requests, or other inquires and responds to them in the ordinary course of business.

The Company's ability to maintain competitive unit costs is dependent upon the level of new sales and persistency of existing business.

        The Company's ability to maintain competitive unit costs is dependent upon a number of factors, such as the level of new sales, persistency (continuation or renewal) of existing business, and expense management. A decrease in sales or persistency without a corresponding reduction in expenses may result in higher unit costs.

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        Additionally, a decrease in persistency may result in higher or more rapid amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs and thus higher unit costs, and lower reported earnings. Although many of the Company's products contain surrender charges, the charges decrease over time and may not be sufficient to cover the unamortized deferred policy acquisition costs with respect to the insurance policy or annuity contract being surrendered. Some of the Company's products do not contain surrender charge features and such products can be surrendered or exchanged without penalty. A decrease in persistency may also result in higher claims.

The Company's investments are subject to market, credit, legal, and regulatory risks. These risks could be heightened during periods of extreme volatility or disruption in financial and credit markets.

        The Company's invested assets and derivative financial instruments are subject to customary risks of credit defaults and changes in market values. These risks could be heightened during periods of extreme volatility or disruption in the financial and credit markets. A widening of credit spreads will increase the unrealized losses in the Company's investment portfolio. The factors affecting the financial and credit markets could lead to other-than-temporary impairments of assets in the Company's investment portfolio.

        The value of the Company's commercial mortgage loan portfolio depends in part on the financial condition of the tenants occupying the properties that the Company has financed. Factors that may affect the overall default rate on, and market value of, the Company's invested assets, derivative financial instruments, and mortgage loans include interest rate levels, financial market performance, and general economic conditions as well as particular circumstances affecting the businesses of individual borrowers and tenants.

        Significant continued financial and credit market volatility, changes in interest rates, credit spreads, credit defaults, real estate values, market illiquidity, declines in equity prices, acts of corporate malfeasance, ratings downgrades of the issuers or guarantors of these investments, and declines in general economic conditions, either alone or in combination, could have a material adverse impact on the Company's results of operations, financial condition, or cash flows through realized losses, impairments, changes in unrealized loss positions, and increased demands on capital. In addition, market volatility can make it difficult for the Company to value certain of its assets, especially if trading becomes less frequent. Valuations may include assumptions or estimates that may have significant period-to-period changes that could have an adverse impact on the Company's results of operations or financial condition.

        In addition, there are currently several proposals being considered by Congress and various agencies that would facilitate or require servicers of residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS") to modify the principal amount of, and/or restructure the amounts payable pursuant to, the residential mortgage loans underlying such securities. Similarly, there are currently several proposals being considered by Congress, including Senate Bill 61, which would grant a bankruptcy court the ability to modify or restructure the payments owing on mortgage loans, which loan modifications could result in a discharge of underlying principal amounts. To the extent a principal loss is imposed by a bankruptcy court (a so-called "cramdown"), under some RMBS structures, the loss would be allocated among the various tranches differently than would a loss resulting from foreclosure, and thus under some RMBS structures could have a disproportionate effect on the higher rated tranches. The Company is unable to predict whether such proposals will be approved and, if so, what specific impact such proposals would have on its fixed income investment portfolio. However, a reduction in the principal amount of the mortgage loans securing a RMBS in the Company's portfolio could result in, among other things, a ratings downgrade of the individual RMBS, a reduction in the market value of the RMBS, and/or accelerated loss of principal on the RMBS. The occurrence of these events could have a material adverse impact on the Company's capital position for regulatory and other purposes, its business, and its results of operations.

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The Company may not realize its anticipated financial results from its acquisitions strategy.

        The Company's acquisitions have increased its earnings in part by allowing the Company to enter new markets and to position itself to realize certain operating efficiencies. There can be no assurance, however, that suitable acquisitions presenting opportunities for continued growth and operating efficiencies, or capital to fund acquisitions, will continue to be available to the Company, or that the Company will realize the anticipated financial results from its acquisitions.

        The Company may be unable to complete an acquisition, or completion of an acquisition may be more costly or take longer than expected or may have a different financing structure than initially contemplated. Moreover, the financial distress experienced by certain financial services industry participants as a result of recent economic conditions may lead to favorable acquisition opportunities, although the Company's ability to pursue such opportunities may be limited due to lower earnings, reserve increases, and a lack of access to sources of financing.

        The Company may be unable to obtain regulatory approvals that may be required to complete an acquisition. There may be unforeseen liabilities that arise in connection with businesses that the Company acquires. Additionally, in connection with its acquisitions, the Company assumes, or otherwise becomes responsible for, the obligations of policies and other liabilities of other insurers. Any regulatory, legal, financial, or other adverse development affecting the other insurer could also have an adverse effect on the Company.

The Company is dependent on the performance of others.

        The Company's results may be affected by the performance of others because the Company has entered into various arrangements involving other parties. For example, most of the Company's products are sold through independent distribution channels, variable annuity deposits are invested in funds managed by third parties, and certain modified coinsurance assets are managed by third parties. Also, a substantial portion of the Chase Insurance Group acquisition business is being administered by third-party administrators. Additionally, the Company's operations are dependent on various technologies, some of which are provided and/or maintained by other parties. Any of the other parties upon which the Company depends may default on their obligations to the Company due to bankruptcy, insolvency, lack of liquidity, adverse economic conditions, operational failure, fraud, or other reasons. Such defaults could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, and results of operations.

        Certain of these other parties may act on behalf of the Company or represent the Company in various capacities. Consequently, the Company may be held responsible for obligations that arise from the acts or omissions of these other parties.

        As with all financial services companies, the Company's ability to conduct business is dependent upon consumer confidence in the industry and its products. Actions of competitors and financial difficulties of other companies in the industry could undermine consumer confidence and adversely affect retention of existing business and future sales of the Company's insurance and investment products.

The Company's reinsurers could fail to meet assumed obligations, increase rates or be subject to adverse developments that could affect the Company.

        The Company and its insurance subsidiaries cede material amounts of insurance and transfer related assets to other insurance companies through reinsurance. The Company may enter into third-party reinsurance arrangements under which it will rely on the third party to collect premiums, pay claims, and/or perform customer service functions. However, notwithstanding the transfer of related assets or other issues, the Company remains liable with respect to ceded insurance should any reinsurer fail to meet the obligations assumed. Therefore, the failure, insolvency, or inability or unwillingness to pay under the

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terms of the reinsurance agreement with the Company of one or more of the Company's reinsurers could negatively impact the Company's earnings and financial position.

        The Company's ability to compete is dependent on the availability of reinsurance or other substitute financing solutions. Premium rates charged by the Company are based, in part, on the assumption that reinsurance will be available at a certain cost. Under certain reinsurance agreements, the reinsurer may increase the rate it charges the Company for the reinsurance. Therefore, if the cost of reinsurance were to increase, if reinsurance were to become unavailable, if alternatives to reinsurance were not available to the Company, or if a reinsurer should fail to meet its obligations, the Company could be adversely affected.

        Recently, access to reinsurance has become more costly for the Company as well as the insurance industry in general. This could have a negative effect on the Company's ability to compete. In recent years, the number of life reinsurers has decreased as the reinsurance industry has consolidated. The decreased number of participants in the life reinsurance market results in increased concentration of risk for insurers, including the Company. If the reinsurance market further contracts, the Company's ability to continue to offer its products on terms favorable to it could be adversely impacted.

        In addition, reinsurers are facing many challenges regarding illiquid credit and/or capital markets, investment downgrades, rating agency downgrades, deterioration of general economic conditions, and other factors negatively impacting the financial services industry. If such events cause a reinsurer to fail to meet its obligations, the Company would be adversely impacted.

        The Company has implemented, and plans to continue to expand, a reinsurance program through the use of captive reinsurers. Under these arrangements, an insurer owned by the Company serves as the reinsurer, and the consolidated books and tax returns of the Company reflects a liability consisting of the full reserve amount attributable to the reinsured business. The success of the Company's captive reinsurance program and related marketing efforts is dependent on a number of factors outside the control of the Company, including continued access to financial solutions, a favorable regulatory environment, and the overall tax position of the Company. If the captive reinsurance program is not successful, the Company's ability to continue to offer its products on terms favorable to it would be adversely impacted.

The occurrence of computer viruses, network security breaches, disasters, or other unanticipated events could affect the data processing systems of the Company or its business partners and could damage the Company's business and adversely affect its financial condition and results of operations.

        A computer virus could affect the data processing systems of the Company or its business partners, destroying valuable data or making it difficult to conduct business. In addition, despite the Company's implementation of network security measures, its servers could be subject to physical and electronic break-ins, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with its computer systems.

        The Company retains confidential information in its computer systems, and relies on sophisticated commercial technologies to maintain the security of those systems. Anyone who is able to circumvent the Company's security measures and penetrate the Company's computer systems could access, view, misappropriate, alter, or delete any information in the systems, including personally identifiable customer information and proprietary business information. In addition, an increasing number of states require that customers be notified of unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of their information. Any compromise of the security of the Company's computer systems that results in inappropriate access, use, or disclosure of personally identifiable customer information could damage the Company's reputation in the marketplace, deter people from purchasing the Company's products, subject the Company to significant civil and criminal liability, and require the Company to incur significant technical, legal, and other expenses.

        In the event of a disaster such as a natural catastrophe, an industrial accident, a blackout, or a terrorist attack or war, the Company's computer systems may be inaccessible to its employees, customers, or business partners for an extended period of time. Even if the Company's employees are able to report to

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work, they may be unable to perform their duties for an extended period of time if the Company's data or systems are disabled or destroyed.

The Company's ability to grow depends in large part upon the continued availability of capital.

        The Company deploys significant amounts of capital to support its sales and acquisitions efforts. An amendment to Actuarial Guideline 38 increased the reserve requirements for universal life insurance with secondary guarantees for products issued after July 1, 2005. This amendment, along with the continued reserve requirements of Regulation XXX for traditional life insurance products, has caused the sale of these products to consume additional capital. The Company's future marketing plans are dependent on its ability to access financing solutions. Disruption of the credit markets, or the Company's inability to access capital, could have a negative impact on the Company's ability to grow. Although the Company believes it has sufficient capital to fund its immediate capital needs, the amount of capital available can vary significantly from period to period due to a variety of circumstances, some of which are not predictable, foreseeable, or within the Company's control. A lack of sufficient capital could have a material adverse impact on the Company's financial position and results of operations.

New accounting rules, changes to existing accounting rules, or the grant of permitted accounting practices to competitors could negatively impact the Company.

        Like all publicly traded companies, the Company is required to comply with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"). A number of organizations are instrumental in the development and interpretation of GAAP such as the SEC, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB"), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ("AICPA"). GAAP is subject to constant review by these organizations and others in an effort to address emerging accounting rules and issue interpretative accounting guidance on a continual basis. The Company can give no assurance that future changes to GAAP will not have a negative impact on the Company. GAAP includes the requirement to carry certain investments and insurance liabilities at fair value. These fair values are sensitive to various factors including, but not limited to, interest rate movements, credit spreads, and various other factors. Because of this, changes in these fair values may cause increased levels of volatility in the Company's financial statements.

        In addition, the Company's insurance subsidiaries are required to comply with statutory accounting principles ("SAP"). SAP and various components of SAP (such as actuarial reserving methodology) are subject to constant review by the NAIC and its task forces and committees as well as state insurance departments in an effort to address emerging issues and otherwise improve or alter financial reporting. Various proposals either are currently or have previously been pending before committees and task forces of the NAIC, some of which, if enacted, would negatively affect the Company, including one that relates to certain reinsurance credits, and some of which could positively impact the Company. The NAIC is also currently working to reform state regulation in various areas, including comprehensive reforms relating to life insurance reserves and the accounting for such reserves. The Company cannot predict whether or in what form reforms will be enacted and, if so, whether the enacted reforms will positively or negatively affect the Company. In addition, the NAIC Accounting Practices and Procedures manual provides that state insurance departments may permit insurance companies domiciled therein to depart from SAP by granting them permitted accounting practices. The Company cannot predict whether or when the insurance departments of the states of domicile of its competitors may permit them to utilize advantageous accounting practices that depart from SAP, the use of which is not permitted by the insurance departments of the states of domicile of the Company's insurance subsidiaries. With respect to regulations and guidelines, states sometimes defer to the interpretation of the insurance department of the state of domicile. Neither the action of the domiciliary state nor action of the NAIC is binding on a state. Accordingly, a state could choose to follow a different interpretation. The Company can give no assurance

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that future changes to SAP or components of SAP or the grant of permitted accounting practices to its competitors will not have a negative impact on the Company.

The Company's risk management policies and procedures could leave it exposed to unidentified or unanticipated risk, which could negatively affect our business or result in losses.

        The Company has developed risk management policies and procedures and expects to continue to enhance these in the future. Nonetheless, the Company's policies and procedures to identify, monitor, and manage both internal and external risks may not predict future exposures, which could be different or significantly greater than expected.

        These identified risks may not be the only risks facing the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and/or operating results.

Credit market volatility or disruption could adversely impact the Company's financial condition or results from operations.

        Significant volatility or disruption in credit markets could have an adverse impact in several ways on either the Company's financial condition or results from operations. Changes in interest rates and credit spreads could cause market price and cash flow variability in the fixed income instruments in the Company's investment portfolio. Significant volatility and lack of liquidity in the credit markets could cause issuers of the fixed-income securities in the Company's investment portfolio to default on either principal or interest payments on these securities. Additionally, market price valuations may not accurately reflect the underlying expected cash flows of securities within the Company's investment portfolio.

        The Company's statutory surplus is also impacted by widening credit spreads as a result of the accounting for the assets and liabilities on its fixed market value adjusted ("MVA") annuities. Statutory separate account assets supporting the fixed MVA annuities are recorded at fair value. In determining the statutory reserve for the fixed MVA annuities, the Company is required to use current crediting rates based on U.S. Treasuries. In many capital market scenarios, current crediting rates based on U.S. Treasuries are highly correlated with market rates implicit in the fair value of statutory separate account assets. As a result, the change in the statutory reserve from period to period will likely substantially offset the change in the fair value of the statutory separate account assets. However, in periods of volatile credit markets, actual credit spreads on investment assets may increase sharply for certain sub-sectors of the overall credit market, resulting in statutory separate account asset market value losses. Credit spreads are not consistently fully reflected in crediting rates based on U.S. Treasuries, and the calculation of statutory reserves will not substantially offset the change in fair value of the statutory separate account assets resulting in reductions in statutory surplus. This situation would result in the need to devote significant additional capital to support fixed MVA annuity products.

        Volatility or disruption in the credit markets could also impact the Company's ability to efficiently access financial solutions for purposes of issuing long-term debt for financing purposes, its ability to obtain financial solutions for purposes of supporting certain traditional and universal life insurance products for capital management purposes, or result in an increase in the cost of existing securitization structures.

        The ability of the Company to implement financing solutions designed to fund a portion of statutory reserves on both the traditional and universal life blocks of business is dependent upon factors such as the ratings of the Company, the size of the blocks of business affected, the mortality experience of the Company, the credit markets, and other factors. The Company cannot predict the continued availability of such solutions or the form that the market may dictate. To the extent that such financing solutions are not available, the Company's financial position could be adversely affected through impacts including, but not limited to, higher borrowing costs, surplus strain, lower sales capacity, and possible reduced earnings expectations.

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Disruption of the capital and credit markets could negatively affect the Company's ability to meet its liquidity and financing needs.

        The Company needs liquidity to meet its obligations to its policyholders and its debt holders, and to pay its operating expenses. The Company's sources of liquidity include insurance premiums, annuity considerations, deposit funds, cash flow from investments and assets, and other income from its operations. In normal credit and capital market conditions, the Company's sources of liquidity also include a variety of short and long-term borrowing arrangements, including issuing debt securities, as well as raising capital by issuing a variety of equity securities.

        The Company's business is dependent on the capital and credit markets, including confidence in such markets. When the credit and capital markets are disrupted and confidence is eroded the Company may not be able to borrow or raise equity capital, or the cost of borrowing or raising equity capital may be prohibitively high. If the Company's internal sources of liquidity are inadequate during such periods, the Company could suffer negative effects from not being able to borrow or raise capital, or from having to do so on unfavorable terms. The negative effects could include being forced to sell assets at a loss, a lowering of the Company's credit ratings and the financial strength ratings of its insurance subsidiaries, and the possibility that customers, lenders, shareholders, ratings agencies, or regulators develop a negative perception of the Company's financial prospects, which could lead to further adverse effects on the Company.

Difficult conditions in the economy generally could adversely affect the Company's business and results from operations.

        A general economic slowdown could adversely affect the Company in the form of consumer behavior and pressure on the Company's investment portfolios. Consumer behavior could include decreased demand for the Company's products and elevated levels of policy lapses, policy loans, withdrawals, and surrenders. The Company's investment and mortgage loan portfolios could be adversely affected as a result of deteriorating financial and business conditions affecting the issuers of the securities in the Company's investment portfolio and the Company's commercial mortgage loan borrowers and their tenants.

Deterioration of general economic conditions could result in a severe and extended economic recession, which could materially adversely affect the Company's business and results of operations.

        On December 1, 2008, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared that the United States economy has been in a recession since December of 2007. The U.S. Department of Labor announced in December of 2009 that the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.6 million, or 5%, since the recession began. While economic indicators have fluctuated throughout 2009, continued concerns over a weakened labor market, deficit spending, the value of the U.S. dollar, the availability and cost of credit, and sustained declines in the housing market continue to exert downward pressure on the consumer confidence index.

        Like other financial institutions, and particularly life insurers, the Company has been adversely affected by these conditions. The continued presence of these conditions could have an adverse impact on the Company by, among other things, exerting deep downward pressure on the price of the Company's stock, decreasing demand for its insurance and investment products, and increasing the level of lapses and surrenders of its policies. The Company and its subsidiaries could also experience additional ratings downgrades from ratings agencies, unrealized losses, significant realized losses, impairments in its investment portfolio, and charges incurred as a result of mark-to-market and fair value accounting principles. If the current economic conditions worsen, the Company's ability to access sources of capital and liquidity may be further limited.

        Economic trends may worsen in 2010, thus contributing to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and markets. This could result in a severe and extended economic recession

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characterized by protracted declines in business activity and consumer confidence. The Company cannot predict the duration of such a recession or, when the global economy improves, how long it will take to return to historically normal levels. The occurrence of a severe and extended economic recession could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business and results of operations.

There can be no assurance that the actions of the U.S. Government or other governmental and regulatory bodies for the purpose of stabilizing the financial markets will achieve their intended effect.

        On February 10, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was replacing the programs enacted pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ("EESA") with new programs collectively entitled the Financial Stability Plan. In addition, Congress continues to consider various measures designed to facilitate stabilization and stimulate the financial markets. The Company cannot predict whether these actions will achieve their intended effect nor can it predict the duration of the programs. Additionally, the Company cannot predict whether such actions will place it at a disadvantage relative to its competitors within the financial services industry.

The Company may not be able to protect its intellectual property and may be subject to infringement claims.

        The Company relies on a combination of contractual rights and copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret laws to establish and protect its intellectual property. Although the Company uses a broad range of measures to protect its intellectual property rights, third parties may infringe or misappropriate its intellectual property. The Company may have to litigate to enforce and protect its copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, and know-how or to determine their scope, validity, or enforceability, which represents a diversion of resources that may be significant in amount and may not prove successful. The loss of intellectual property protection or the inability to secure or enforce the protection of the Company's intellectual property assets could have a material adverse effect on its business and ability to compete.

        The Company also may be subject to costly litigation in the event that another party alleges its operations or activities infringe upon that party's intellectual property rights. Third parties may have, or may eventually be issued, patents that could be infringed by the Company's products, methods, processes, or services. Any party that holds such a patent could make a claim of infringement against the Company. The Company may also be subject to claims by third parties for breach of copyright, trademark, trade secret, or license usage rights. Any such claims and any resulting litigation could result in significant liability for damages. If the Company were found to have infringed a third-party patent or other intellectual property rights, it could incur substantial liability, and in some circumstances could be enjoined from providing certain products or services to its customers or utilizing and benefiting from certain methods, processes, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or licenses, or alternatively could be required to enter into costly licensing arrangements with third parties, all of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations, and financial condition.

The Company could be adversely affected by an inability to access its credit facility.

        The Company relies on its credit facility as a potential source of liquidity. The availability of these funds could be critical to the Company's credit and financial strength ratings and its ability to meet obligations, particularly in the current market when alternative sources of credit are either difficult to access or costly. The availability of the Company's credit facility is dependent in part on the ability of the lenders to provide funds under the facility. The Company's credit facility contains various affirmative and negative covenants and events of default, including covenants requiring the Company to maintain a specified minimum consolidated net worth. The Company's right to make borrowings under the facility is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions, including its compliance with all covenants. The Company's failure to comply with the covenants in the credit facility could restrict its ability to access this credit facility when needed. The Company's inability to access some or all of the line or credit under the credit facility could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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The amount of statutory capital that the Company has and the amount of statutory capital that it must hold to maintain its financial strength and credit ratings and meet other requirements can vary significantly from time to time and is sensitive to a number of factors outside of the Company's control.

        The Company primarily conducts business through licensed insurance company subsidiaries. Insurance regulators have established regulations that provide minimum capitalization requirements based on risk-based capital ("RBC") formulas for life and property and casualty companies. The RBC formula for life insurance companies establishes capital requirements relating to insurance, business, asset, interest rate, and certain other risks.

        In any particular year, statutory surplus amounts and RBC ratios may increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors; the amount of statutory income or losses generated by the Company's insurance subsidiaries (which itself is sensitive to equity market and credit market conditions), the amount of additional capital its insurance subsidiaries must hold to support business growth, changes in the Company's reserve requirements, the Company's ability to secure capital market solutions to provide reserve relief, changes in equity market levels, the value of certain fixed-income and equity securities in its investment portfolio, the credit ratings of investments held in its portfolio, the value of certain derivative instruments, changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates, credit market volatility, changes in consumer behavior, as well as changes to the NAIC RBC formula. Most of these factors are outside of the Company's control. The Company's financial strength and credit ratings are significantly influenced by the statutory surplus amounts and RBC ratios of its insurance company subsidiaries. Rating agencies may implement changes to their internal models that have the effect of increasing or decreasing the amount of statutory capital the Company must hold in order to maintain its current ratings. In addition, rating agencies may downgrade the investments held in the Company's portfolio, which could result in a reduction of the Company's capital and surplus and/or its RBC ratio.

        In extreme scenarios of equity market declines, the amount of additional statutory reserves the Company is required to hold for its variable product guarantees may increase at a rate greater than the rate of change of the markets. Increases in reserves could result in a reduction to the Company's capital, surplus, and/or RBC ratio. Also, in environments where there is not a correlative relationship between interest rates and spreads, the Company's market value adjusted annuity product can have a material adverse effect on the Company's statutory surplus position.

Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments

        None.

Item 2.    Properties

        The Company's home office is located at 2801 Highway 280 South, Birmingham, Alabama. The Company owns two buildings consisting of 310,000 square feet constructed in two phases. Building 1 was constructed in 1974 and Building 2 was constructed in 1982. Additionally, the Company leases a third 310,000 square-foot building constructed in 2004. Parking is provided for approximately 2,594 vehicles.

        The Company leases administrative and marketing office space in 23 cities, including 23,586 square feet in Birmingham (excluding the home office building), with most leases being for periods of three to ten years. The aggregate annualized rent is approximately $7.2 million.

        The Company believes its properties are adequate and suitable for the Company's business as currently conducted and are adequately maintained. The above properties do not include properties the Company owns for investment only.

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Item 3.    Legal Proceedings

        To the knowledge and in the opinion of management, there are no material pending legal proceedings, other than ordinary routine litigation incidental to the business of the Company, to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is a party or of which any of our properties is the subject. For additional information regarding legal proceedings see Item 1A, Risk Factors and Cautionary Factors that may Affect Future Results included herein.

Item 4.    Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

        No matter was submitted during the fourth quarter of 2009 to a vote of the Company's security holders.

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PART II

Item 5.    Market for the Registrant's Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

        The Company's Common Stock is listed and principally traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE symbol: PL). The following table sets forth the highest and lowest closing prices of the Company's Common Stock, $0.50 par value, as reported by the New York Stock Exchange during the periods indicated, along with the dividends paid per share of Common Stock during the same periods.

 
  Range    
 
 
  High   Low   Dividends  

2009

                   
 

First Quarter

  $ 16.77   $ 2.92   $ 0.120  
 

Second Quarter

    13.48     5.51     0.120  
 

Third Quarter

    23.97     10.57     0.120  
 

Fourth Quarter

    22.64     15.80     0.120  

2008

                   
 

First Quarter

  $ 41.13   $ 36.82   $ 0.225  
 

Second Quarter

    43.69     38.05     0.235  
 

Third Quarter

    38.07     25.75     0.235  
 

Fourth Quarter

    37.10     5.73     0.120  

        On December 31, 2009, there were approximately 1,403 owners of record of the Company's Common Stock.

        The Company (or its predecessor) has paid cash dividends each year since 1926 and each quarter since 1934. The Company expects to continue to pay cash dividends, subject to its earnings and financial condition, regulatory requirements, capital needs, and other relevant factors. The Company's ability to pay cash dividends is dependent in part on cash dividends received by the Company from its life insurance subsidiaries and regulatory requirements. See Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, "Liquidity and Capital Resources" included herein. Such subsidiary dividends are restricted by the various insurance laws of the states in which the subsidiaries are incorporated. See Item 1, Business, "Regulation".

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer

        The following table summarizes the Company's repurchases of its common stock:

Period
  Total Number
of Shares
Purchased
  Average
Price Paid
Per Share
  Total Number
of Shares
Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced
Programs
  Approximate
Value of
Shares that
May Yet Be
Purchased Under
the Program(1)
 
 
  (Dollars In Thousands, Except Share Amounts)
 

January 1, 2008 through January 31, 2008

      $       $ 100,000  

February 1, 2008 through February 29, 2008

    129,900   $ 38.56     129,900   $ 94,988  

March 1, 2008 through March 31, 2008

    320,900   $ 37.77     320,900   $ 82,857  
                       
 

Total

    450,800   $ 38.00     450,800   $ 82,857  
                       
(1)
In May 2004, the Company announced the initiation of its $100 million share repurchase program, which commenced execution on February 12, 2008.

        On May 7, 2007, the Company's Board of Directors extended the Company's previously authorized $100 million share repurchase program. The Company announced on February 12, 2008, that it had commenced execution of this repurchase plan. The current authorization extends through May 6, 2010. Future activity will be dependent upon many factors, including capital levels, rating agency expectations, and the relative attractiveness of alternative uses for capital. There were no shares repurchased during the

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year ended December 31, 2009. The remaining capacity, expressed in aggregate value of shares, which may be repurchased under the existing program is approximately $82.9 million.

Item 6.    Selected Financial Data

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
 

INCOME STATEMENT DATA

                               

Premiums and policy fees

  $ 2,689,699   $ 2,692,553   $ 2,727,023   $ 2,317,337   $ 1,955,780  

Reinsurance ceded

    (1,527,053 )   (1,582,810 )   (1,600,684 )   (1,371,215 )   (1,226,857 )
                       

Net of reinsurance ceded

    1,162,646     1,109,743     1,126,339     946,122     728,923  

Net investment income

    1,665,036     1,675,164     1,675,934     1,419,778     1,180,502  

Realized investment gains (losses)

                               
 

Derivative financial instruments

    (177,953 )   116,657     8,469     (21,516 )   (30,881 )
 

All other investments

    300,194     (272,694 )   8,650     109,773     61,191  

Other-than-temporary impairment losses

    (227,770 )   (311,798 )   (48 )   (5,689 )   (11,798 )
 

Portion of loss recognized in other comprehensive income (before taxes)

    47,725                  
                       

Net impairment losses recognized in earnings

    (180,045 )   (311,798 )   (48 )   (5,689 )   (11,798 )

Other income

    298,148     188,492     232,357     230,665     181,267  
                       
 

Total revenues

    3,068,026     2,505,564     3,051,701     2,679,133     2,109,204  

Benefits and expenses

    2,651,248     2,580,695     2,615,613     2,247,225     1,732,191  

Income tax (benefit) expense

    145,290     (33,276 )   146,522     150,347     130,446  

Change in accounting principle

                     
                       

Net income (loss)

  $ 271,488   $ (41,855 ) $ 289,566   $ 281,561   $ 246,567  
                       

PER SHARE DATA

                               

Net income (loss) from continuing operations(1)—basic

  $ 3.37   $ (0.59 ) $ 4.07   $ 3.98   $ 3.49  

Net income (loss)—basic

  $ 3.37   $ (0.59 ) $ 4.07   $ 3.98   $ 3.49  

Average share outstanding—basic

    80,488,694     71,108,961     71,061,152     70,795,453     70,562,186  

Net income (loss) from continuing operations(1)—diluted

  $ 3.34   $ (0.59 ) $ 4.05   $ 3.94   $ 3.46  

Net income (loss)—diluted

  $ 3.34   $ (0.59 ) $ 4.05   $ 3.94   $ 3.46  

Average share outstanding—diluted

    81,249,265     71,108,961 (2)   71,478,021     71,390,513     71,350,541  

Cash dividends

  $ 0.48   $ 0.82   $ 0.89   $ 0.84   $ 0.760  

Shareowners' equity

  $ 28.96   $ 10.89   $ 35.02   $ 33.06   $ 31.33  

 
  As of December 31,  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

BALANCE SHEET DATA

                               

Total assets

  $ 42,311,587   $ 39,572,449   $ 41,786,041   $ 39,795,294   $ 28,966,993  

Total stable value contracts and annuity account balances

    13,492,190     14,317,832     13,754,846     14,471,553     9,445,726  

Non-recourse funding obligations

    575,000     1,375,000     1,375,000     425,000     125,000  

Liabilities related to variable interest entities(3)

            400,000     420,395     448,093  

Long-term debt

    1,644,852     714,852     559,852     479,132     482,532  

Subordinated debt securities

    524,743     524,743     524,743     524,743     324,743  

Shareowners' equity

    2,478,821     761,095     2,456,761     2,313,075     2,183,660  
(1)
Net income (loss) excluding change in accounting principle for applicable periods.

(2)
Per the earnings per share guidance, the ASC Earnings Per Share Topic, no potential common shares are included in the computation of of diluted per share amounts when a loss from operations exists. See Note 15, Earnings (Loss) Per Share for additional information.

(3)
See Note 9, Debt and Other Obligations for additional information related to the elimination of this variable interest entity.

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Item 7.    Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

        The following Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") should be read in conjunction with our consolidated audited financial statements and related notes included herein.

        Certain reclassifications have been made in the previously reported financial statements and accompanying notes to make the prior period amounts comparable to those of the current period. Such reclassifications had no effect on previously reported net income or shareowners' equity.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS—CAUTIONARY LANGUAGE

        This report reviews our financial condition and results of operations including our liquidity and capital resources. Historical information is presented and discussed, and where appropriate, factors that may affect future financial performance are also identified and discussed. Certain statements made in this report include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include any statement that may predict, forecast, indicate, or imply future results, performance, or achievements instead of historical facts and may contain words like "believe," "expect," "estimate," "project," "budget," "forecast," "anticipate," "plan," "will," "shall," "may," and other words, phrases, or expressions with similar meaning. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the results contained in the forward-looking statements, and we cannot give assurances that such statements will prove to be correct. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. For more information about the risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could affect our future results, please refer to Item 1A, Risk Factors and Cautionary Factors that may Affect Future Results included herein.

OVERVIEW

        We are a holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with subsidiaries that provide financial services through the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and investment products. Founded in 1907, Protective Life Insurance Company ("PLICO") is our largest operating subsidiary. Unless the context otherwise requires, the "Company," "we," "us," or "our" refers to the consolidated group of Protective Life Corporation and our subsidiaries.

        We have several operating segments, each having a strategic focus. An operating segment is distinguished by products, channels of distribution, and/or other strategic distinctions. We periodically evaluate our operating segments as prescribed in the Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Segment Reporting Topic, and make adjustments to our segment reporting as needed.

        Our operating segments are Life Marketing, Acquisitions, Annuities, Stable Value Products, Asset Protection, and Corporate and Other.

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        For approximately 10 years prior to mid-2005, we entered into reinsurance contracts in which we ceded a significant percentage, generally 90%, of our newly written business on a first dollar quota share basis. Our traditional life insurance was ceded under coinsurance contracts and universal life insurance was ceded under yearly renewable term ("YRT") contracts. During this time, we obtained coinsurance on our traditional life business at favorable rates, while reducing the amount of capital deployed and increasing overall returns. In mid-2005, the Company substantially discontinued coinsuring its newly written traditional life insurance and moved to YRT reinsurance as discussed below. We continue to reinsure 90% of the mortality risk, but not the account values, on our newly written universal life insurance.

        We currently enter into reinsurance contracts with reinsurers under YRT contracts to provide coverage for insurance issued in excess of the amount it retains on any one life. The amount of insurance retained on any one life was $500,000 in years prior to mid-2005. In 2005, this retention was increased to amounts up to $1,000,000 for certain policies, and during 2008, was increased to $2,000,000 for certain policies.

        During recent years, the life reinsurance market continued the process of consolidation and tightening, resulting in a higher net cost of reinsurance for much of our life insurance business. We have also been challenged by changes in the reinsurance market which have impacted management of capital, particularly in our traditional life business which is required to hold reserves pursuant to the Valuation of Life Insurance Policies Model Regulation ("Regulation XXX"). In response to these challenges, in 2005 we reduced our overall reliance on reinsurance by changing from coinsurance to YRT reinsurance arrangements for newly issued traditional life products.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

        In the face of very difficult economic conditions, we made solid progress on many fronts in 2009 and finished the year on a strong and positive note. In light of the challenges experienced in the economic and market environment during 2009, we strategically positioned ourselves to weather the economic climate by taking actions such as shifting our focus to products that are less capital intensive, implementing pricing initiatives, initiating expense saving initiatives, maintaining a solid distribution network, and reducing sales with less attractive spread levels. Operating earnings were at a record level for 2009. Shareowners' equity at December 31, 2009, reached a record level, and shareowners' equity improved materially from that reported as of December 31, 2008. We were also able to maintain good relationships with distributors, customers, and regulators in this environment.

        In addition, we significantly improved our statutory capital position in 2009. During the second quarter of 2009, we issued 15.5 million shares of common stock through a public offering. This offering generated approximately $132.8 million of net proceeds to the Company. During the fourth quarter of 2009, we recorded a pre-tax gain, net of deferred issue costs, of approximately $126.3 million, related to the issuance of $800 million aggregate senior notes and the concurrent re-purchase of $800 million in non-recourse funding obligations held by third parties, at a discount.

        Our core operating fundamentals, in addition to the gain mentioned above, contributed to our continued success for the year ended December 31, 2009, reflected in the year's pretax operating income of $495.4 million. During 2009, we also experienced significant improvements in our net unrealized loss position. As of December 31, 2009, our net unrealized loss position was $256.7 million, after tax and deferred acquisition costs ("DAC") offsets, an improvement of $1.3 billion or approximately 83.7%, compared to December 31, 2008.

        These positive accomplishments notwithstanding, the year also included some disappointments. These included ratings downgrades, a significant decline in our stock price from its peak in 2007, a reduction in earnings from holding large amounts of liquidity, material investment losses, and the dilutive effect of the aforementioned equity offering. We continue to see challenges ahead given the current environment, and therefore have a continued focus on balancing our overall capital strategy with earnings growth expectations and risk management.

        Significant financial information related to each of our segments is included in "Results of Operations".

RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

        The factors which could affect our future results include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions and the following risks and uncertainties:

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        For more information about the risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could affect our future results, please see Part I, Item 1A of this report.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES

        Our accounting policies inherently require the use of judgments relating to a variety of assumptions and estimates, in particular expectations of current and future mortality, morbidity, persistency, expenses, and interest rates, as well as expectations around the valuations of securities. Because of the inherent uncertainty when using the assumptions and estimates, the effect of certain accounting policies under different conditions or assumptions could be materially different from those reported in the consolidated financial statements. A discussion of the various critical accounting policies is presented below.

        Evaluation of Other-Than-Temporary Impairments—One of the significant estimates related to available-for-sale securities is the evaluation of investments for other-than-temporary impairments. If a decline in the fair value of an available-for-sale security is judged to be other-than-temporary, the security's basis is adjusted and an other-than-temporary impairment is recognized through a charge in the statement of income (loss). The portion of this other-than-temporary impairment related to credit losses on a security is recognized in earnings, while the non-credit portion, representing the difference between fair value and the discounted expected future cash flows of the security, is recognized within other comprehensive income. The fair value of the other-than-temporarily impaired investment becomes its new cost basis. For fixed maturities, we accrete the new cost basis to par or to the estimated future value over the expected remaining life of the security by adjusting the security's future yields, assuming that future expected cash flows on the securities can be properly estimated.

        Determining whether a decline in the current fair value of invested assets is other-than-temporary is both objective and subjective, and can involve a variety of assumptions and estimates, particularly for

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investments that are not actively traded in established markets. For example, assessing the value of certain investments requires that we perform an analysis of expected future cash flows or rates of prepayments. Other investments, such as collateralized mortgage or bond obligations, represent selected tranches of a structured transaction, supported in the aggregate by underlying investments in a wide variety of issuers. Management considers a number of factors when determining the impairment status of individual securities. These include the economic condition of various industry segments and geographic locations and other areas of identified risks. Although it is possible for the impairment of one investment to affect other investments, we engage in ongoing risk management to safeguard against and limit any further risk to our investment portfolio. Special attention is given to correlative risks within specific industries, related parties, and business markets.

        For certain securitized financial assets with contractual cash flows including asset-backed securities ("ABS"), the ASC Investments-Other Topic, requires us to periodically update our best estimate of cash flows over the life of the security. If the fair value of a securitized financial asset is less than its cost or amortized cost and there has been a decrease in the present value of the estimated cash flows since the last revised estimate, considering both timing and amount, an other-than-temporary impairment charge is recognized. Estimating future cash flows is a quantitative and qualitative process that incorporates information received from third party sources along with certain internal assumptions and judgments regarding the future performance of the underlying collateral. Projections of expected future cash flows may change based upon new information regarding the performance of the underlying collateral. In addition, we consider our intent and ability to retain a temporarily depressed security until recovery.

        Each quarter the Company reviews investments with unrealized losses and tests for other-than-temporary impairments. The Company analyzes various factors to determine if any specific other-than-temporary asset impairments exist. These include, but are not limited to: 1) actions taken by rating agencies, 2) default by the issuer, 3) the significance of the decline, 4) an assessment of the Company's intent to sell the security (including a more likely than not assessment of whether the Company will be required to sell the security) before recovering the security's amortized cost, 5) the time period during which the decline has occurred, 6) an economic analysis of the issuer's industry, and 7) the financial strength, liquidity, and recoverability of the issuer. Management performs a security by security review each quarter in evaluating the need for any other-than-temporary impairments. Although no set formula is used in this process, the investment performance, collateral position, and continued viability of the issuer are significant measures considered, along with an analysis regarding the Company's expectations for recovery of the security's entire amortized cost basis through the receipt of future cash flows. Once a determination has been made that a specific other-than-temporary impairment exists, the security's basis is adjusted and an other-than-temporary impairment is recognized. Equity securities that are other-than temporarily impaired are written down to fair value with a realized loss recognized in earnings. Other-than-temporary impairments to debt securities that the Company does not intend to sell and does not expect to be required to sell before recovering the security's amortized cost are written down to discounted expected future cash flows ("post impairment cost") and credit losses are recorded in earnings. The difference between the securities' discounted expected future cash flows and the fair value of the securities is recognized in other comprehensive income as a non-credit portion of the recognized other-than-temporary impairment. When calculating the post impairment cost for residential mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and asset-backed securities, the Company considers all relevant market data to estimate future cash flows. When calculating the post impairment cost for corporate debt securities, the Company considers all contractual cash flows to estimate expected future cash flows. To calculate the post impairment cost, the expected future cash flows are discounted at the original purchase yield. Debt securities that the Company intends to sell or expects to be required to sell before recovery are written down to fair value with the change recognized in earnings. Based on our analysis, for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, we concluded that approximately $180.1 million and $311.8 million, excluding $6.8 million and $18.7 million of Modco related impairments, respectively, were other-than-temporarily impaired, due to credit-related factors, including an assessment of cash flows

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expected to be collected. Additionally, we recognized $47.7 million of non-credit losses during the year ended December 31, 2009, within other comprehensive income for the securities where an other-than-temporary impairment was recorded.

        Our specific accounting policies related to our invested assets are discussed in Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, and Note 4, Investment Operations, to the Consolidated Financial Statements. As of December 31, 2009, we held $20.9 billion of available-for-sale investments, including $9.0 billion in investments with a gross unrealized loss of $1.0 billion.

        Derivatives—We utilize derivative transactions primarily in order to reduce our exposure to interest rate risk, inflation risk, equity market risk, and currency exchange risk. We have also entered into certain credit default swaps to enhance the return on our investment portfolio. Assessing the effectiveness of the hedging programs and evaluating the carrying values of the related derivatives often involve a variety of assumptions and estimates. We employ a variety of methods for determining the fair value of our derivative instruments. The fair values of swaps, interest rate swaptions, and options are based upon industry standard models which calculate the present-value of the projected cash flows of the derivatives using current and implied future market conditions. These models include estimated volatility and interest rates in the determination of fair value where quoted market values are not available. The use of different assumptions may have a material effect on the estimated fair value amounts, as well as the amount of reported net income (loss). In addition, measurements of ineffectiveness of hedging relationships are subject to interpretations and estimations, and any differences may result in material changes to our results of operations. As of December 31, 2009, the fair value of derivatives reported on our balance sheet in "other long-term investments" and "other liabilities" was $39.5 million and $148.9 million, respectively.

        Reinsurance—For each of our reinsurance contracts, we must determine if the contract provides indemnification against loss or liability relating to insurance risk, in accordance with applicable accounting standards. We must review all contractual features, particularly those that may limit the amount of insurance risk to which we are subject or features that delay the timely reimbursement of claims. If we determine that the possibility of a significant loss from insurance risk will occur only under remote circumstances, we record the contract under a deposit method of accounting with the net amount payable/receivable reflected in other reinsurance assets or liabilities on our consolidated balance sheets. Fees earned on the contracts are reflected as other revenues, as opposed to premiums, in our Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss).

        Our reinsurance is ceded to a diverse group of reinsurers. The collectability of reinsurance is largely a function of the solvency of the individual reinsurers. We perform periodic credit reviews on our reinsurers, focusing on, among other things, financial capacity, stability, trends, and commitment to the reinsurance business. We also require assets in trust, letters of credit, or other acceptable collateral to support balances due from reinsurers not authorized to transact business in the applicable jurisdictions. Despite these measures, a reinsurer's insolvency, inability, or unwillingness to make payments under the terms of a reinsurance contract could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. As of December 31, 2009, our third-party reinsurance receivables amounted to $5.3 billion. These amounts include ceded reserve balances and ceded benefit payments.

        We account for reinsurance as required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") guidance under the ASC Financial Services Topic as applicable. In accordance with this guidance, costs for reinsurance are amortized as a level percentage of premiums for traditional life products and a level percentage of estimated gross profits for universal life products. Accordingly, ceded reserve and deferred acquisition cost balances are established using methodologies consistent with those used in establishing direct policyholder reserves and deferred acquisition costs. Establishing these balances requires the use of various assumptions including investment returns, mortality, persistency, and expenses. The assumptions made for establishing ceded reserves and ceded deferred acquisition costs are consistent with those used for establishing direct policyholder reserves and deferred acquisition costs.

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        Assumptions are also made regarding future reinsurance premium rates and allowance rates. Assumptions made for mortality, persistency, and expenses are consistent with those used for establishing direct policyholder reserves and deferred acquisition costs. Assumptions made for future reinsurance premium and allowance rates are consistent with rates provided for in our various reinsurance agreements. For certain of our reinsurance agreements, premium and allowance rates may be changed by reinsurers on a prospective basis, assuming certain contractual conditions are met (primarily that rates are changed for all companies with which the reinsurer has similar agreements). We do not anticipate any changes to these rates and, therefore, have assumed continuation of these non-guaranteed rates. To the extent that future rates are modified, these assumptions would be revised and both current and future results would be affected. For traditional life products, assumptions are not changed unless projected future revenues are expected to be less than future expenses. For universal life products, assumptions are periodically updated whenever actual experience and/or expectations for the future differ from that assumed. When assumptions are updated, changes are reflected in the income statement as part of an "unlocking" process. For the year ended December 31, 2009, there were no significant changes to reinsurance premium and allowance rates that would require an update of assumptions and subsequent unlocking of balances.

        Deferred acquisition costs and value of business acquired—We incur significant costs in connection with acquiring new insurance business. These costs, which vary with and are primarily related to the production of new business and coinsurance of blocks of policies, are deferred and amortized over future periods. The recovery of such costs is dependent on the future profitability of the related policies. The amount of future profit is dependent principally on investment returns, mortality, morbidity, persistency, and expenses to administer the business and certain economic variables, such as inflation. These costs are amortized over the expected lives of the contracts, based on the level and timing of either gross profits or gross premiums, depending on the type of contract. Revisions to estimates result in changes to the amounts expensed in the reporting period in which the revisions are made and could result in the impairment of the asset and a charge to income if estimated future profits are less than the unamortized deferred amounts. As of December 31, 2009, we had DAC/value of business acquired ("VOBA") of $3.7 billion.

        We had a DAC/VOBA asset of approximately $228.9 million related to our variable annuity product line with an account balance of $5.6 billion as of December 31, 2009. These amounts include $50.9 million and $2.4 billion, respectively, of DAC/VOBA asset and account balances associated with the variable annuity business of the Chase Insurance Group which has been 100% reinsured to Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company (formerly known as Allmerica Financial Life Insurance and Annuity Company) ("CALIC"), under a modified coinsurance agreement. We monitor the rate of amortization of DAC/VOBA associated with our variable annuity product line. Our monitoring methodologies employ varying assumptions about how much and how quickly the stock markets will appreciate. The primary assumptions used to project future profits as part of the analysis include: a long-term equity market growth rate of 8%, reversion to the mean methodology with no cap, reversion to the mean period of 10 years, and an amortization period of 30 years. A recovery in equity markets, or the use of methodologies and assumptions that anticipate a recovery, results in lower amounts of amortization, and a worsening of equity markets results in higher amounts of amortization.

        We periodically review and update as appropriate our key assumptions on products using the ASC Financial Services-Insurance Topic, including future mortality, expenses, lapses, premium persistency, investment yields, and interest spreads. Changes to these assumptions result in adjustments which increase or decrease DAC amortization and/or benefits and expenses. The periodic review and updating of assumptions is referred to as "unlocking".

        Goodwill—Accounting for goodwill requires an estimate of the future profitability of the associated lines of business to assess the recoverability of the capitalized acquisition goodwill. We evaluate the carrying value of goodwill at the segment (or reporting unit) level at least annually and between annual evaluations if events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the reporting unit below its carrying amount. Such circumstances could include, but are not limited

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to: 1) a significant adverse change in legal factors or in business climate, 2) unanticipated competition, or 3) an adverse action or assessment by a regulator. When evaluating whether goodwill is impaired, we compare our estimate of the fair value of the reporting unit to which the goodwill is assigned to the reporting unit's carrying amount, including goodwill. We utilize a fair value measurement (which includes a discounted cash flows analysis) to assess the carrying value of the reporting units in consideration of the recoverability of the goodwill balance assigned to each reporting unit as of the measurement date. Our material goodwill balances are attributable to our operating segments (which are considered to be reporting units). The cash flows used to determine the fair value of our reporting units are dependent on a number of significant assumptions. Our estimates are subject to change given the inherent uncertainty in predicting future results and cash flows, which are impacted by such things as policyholder behavior, competitor pricing, capital limitations, new product introductions, and specific industry and market conditions. Additionally, the discount rate used is based on our judgment of the appropriate rate for each reporting unit based on the relative risk associated with the projected cash flows. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, we evaluated our goodwill and determined that no adjustment to impair goodwill was necessary. As of December 31, 2009, we had goodwill of $117.9 million.

        We consider our market capitalization in assessing the reasonableness of the fair values estimated for our reporting units in connection with our goodwill impairment testing. In considering our December 31, 2009, common equity price, which was lower than our book value per share as of December 31, 2009, we noted there are several reasons that would result in our market capitalization being lower than the fair value of our reporting units that are tested for goodwill impairment. Such factors that would not be reflected in the valuation of our reporting units with goodwill include, but are not limited to: potential equity dilution, negative market sentiment, low valuation methodologies, and increased risk premium for holding investments in mortgage-backed securities and commercial mortgage loans. Deterioration of or adverse market conditions for certain businesses may have a significant impact on the fair value of our reporting units. As previously noted, the fair value of the Company's operating segments support the goodwill balance as of December 31, 2009, and the decline in market capitalization below book value during 2009 is not reflective or indicative of a decline in the prescribed and inherent fair values of the Company's operating segments (reporting units) where the material goodwill balances are attributable. As a result, in the Company's view, the decline in market capitalization during 2009 does not invalidate the Company's fair value assessment related to the recoverability of goodwill in its reporting units, and did not result in a triggering or impairment event.

        Insurance liabilities and reserves—Establishing an adequate liability for our obligations to policyholders requires the use of assumptions. Estimating liabilities for future policy benefits on life and health insurance products requires the use of assumptions relative to future investment yields, mortality, morbidity, persistency, and other assumptions based on our historical experience, modified as necessary to reflect anticipated trends and to include provisions for possible adverse deviation. Determining liabilities for our property and casualty insurance products also requires the use of assumptions, including the projected levels of used vehicle prices, the frequency and severity of claims, and the effectiveness of internal processes designed to reduce the level of claims. Our results depend significantly upon the extent to which our actual claims experience is consistent with the assumptions we used in determining our reserves and pricing our products. Our reserve assumptions and estimates require significant judgment and, therefore, are inherently uncertain. We cannot determine with precision the ultimate amounts that we will pay for actual claims or the timing of those payments. In addition, effective January 1, 2007, we adopted FASB guidance related to our equity indexed annuity product. FASB guidance under the ASC Derivatives and Hedging Topic requires that we fair value the liability related to this block of business at each balance sheet date, with changes in the fair value recorded through earnings. Changes in this liability may be significantly affected by interest rate fluctuations. As a result of the adoption of this guidance, we made certain modifications to the method used to determine fair value for our liability related to equity indexed annuities to take into consideration factors such as policyholder behavior, credit spreads, and other market considerations. As of December 31, 2009, we had total policy liabilities and accruals of $18.5 billion.

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        Guaranteed minimum death benefits—We also establish liabilities for guaranteed minimum death benefits ("GMDB") on our variable annuity products. The methods used to estimate the liabilities employ assumptions about mortality and the performance of equity markets. We assume mortality of 65% of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners 1994 Variable Annuity GMDB Mortality Table. Future declines in the equity market would increase our GMDB liability. Differences between the actual experience and the assumptions used result in variances in profit and could result in losses. Our GMDB as of December 31, 2009, is subject to a dollar-for-dollar reduction upon withdrawal of related annuity deposits on contracts issued prior to January 1, 2003. As of December 31, 2009, the GMDB liability balance equals zero.

        Guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits—We also establish liabilities for guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits ("GMWB") on our variable annuity products. The GMWB is valued in accordance with FASB guidance under the ASC Derivatives and Hedging Topic which utilizes the valuation technique prescribed by the ASC Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures Topic, which requires the liability to be marked-to-market using current implied volatilities for the equity indices. The methods used to estimate the liabilities employ assumptions about mortality, lapses, policyholder behavior, equity market returns, interest rates, and market volatility. We assume mortality of 65% of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners 1994 Variable Annuity GMDB Mortality Table. Differences between the actual experience and the assumptions used result in variances in profit and could result in losses. As of December 31, 2009, our net GMWB liability held was $13.8 million.

        Pension Benefits—Determining our obligations to employees under our defined benefit pension plan requires the use of estimates. The calculation of the liability related to our defined benefit pension plan requires assumptions regarding the appropriate weighted average discount rate, estimated rate of increase in the compensation of employees, and the expected long-term rate of return on the plan's assets. See Note 14, Employee Benefit Plans, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on this plan.

        Stock-Based Payments—Accounting for stock-based compensation plans may require the use of option pricing models to estimate our obligations. Assumptions used in such models relate to equity market volatility, the risk-free interest rate at the date of grant, expected dividend rates, and expected exercise dates. See Note 13, Stock-Based Compensation, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.

        Deferred taxes and uncertain tax positions—Deferred federal income taxes arise from the recognition of temporary differences between the basis of assets and liabilities determined for financial reporting purposes and the basis determined for income tax purposes. Such temporary differences are principally related to the marking to market value of investment assets, the deferral of policy acquisition costs, and the provision for future policy benefits and expenses. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to be in effect when such differences reverse. Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"), we test the value of deferred tax assets for impairment on a quarterly basis at the taxpaying component level within each tax jurisdiction, consistent with our filed tax returns. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion, or all, of the deferred tax assets will not be realized as future reductions of current taxes. In determining the need for a valuation allowance we consider carryback capacity, reversal of existing temporary differences, future taxable income, and tax planning strategies. The determination of any valuation allowance requires management to make certain judgments and assumptions regarding future operations that are based on our historical experience and our expectations of future performance.

        The ASC Income Taxes Topic prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of an expected or actual uncertain income tax return position provides guidance on disclosure. Additionally, this interpretation requires, in order for us to

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recognize a benefit in our financial statements from a given tax return position, that there must be a greater than 50 percent chance of success with the relevant taxing authority with regard to that position. In making this analysis, we must assume that the taxing authority is fully informed of all of the facts regarding any issue. Our judgments and assumptions regarding uncertain tax positions are subject to change over time due to the enactment of new tax legislation, the issuance of revised or new regulations by the various tax authorities, and the issuance of new rulings by the courts.

        Contingent liabilities—The assessment of potential obligations for tax, regulatory, and litigation matters inherently involves a variety of estimates of potential future outcomes. We make such estimates after consultation with our advisors and a review of available facts. However, there can be no assurance that future outcomes will not differ from management's assessments.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

        In the following discussion, segment operating income (loss) is defined as income (loss) before income tax excluding net realized investment gains and losses (net of the related DAC and VOBA and participating income from real estate ventures), and the cumulative effect of change in accounting principle. Periodic settlements of derivatives associated with corporate debt and certain investments and annuity products are included in realized gains and losses but are considered part of segment operating income (loss) because the derivatives are used to mitigate risk in items affecting segment operating income (loss). Management believes that segment operating income (loss) provides relevant and useful information to investors, as it represents the basis on which the performance of our business is internally assessed. Although the items excluded from segment operating income (loss) may be significant components in understanding and assessing our overall financial performance, management believes that segment operating income (loss) enhances an investor's understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the income (loss) usually attributable to the normal, recurring operations of our business. However, segment operating income should not be viewed as a substitute for GAAP net income (loss). In addition, our segment operating income (loss) measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.

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        The following table presents a summary of results and reconciles segment operating income (loss) to consolidated net income (loss):

   
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
   
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
   
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 
 

Segment Operating Income (Loss)

                               
   

Life Marketing

  $ 137,826   $ 188,535   $ 189,186     (26.9 )%   (0.3 )%
   

Acquisitions

    133,760     136,479     129,247     (2.0 )   5.6  
   

Annuities

    56,642     18,707     23,051     n/m     (18.8 )
   

Stable Value Products

    61,963     89,811     50,231     (31.0 )   78.8  
   

Asset Protection

    23,229     30,789     41,559     (24.6 )   (25.9 )
   

Corporate and Other

    81,980     (105,986 )   (3,416 )   n/m     n/m  
                             
     

Total segment operating income

    495,400     358,335     429,858     38.3     (16.6 )
   

Realized investment gains (losses)—investments(1)(3)

    125,352     (585,340 )   (1,485 )            
   

Realized investment gains (losses)—derivatives(2)

    (203,974 )   151,874     7,715              
   

Income tax benefit (expense)

    (145,290 )   33,276     (146,522 )            
                             
     

Net income (loss)

  $ 271,488   $ (41,855 ) $ 289,566     n/m     n/m  
                             
 

(1)    Realized investment gains (losses)—investments(3)

  $ 120,149   $ (584,492 ) $ 8,602              
     

Less: participating income from real estate ventures

            6,857              
     

Less: related amortization of DAC

    (5,203 )   848     3,230              
                             
 

  $ 125,352   $ (585,340 ) $ (1,485 )            
                             
 

(2)    Realized investment gains (losses)—derivatives

  $ (177,953 ) $ 116,657   $ 8,469              
     

Less: settlements on certain interest rate swaps

    3,401     5,754     822              
     

Less: derivative activity related to certain annuities

    22,620     (40,971 )   (68 )            
                             
 

  $ (203,974 ) $ 151,874   $ 7,715              
                             

 


(3)    Includes other-than-temporary impairments of $180.1 million and $311.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.


 

 

 

 

For The Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2008

        Net income for the year ended December 31, 2009, included a $137.1 million increase in segment operating income. The increase was primarily related to a $188.0 million increase in the Corporate and Other segment, and a $37.9 million increase in the Annuities segment. These increases were partially offset by a $50.7 million decrease in the Life Marketing segment, a $2.7 million decrease in the Acquisitions segment, a $27.8 million decrease in the Stable Value Products segment, and a $7.6 million decrease in the Asset Protection segment. Changes in fair value related to the Corporate and Other trading portfolio and the Annuities segment increased operating earnings by $70.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2009.

        We experienced net realized losses of $57.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to net realized losses of $467.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The losses realized for the year ended December 31, 2009, were primarily caused by $180.1 million of other-than-temporary impairment credit-related losses. These losses were partially offset by mark-to-market gains of $39.3 million on interest rate swaps, $19.2 million of gains related to GMWB embedded derivative valuation changes, and $32.1 million of gains related to the net activity related to modified coinsurance portfolio and derivative activity.

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For The Year Ended December 31, 2008 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2007

        The net loss for the year ended December 31, 2008, included a $71.5 million, or 16.6%, decrease in segment operating income. The decrease was primarily related to a $102.6 million decrease in operating losses in the Corporate and Other segment, a $10.8 million decrease in the Asset Protection segment, a $4.3 million decrease in the Annuities segment, and a $0.7 million decrease in the Life Marketing segment.

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These decreases were partially offset by a $39.6 million increase in operating earnings in the Stable Value segment and a $7.2 million increase in the Acquisitions segment. Changes in fair value related to the Corporate and Other trading portfolio and the Annuities segment reduced operating earnings by $93.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2008.

        We experienced net realized losses of $467.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, versus net realized gains of $17.1 million for the same period of 2007. The losses realized for the year ended December 31, 2008, were primarily caused by $311.8 million of other-than-temporary impairment charges related to debt obligations and preferred stock holdings in Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, residential mortgage-backed securities collateralized by Alt-A mortgages, and preferred stock holdings in Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp and Federal National Mortgage Assoc. These losses were partially offset by mark-to-market gains of $212.9 million on embedded derivatives related to reinsurance arrangements.

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Life Marketing

Segment results of operations

        Segment results were as follows:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

REVENUES

                               
 

Gross premiums and policy fees

  $ 1,565,144   $ 1,500,566   $ 1,453,027     4.3 %   3.3 %
 

Reinsurance ceded

    (911,703 )   (924,026 )   (913,250 )   (1.3 )   1.2  
                           
 

Net premiums and policy fees

    653,441     576,540     539,777     13.3     6.8  
 

Net investment income

    362,108     350,053     325,118     3.4     7.7  
 

Other income

    80,847     96,746     138,356     (16.4 )   (30.1 )
                           
   

Total operating revenues

    1,096,396     1,023,339     1,003,251     7.1     2.0  

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                               
 

Benefits and settlement expenses

    782,372     704,955     635,063     11.0     11.0  
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

    144,125     94,422     106,094     52.6     (11.0 )
 

Other operating expenses

    32,073     35,427     72,908     (9.5 )   (51.4 )
                           
   

Total benefits and expenses

    958,570     834,804     814,065     14.8     2.5  

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAX

    137,826     188,535     189,186     (26.9 )   (0.3 )
                           

OPERATING INCOME

  $ 137,826   $ 188,535   $ 189,186     (26.9 )   (0.3 )
                           

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        The following table summarizes key data for the Life Marketing segment:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

Sales By Product

                               
 

Traditional

  $ 96,932   $ 99,202   $ 145,317     (2.3 )%   (31.7 )%
 

Universal life

    62,025     52,832     75,763     17.4     (30.3 )
 

Variable universal life

    3,643     5,667     7,685     (35.7 )   (26.3 )
                           

  $ 162,600   $ 157,701   $ 228,765     3.1     (31.1 )
                           

Sales By Distribution Channel

                               
 

Brokerage general agents

  $ 101,381   $ 89,295   $ 138,258     13.5     (35.4 )
 

Independent agents

    27,765     33,101     39,261     (16.1 )   (15.7 )
 

Stockbrokers / banks

    30,131     30,546     36,356     (1.4 )   (16.0 )
 

BOLI / other

    3,323     4,759     14,890     (30.2 )   (68.0 )
                           

  $ 162,600   $ 157,701   $ 228,765     3.1     (31.1 )
                           

Average Life Insurance In-force(1)

                               
 

Traditional

  $ 489,818,145   $ 473,029,668   $ 432,662,417     3.5     9.3  
 

Universal life

    53,164,320     52,760,473     52,607,678     0.8     0.3  
                           

  $ 542,982,465   $ 525,790,141   $ 485,270,095     3.3     8.3  
                           

Average Account Values

                               
 

Universal life

  $ 5,352,068   $ 5,270,175   $ 5,001,487     1.6     5.4  
 

Variable universal life

    269,460     309,437     335,447     (12.9 )   (7.8 )
                           

  $ 5,621,528   $ 5,579,612   $ 5,336,934     0.8     4.5  
                           

Traditional Life Mortality Experience(2)

  $ 8,598   $ 13,104   $ 8,701              

Universal Life Mortality Experience(2)

  $ 5,921   $ 5,136   $ 3,453              
(1)
Amounts are not adjusted for reinsurance ceded.
(2)
Represents the estimated pre-tax earnings impact resulting from mortality variances. We periodically review and update as appropriate our key assumptions in calculating mortality. Changes to these assumptions result in adjustments, which may increase or decrease previously reported mortality amounts.

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        Other operating expenses for the segment were as follows:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

Insurance Companies:

                               
 

First year commissions

  $ 187,576   $ 192,773   $ 262,054     (2.7 )%   (26.4 )%
 

Renewal commissions

    37,492     38,465     37,768     (2.5 )   1.8  
 

First year ceding allowances

    (13,994 )   (19,055 )   (18,804 )   (26.6 )   1.3  
 

Renewal ceding allowances

    (225,880 )   (229,042 )   (233,304 )   (1.4 )   (1.8 )
 

General & administrative

    156,685     159,818     180,158     (2.0 )   (11.3 )
 

Taxes, licenses, and fees

    32,096     29,803     32,928     7.7     (9.5 )
                           
   

Other operating expenses incurred

    173,975     172,762     260,800     0.7     (33.8 )
 

Less: commissions, allowances & expenses capitalized

    (222,529 )   (229,671 )   (304,494 )   (3.1 )   (24.6 )
                           
 

Other insurance company operating expenses

    (48,554 )   (56,909 )   (43,694 )   (14.7 )   30.2  
                           

Marketing Companies:

                               
 

Commissions

    60,371     74,494     91,377     (19.0 )   (18.5 )
 

Other operating expenses

    20,256     17,842     25,225     13.5     (29.3 )
                           
   

Other marketing company operating expenses

    80,627     92,336     116,602     (12.7 )   (20.8 )
                           

Other operating expenses

  $ 32,073   $ 35,427   $ 72,908     (9.5 )   (51.4 )
                           

For The Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2008

        Operating income was $137.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, representing a decrease of $50.7 million, or 26.9%, from the year ended December 31, 2008. The decrease was primarily due to lower allocated investment income on the traditional line of business, less favorable mortality, higher insurance company operating expenses, and less favorable annual prospective DAC unlocking in the third quarter of 2009, which was $7.3 million lower in 2009 than 2008.

        Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2009, increased $73.1 million, or 7.1%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. This increase was the result of higher premiums and policy fees in the segment's traditional and universal life lines and higher investment income in the universal life product line, due to increases in net in-force reserves, and were partially offset by lower other income due to lower sales in the segment's marketing companies and lower investment income on the Company's traditional product lines.

        Net premiums and policy fees increased by $76.9 million, or 13.3%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to an increase in retention levels on certain traditional life products and continued growth in universal life in-force business. Beginning in the third quarter of 2005, we reduced our reliance on reinsurance by changing from coinsurance to yearly renewable term reinsurance agreements and increased the maximum amount retained on any one life from $500,000 to $1,000,000 on certain of our newly written traditional life products (products written during the third quarter of 2005 and later). In addition to increasing net premiums, this change resulted in higher

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benefits and settlement expenses, and causes greater variability in financial results due to fluctuations in mortality results. Our maximum retention level for newly issued universal life products is generally $1,000,000. During 2008, we increased our retention limit to $2,000,000 on certain of our traditional and universal life products.

        Net investment income in the segment increased $12.1 million, or 3.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. The increase reflects the overall growth in universal life liabilities and retained reserves on new term business. The growth was largely offset by two significant items in 2009. First, we made a number of changes to our traditional life statutory reserving methodologies which had the effect of reducing our statutory reserves, thus reducing the investment income allocated to the segment by an estimated $11.6 million. Second, the impact of our traditional and universal life capital markets programs on investment income allocated to the segment relative to pricing was an estimated reduction of $4.7 million between 2008 and 2009.

        Other income decreased $15.9 million, or 16.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. The decrease relates primarily to lower broker-dealer revenues compared to 2008 levels due to less favorable market conditions.

        Benefits and settlement expenses increased by $77.4 million, or 11.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, due to growth in retained life insurance in-force, increased retention levels on certain newly written traditional life products and higher credited interest on UL products resulting from increases in account values, partly offset by a reduction related to prospective unlocking in 2009 compared to 2008. The estimated mortality impact to earnings, related to traditional and universal life products, for the year ended December 31, 2009, was favorable by $14.5 million, and was approximately $3.7 million less favorable than the estimated mortality impact on earnings for the year ended December 31, 2008.

        DAC amortization increased $49.7 million, or 52.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. The increase primarily relates to growth in retained life insurance in-force compared to 2008, and more favorable impacts of unlocking on amortization in 2008 ($23.2 million favorable) than 2009 ($2.7 million unfavorable).

        Other operating expenses decreased $3.4 million, or 9.5%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. This decrease reflects lower marketing company expenses associated with lower broker dealer sales, lower general administrative expenses, and a reduction in reinsurance allowances, partly offset by higher insurance company expenses.

        Sales for the segment increased $4.9 million, or 3.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, as increased universal life sales more than offset lower traditional sales. Lower sales levels of traditional products were primarily the result of pricing changes implemented on certain of our products and less favorable market conditions. Universal life sales increased $9.2 million, or 17.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to increased focus on the product line. In addition, variable universal life sales were subject to unfavorable market conditions and were $2.0 million lower for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008.

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For The Year Ended December 31, 2008 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2007

        Operating income was $188.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, representing a decrease of $0.7 million, or 0.3%, from the year ended December 31, 2007. The decrease was primarily due to a $15.7 million gain recognized in the first quarter of 2007 on the sale of the segment's direct marketing subsidiary, offset by favorable prospective unlocking of $8.8 million in the third quarter of 2008, higher investment income, lower operating expenses, and more favorable mortality in 2008 compared to 2007.

        Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2008, increased $20.1 million, or 2.0%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. This increase was the result of higher premiums and policy fees in the segment's traditional line and higher investment income due to increases in in-force volume and higher overall yields, which was partially offset by lower other income due to the sale of two non-insurance subsidiaries in late 2007 and lower sales in the segment's remaining marketing companies.

        Net premiums and policy fees increased by $36.8 million, or 6.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to an increase in retention levels on certain traditional life products. Beginning in the third quarter of 2005, we reduced our reliance on reinsurance by changing from coinsurance to yearly renewable term reinsurance agreements and increased the maximum amount retained on any one life from $500,000 to $1,000,000 on certain of our newly written traditional life products (products written during the third quarter of 2005 and later). In addition to increasing net premiums, this change resulted in higher benefits and settlement expenses, and causes greater variability in financial results due to fluctuations in mortality results. Our maximum retention level for newly issued universal life products is generally $1,000,000. During 2008, we increased our retention limit to $2,000,000 on certain of our traditional and universal life products.

        Net investment income in the segment increased $24.9 million, or 7.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. The increase reflected the growth related to traditional and universal life liabilities.

        Other income decreased $41.6 million, or 30.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. The decrease related primarily to the sale of two non-insurance subsidiaries in 2007 and lower broker-dealer revenues compared to 2007 levels due to less favorable market conditions.

        Benefits and settlement expenses increased by $69.9 million, or 11.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, due to growth in life insurance in-force, increased retention levels on certain newly written traditional life products and higher credited interest on UL products resulting from increases in account value. Changes to assumptions from our annual unlocking process resulted in an adjustment which increased benefits and settlements expense by $14.4 million in the third quarter of 2008, which was offset by a decrease of $23.2 million in the DAC amortization line. The estimated mortality impact to earnings related to traditional and universal life products for the year ended December 31, 2008, was favorable by $18.2 million and was approximately

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$6.1 million more favorable than the estimated mortality impact on earnings for the year ended December 31, 2007.

        DAC amortization decreased $11.7 million, or 11.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. We periodically review and update, as appropriate, our key assumptions including future mortality, expenses, lapses, premium persistency, investment yields, and interest spreads. Changes to these assumptions result in adjustments which increase or decrease DAC amortization. The periodic review and updating of assumptions is referred to as "unlocking". DAC amortization for the Life Marketing segment was reduced by $23.2 million in the third quarter of 2008 primarily due to favorable DAC unlocking in the universal life block, partially offset by unfavorable unlocking in BOLI.

        Other operating expenses decreased $37.5 million, or 51.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. This decrease primarily related to the sale of two marketing subsidiaries in 2007 and lower broker dealer sales compared to 2007. The marketing companies contributed approximately $24.3 million to the decrease in 2008 compared to 2007. In addition, reduced operating expenses in the insurance companies contributed to the overall decrease.

        Sales for the segment decreased $71.1 million, or 31.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, due to a decline in sales across product lines. Lower sales levels of traditional products were primarily the result of pricing changes implemented on certain of our products at the beginning of 2008 and less favorable market conditions. Universal life sales declined $22.9 million, or 30.3%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to competitive pressures in all channels and less favorable market conditions. In addition, BOLI sales are subject to significant fluctuation and were $10.1 million lower for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007.

Reinsurance

        Currently, the Life Marketing segment reinsures significant amounts of its life insurance in-force. Pursuant to the underlying reinsurance contracts, reinsurers pay allowances to the segment as a percentage of both first year and renewal premiums. Reinsurance allowances represent the amount the reinsurer is willing to pay for reimbursement of acquisition costs incurred by the direct writer of the business. A portion of reinsurance allowances received is deferred as part of DAC and a portion is recognized immediately as a reduction of other operating expenses. As the non-deferred portion of allowances reduces operating expenses in the period received, these amounts represent a net increase to operating income during that period.

        Reinsurance allowances do not affect the methodology used to amortize DAC or the period over which such DAC is amortized. However, they do affect the amounts recognized as DAC amortization. DAC on universal life-type, limited-payment long duration, and investment contracts business is amortized based on the estimated gross profits of the policies in-force. Reinsurance allowances are considered in the determination of estimated gross profits, and therefore impact DAC amortization on these lines of business. Deferred reinsurance allowances on level term business as required by the ASC Financial Services-Insurance Topic are recorded as ceded DAC, which is amortized over estimated ceded premiums of the policies in force. Thus, deferred reinsurance allowances on policies as required under the Financial Services-Insurance Topic may impact DAC amortization. A more detailed discussion of the components of

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reinsurance can be found in the Reinsurance section of Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

Impact of reinsurance

        Reinsurance impacted the Life Marketing segment line items as shown in the following table:

Life Marketing Segment
Line Item Impact of Reinsurance

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2009   2008   2007  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

REVENUES

                   
 

Reinsurance ceded

  $ (911,703 ) $ (924,026 ) $ (913,250 )
               

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                   
 

Benefit and settlement expenses

    (932,903 )   (981,646 )   (985,829 )
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

    (52,186 )   (55,415 )   (61,050 )
 

Other operating expenses(1)

    (141,282 )   (144,003 )   (138,730 )
               

Total benefits and expenses

    (1,126,371 )   (1,181,064 )   (1,185,609 )
               

NET IMPACT OF REINSURANCE(2)

  $ 214,668   $ 257,038   $ 272,359  
               

Allowances received

  $ (239,874 ) $ (248,097 ) $ (252,108 )
 

Less: Amount deferred

    98,593     104,094     113,378  
               

Allowances recognized (ceded other operating expenses)(1)

  $ (141,281 ) $ (144,003 ) $ (138,730 )
               
(1)
Other operating expenses ceded per the income statement are equal to reinsurance allowances recognized after capitalization.

(2)
Assumes no investment income on reinsurance. Foregone investment income would substantially reduce the favorable impact of reinsurance. The Company estimates that the impact of foregone investment income would reduce the net impact of reinsurance by 90% to 130%.

        The table above does not reflect the impact of reinsurance on our net investment income. By ceding business to the assuming companies, we forgo investment income on the reserves ceded. Conversely, the assuming companies will receive investment income on the reserves assumed which will increase the assuming companies' profitability on the business we cede. The net investment income impact to us and the assuming companies has not been quantified. The impact of including foregone investment income would be to substantially reduce the favorable net impact of reinsurance reflected above. We estimate that the impact of foregone investment income would be to reduce the net impact of reinsurance presented in the table above by 90% to 130%. The Life Marketing segment's reinsurance programs do not materially impact the "other income" line of our income statement.

        As shown above, reinsurance had a favorable impact on the Life Marketing segment's operating income for the periods presented above. The impact of reinsurance is largely due to our quota share coinsurance program in place prior to mid-2005. Under that program, generally 90% of the segment's traditional new business was ceded to reinsurers. Since mid-2005, a much smaller percentage of overall term business was ceded due to our change in reinsurance strategy on traditional business discussed previously. As a result of that change, the relative impact of reinsurance on the Life Marketing segment's overall results is expected to decrease over time. While the significance of reinsurance is expected to

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decline over time, the overall impact of reinsurance for a given period may fluctuate due to variations in mortality and unlocking of balances under the ASC Financial Services-Insurance Topic.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2008

        The decrease in ceded premiums above for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, was caused primarily by lower ceded traditional life premiums and policy fees of $11.1 million.

        Ceded benefits and settlement expenses were lower for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, due to lower increases in ceded reserves and decreased ceded claims. Traditional ceded benefits increased $45.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, as a larger increase in ceded reserves more than offset lower ceded death benefits. Universal life ceded benefits decreased $91.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008 due to lower ceded claims and a lower change in ceded reserves. Ceded universal life claims were $14.3 million lower for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008.

        Ceded amortization of deferred policy acquisitions costs decreased for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, primarily due to the differences in unlocking between the two periods.

        Total allowances received for the year ended December 31, 2009, decreased from the year ended December 31, 2008, due to the change in our traditional life reinsurance strategy.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2008 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2007

        The increase in ceded premiums for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, was caused primarily by growth in ceded universal life premiums and policy fees of $29.0 million.

        Ceded benefits and settlement expenses were lower for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, as lower increases in ceded reserves more than offset an increase in ceded claims. Traditional ceded benefits decreased $90.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, as a smaller increase in ceded reserves more than offset higher ceded death benefits. Universal life ceded benefits increased $87.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, due to higher ceded claims and a higher change in ceded reserves associated with growth in the business throughout the year and unlocking in the third quarter of 2008. Ceded universal life claims were $18.5 million higher for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. Ceded benefits and settlement expenses will fluctuate over time, largely as a function of the segment's overall variations in death benefits incurred.

        Ceded amortization of deferred policy acquisitions costs decreased for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to 2007. For the year ended December 31, 2008, traditional ceded amortization decreased as a result of continued runoff of pre-2005 term business, which had higher capitalized allowances than business currently being sold. This was partially offset by a small amount of increased ceded amortization in universal life.

        Ceded other operating expenses are based on allowances received from reinsurers. Total allowances received for the year ended December 31, 2008, increased slightly from 2007 as increases associated with growth in the universal life line were more than offset by decreases associated with the change in our term life reinsurance strategy. Traditional allowances have decreased since mid-2005 as new YRT reinsurance replaces the 90% coinsured business. For the year ended December 31, 2008, term allowances received decreased compared to 2007.

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Acquisitions

Segment results of operations

        Segment results were as follows:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

REVENUES

                               
 

Gross premiums and policy fees

  $ 724,488   $ 764,438   $ 810,696     (5.2 )%   (5.7 )%
 

Reinsurance ceded

    (462,972 )   (487,698 )   (510,540 )   (5.1 )   (4.5 )
                           
 

Net premiums and policy fees

    261,516     276,740     300,156     (5.5 )   (7.8 )
 

Net investment income

    479,743     530,028     578,965     (9.5 )   (8.5 )
 

Other income

    6,059     6,735     9,462     (10.0 )   (28.8 )
                           
   

Total operating revenues

    747,318     813,503     888,583     (8.1 )   (8.4 )
 

Realized gains (losses)—investments

    281,963     (306,581 )   (2,772 )            
 

Realized gains (losses)—derivatives

    (252,100 )   209,800     6,622              
                           
     

Total revenues

    777,181     716,722     892,433              

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                               
 

Benefits and settlement expenses

    532,992     580,271     633,971     (8.1 )   (8.5 )
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs and value of business acquired

    65,798     75,608     77,158     (13.0 )   (2.0 )
 

Other operating expenses

    14,768     21,145     48,207     (30.2 )   (56.1 )
                           
   

Operating benefits and expenses

    613,558     677,024     759,336     (9.4 )   (10.8 )
 

Amortization of DAC / VOBA related to realized gains (losses)—investments

    (6,773 )   (1,224 )   2,081              
                           
   

Total benefits and expenses

    606,785     675,800     761,417     (10.2 )   (11.2 )

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAX

    170,396     40,922     131,016     n/m     (68.8 )
 

Less: realized gains (losses)

    29,863     (96,781 )   3,850              
 

Less: related amortization of DAC

    6,773     1,224     (2,081 )            
                           

OPERATING INCOME

  $ 133,760   $ 136,479   $ 129,247     (2.0 )   5.6  
                           

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        The following table summarizes key data for the Acquisitions segment:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

Average Life Insurance In-Force(1)

                               
 

Traditional

  $ 197,565,150   $ 211,085,105   $ 226,590,927     (6.4 )%   (6.8 )%
 

Universal life

    28,305,677     30,142,339     32,026,221     (6.1 )   (5.9 )
                           

  $ 225,870,827   $ 241,227,444   $ 258,617,148     (6.4 )   (6.7 )
                           

Average Account Values

                               
 

Universal life

  $ 2,826,982   $ 2,942,528   $ 3,030,836     (3.9 )   (2.9 )
 

Fixed annuity(2)

    3,597,163     4,230,026 (5)   4,925,948 (5)   (15.0 )   (14.1 )
 

Variable annuity

    131,195     171,758     195,867     (23.6 )   (12.3 )
                           

  $ 6,555,340   $ 7,344,312   $ 8,152,651     (10.7 )   (9.9 )
                           

Interest Spread—UL & Fixed Annuities

                               
 

Net investment income yield(3)

    5.95 %   6.06 %   6.08 %            
 

Interest credited to policyholders

    4.16     4.14     4.11              
                           
   

Interest spread

    1.79 %   1.92 %   1.97 %            
                           

Mortality Experience(4)

  $ 5,799   $ 3,558   $ 2,936              
(1)
Amounts are not adjusted for reinsurance ceded.
(2)
Includes general account balances held within variable annuity products and is net of coinsurance ceded.
(3)
Includes available-for-sale and trading portfolios. Available-for-sale portfolio yields were 6.32%, 6.34%, and 6.25% for the year ended December 31, 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively.
(4)
Represents the estimated pre-tax earnings impact resulting from mortality variance to pricing. Excludes results related to the Chase Insurance Group related to the Chase Insurance Group, which was acquired in the third quarter of 2006.
(5)
Certain changes in methodology were made in the current year. Prior years have been adjusted to make amounts comparable to current year.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2008

        Operating income was $133.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, a decrease of $2.7 million, or 2.0%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to expected runoff of the blocks of business partially offset by more favorable mortality results and lower operating expenses.

        Net premiums and policy fees decreased $15.2 million, or 5.5%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to runoff of the in-force business. Net investment income decreased $50.3 million, or 9.5%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, due to runoff of the segment's in-force business and lower overall yields, resulting in a reduction of invested assets and lower investment income.

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        Total benefits and expenses decreased $69.0 million, or 10.2%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. The decrease related primarily to the expected runoff of the in-force business, fluctuations in mortality, and lower operating expenses.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2008 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2007

        Operating income increased $7.2 million, or 5.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to lower operating expenses on the Chase Insurance Group block and improved mortality results, partially offset by expected runoff of the block of business.

        Net premiums and policy fees decreased $23.4 million, or 7.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to the runoff of the acquired blocks. Net investment income decreased $48.9 million, or 8.5%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to a decline in annuity account values in the Chase Insurance Group block, resulting in a reduction of invested assets and lower investment income.

        Total benefits and expenses decreased $85.6 million, or 11.2%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. The decrease related primarily to the runoff of the acquired blocks, fluctuations in mortality, and lower operating expenses.

Reinsurance

        The Acquisitions segment currently reinsurers portions of both its life and annuity in-force. The cost of reinsurance to the segment is reflected in the chart shown below. A more detailed discussion of the components of reinsurance can be found in the Reinsurance section of Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

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Impact of reinsurance

        Reinsurance impacted the Acquisitions segment line items as shown in the following table:

Acquisitions Segment
Line Item Impact of Reinsurance

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,  
 
  2009   2008   2007  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
 

REVENUES

                   
 

Reinsurance ceded

  $ (462,972 ) $ (487,698 ) $ (510,540 )
               

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                   
 

Benefit and settlement expenses

    (391,493 )   (410,950 )   (424,913 )
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

    (11,151 )   (23,299 )   (20,119 )
 

Other operating expenses

    (61,689 )   (71,057 )   (108,735 )
               

Total benefits and expenses

    (464,333 )   (505,306 )   (553,767 )
               

NET IMPACT OF REINSURANCE

  $ 1,361   $ 17,608   $ 43,227  
               

        The segment's reinsurance programs do not materially impact the other income line of the income statement. In addition, net investment income generally has no direct impact on reinsurance cost. However, it should be noted that by ceding business to the assuming companies, we forgo investment income on the reserves ceded to the assuming companies. Conversely, the assuming companies will receive investment income on the reserves assumed which will increase the assuming companies' profitability on business assumed from the Company. For business ceded under modified coinsurance arrangements, the amount of investment income attributable to the assuming company is included as part of the overall change in policy reserves and, as such, is reflected in benefit and settlement expenses. The net investment income impact to us and the assuming companies has not been quantified as it is not fully reflected in our consolidated financial statements.

        The net impact of reinsurance decreased $16.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, as decreases in ceded benefits, amortization of deferred acquisition costs, and expenses ceded to reinsurers involved with the Chase Insurance Group acquisition, more than offset decreases in ceded premiums, as a result of expected runoff of business.

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Annuities

Segment results of operations

        Segment results were as follows:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

REVENUES

                               
 

Gross premiums and policy fees

  $ 33,983   $ 34,538   $ 34,163     (1.6 )%   1.1 %
 

Reinsurance ceded

    (152 )   (206 )       (26.2 )   n/m  
                           
 

Net premiums and policy fees

    33,831     34,332     34,163     (1.5 )   0.5  
 

Net investment income

    440,097     347,551     267,308     26.6     30.0  
 

Realized gains (losses)—derivatives

    22,620     (40,971 )   (68 )   n/m     n/m  
 

Other income

    17,596     12,761     11,285     37.9     13.1  
                           
   

Total operating revenues

    514,144     353,673     312,688     45.4     13.1  
 

Realized gains (losses)—investments

    (5,288 )   (12,917 )   2,008              
                           
   

Total revenues

    508,856     340,756     314,696     49.3     8.3  

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                               
 

Benefits and settlement expenses

    350,850     310,800     240,210     12.9     29.4  
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs and value of business acquired

    79,688     (1,456 )   26,536     n/m     n/m  
 

Other operating expenses

    26,294     25,622     22,891     2.6     11.9  
                           
   

Operating benefits and expenses

    456,832     334,966     289,637     36.4     15.7  
 

Amortization of DAC / VOBA related to realized gains (losses)—investments

    2,240     2,072     1,149              
                           
     

Total benefits and expenses

    459,072     337,038     290,786     36.2     15.9  

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAX

    49,784     3,718     23,910     n/m     (84.5 )
 

Less: realized gains (losses)

    (5,288 )   (12,917 )   2,008              
 

Less: related amortization of DAC

    (1,570 )   (2,072 )   (1,149 )            
                           

OPERATING INCOME

  $ 56,642   $ 18,707   $ 23,051     n/m     (18.8 )
                           

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        The following table summarizes key data for the Annuities segment:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

Sales

                               
 

Fixed annuity

  $ 1,225,211   $ 2,160,156   $ 1,193,942     (43.3 )%   80.9 %
 

Variable annuity

    796,245     452,409     472,482     76.0     (4.2 )
                           

  $ 2,021,456   $ 2,612,565   $ 1,666,424     (22.6 )   56.8  
                           

Average Account Values

                               
 

Fixed annuity(1)

  $ 7,073,464   $ 5,630,864   $ 4,410,821     25.6     27.7  
 

Variable annuity

    2,190,564     2,378,296     2,677,749     (7.9 )   (11.2 )
                           

  $ 9,264,028   $ 8,009,160   $ 7,088,570     15.7     13.0  
                           

Interest Spread—Fixed Annuities(2)

                               
 

Net investment income yield

    6.18 %   6.12 %   5.98 %            
 

Interest credited to policyholders

    4.79     4.96     5.34              
                           
   

Interest spread

    1.39 %   1.16 %   0.64 %            
                           

 

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  

GMDB—Net amount at risk(3)

  $ 393,986   $ 779,850   $ 112,389     (49.5 )%   n/m %

GMDB Reserves

        782     291     n/m     n/m  

GMWB Reserves

    13,845     33,415     540     (58.6 )   n/m  

Account value subject to GMWB rider

    1,108,871     342,675     122,637     n/m     n/m  

S&P 500® Index

    1,115     903     1,468     23.5     (38.5 )
(1)
Includes general account balances held within variable annuity products.
(2)
Interest spread on average general account values.
(3)
Guaranteed death benefits in excess of contract holder account balance.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2008

        Segment operating income was $56.6 million for the year ended December 31 2009, compared to $18.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, an increase of $37.9 million. This change included a favorable $39.7 million variance related to fair value changes, of which $4.3 million was related to the EIA product and $35.4 million was related to embedded derivatives associated with the variable annuity GMWB rider. Offsetting this favorable change, unfavorable prospective unlocking of assumptions (DAC, GMWB, bonus interest, etc.) reduced earnings by $7.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. In addition, unfavorable mortality in the segment's SPIA block caused a $10.3 million unfavorable variance compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. These decreases were partially offset by wider spreads and the continued growth of the SPDA and MVA lines, which accounted for an $11.9 million and $3.8 million increase in earnings, respectively.

        Segment operating revenues increased $160.5 million, or 45.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to an increase in net investment income, policy fee and other revenue, gains on derivatives, and the positive fair value changes on the

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variable annuity line mentioned above. Average account balances grew 15.7% for the year ended December 31, 2009, resulting in higher investment income.

        Benefits and settlement expenses increased $40.1 million, or 12.9%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. This increase was primarily the result of higher credited interest and increased variable annuity death benefit payments. Offsetting this increase was a favorable change of $6.0 million in unlocking for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. Favorable unlocking of $2.5 million was recorded by the segment for the year ended December 31, 2008.

        The increase in DAC amortization (not related to realized capital gains and losses) for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, was primarily due to fair value gains, unlocking on the variable annuity line, increased policy fee revenue, and widening spreads on the SPDA and MVA lines. For the year ended December 31, 2009, DAC amortization was increased by $81.1 million primarily due to increased DAC amortization in the variable annuity line. There was unfavorable DAC unlocking of $14.1 million in the variable annuity line, which was partially offset by favorable DAC unlocking of $7.6 million in the MVA line. Favorable DAC unlocking of $0.3 million was recorded by the segment during the year ended December 31, 2008. In addition, fair value changes on the variable annuity GMWB rider caused an increase in amortization of $37.1 million.

        Total sales decreased $591.1 million, or 22.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. Sales of fixed annuities decreased $934.9 million, or 43.3%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. The decrease in fixed annuity sales was driven by reduced sales in the EIA, MVA, and immediate annuity lines and was primarily attributable to a lower interest rate environment. Immediate annuity sales decreased $273.5 million, or 78.2%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to year ended December 31, 2008. SPDA sales increased by $57.0 million, or 7.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to expansion of our distribution channels. Sales of variable annuities increased $343.8 million, or 76.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to dislocation of some core competitors and improved sales management efforts.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2008 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2007

        Operating income decreased $4.3 million, or 18.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, which included $19.2 million of negative fair value changes, including $2.5 million on the equity indexed annuity product and $16.7 million on embedded derivatives associated with the variable annuity GMWB rider. In addition, unfavorable mortality in the segment's SPIA block reduced earnings by $4.5 million, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. These decreases were partially offset by wider spreads and the continued growth of the SPDA and MVA lines, which accounted for a $6.2 million and $6.3 million increase in earnings, respectively.

        Segment operating revenues increased $41.0 million, or 13.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to an increase in net investment income.

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Average account balances grew 13.0% for the year ended December 31, 2008, resulting in higher investment income. The additional income resulting from the larger account balances was partially reduced for the year ended December 31, 2008, by losses on derivatives.

        Operating benefits and expenses increased $45.3 million, or 15.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. This increase was primarily the result of higher credited interest and unfavorable SPIA mortality fluctuations. Mortality was unfavorable by $15.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to unfavorable mortality of $10.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, an unfavorable change of $4.5 million. The unfavorable mortality variances primarily relate to sales of large SPIA cases. These amounts were partially offset by a favorable unlocking change of $2.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. Unfavorable unlocking of $0.2 million was recorded by the segment during the year ended December 31, 2007.

        The decrease in DAC amortization (not related to realized capital gains and losses) of $28.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, was primarily due to fair value losses on the variable annuity line. This was offset by higher DAC amortization in other annuity lines of business. Negative fair value changes in the variable annuity line resulted in a favorable change in DAC amortization of $35.7 million. Favorable DAC unlocking of $8.2 million was recorded in the MVA annuity line, and $0.9 million of favorable unlocking was recorded in the SPDA line, which were partially offset by unfavorable unlocking of $8.8 million in the variable annuity line. Favorable DAC unlocking of $2.9 million was recorded by the segment for the year ended December 31, 2007.

        Total sales increased $946.1 million, or 56.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. Sales of fixed annuities increased $966.2 million, or 80.9%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. The increase in fixed annuity sales was driven by increased sales in the SPDA, MVA, and immediate annuity lines. The increase in SPDA sales primarily reflects our favorable competitive positioning in the bank channel. MVA sales continued to be strong in 2008 primarily due to the higher interest rate environment. The continuation of new annuity sales through the Chase distribution system contributed $574.3 million in fixed annuity sales for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to $379.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2007. Sales of variable annuities decreased $20.1 million, or 4.2%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to weaker demand caused by unfavorable equity markets.

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Stable Value Products

Segment results of operations

        Segment results were as follows:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

REVENUES

                               
 

Net investment income

  $ 221,688   $ 328,353   $ 300,201     (32.5 )%   9.4 %
 

Other income

    1,866     9,360         (80.1 )   n/m  
 

Realized gains (losses)

    (2,697 )   (6,427 )   1,394     (58.0 )   n/m  
                           
   

Total revenues

    220,857     331,286     301,595     (33.3 )   9.8  

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                               
 

Benefits and settlement expenses

    154,555     237,608     241,460     (35.0 )   (1.6 )
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

    3,471     4,467     4,199     (22.3 )   6.4  
 

Other operating expenses

    3,565     5,827     4,311     (38.8 )   35.2  
                           
   

Total benefits and expenses

    161,591     247,902     249,970     (34.8 )   (0.8 )

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAX

    59,266     83,384     51,625     (28.9 )   61.5  
 

Less: realized gains (losses)

    (2,697 )   (6,427 )   1,394              
                           

OPERATING INCOME

  $ 61,963   $ 89,811   $ 50,231     (31.0 )   78.8  
                           

        The following table summarizes key data for the Stable Value Products segment:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

Sales

                               
 

GIC

  $   $ 166,284   $ 132,800     n/m %   25.2 %
 

GFA—Direct Institutional

        1,061,651     182,179     n/m     n/m  
 

GFA—Registered Notes—Institutional

        450,000     525,000     n/m     (14.3 )
 

GFA—Registered Notes—Retail

        290,848     86,666     n/m     n/m  
                           

  $   $ 1,968,783   $ 926,645     n/m     n/m  
                           

Average Account Values

 
$

4,091,199
 
$

5,443,382
 
$

5,006,929
   
(24.8

)
 
8.7
 

Ending Account Values

  $ 3,581,150   $ 4,960,405   $ 5,046,463     (27.8 )   (1.7 )

Operating Spread

                               
 

Net investment income yield

    5.41 %   5.98 %   6.04 %            
 

Interest credited

    3.77     4.33     4.86              
 

Operating expenses

    0.17     0.18     0.17              
                           
   

Operating spread

    1.47% (1)   1.47% (1)   1.01 %            
                           
(1)
Excludes one-time funding agreement retirement gains.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2008

        Operating income was $62.0 million and decreased $27.8 million, or 31.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008. The decrease in operating earnings resulted from a decline in average account values. In addition, $1.9 million in other income was generated

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from the early retirement of funding agreements backing medium-term notes for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared with $9.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The operating spread remained flat at 147 basis points during the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008.

        During 2009, we chose not to participate in the stable value market.

For The Year Ended December 31, 2008 compared to The Year Ended December 31, 2007

        Operating income increased $39.6 million, or 78.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. The increase in operating earnings resulted from the combination of higher average balances, a higher operating spread, and lower liability costs. In addition, $9.4 million in other income was generated from the early retirement of funding agreements backing medium-term notes. Higher operating spreads and lower liability costs resulted from increased sales of attractively priced institutional funding agreements. As a result, the operating spread increased 46 basis points to 147 basis points during the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to an operating spread of 101 basis points during the year ended December 31, 2007.

        Total sales increased $1.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to the year ended December 31, 2007. The increase was primarily due to increased sales in the institutional market during the first half of 2008.

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Asset Protection

Segment results of operations

        Segment results were as follows:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

REVENUES

                               
 

Gross premiums and policy fees

  $ 339,516   $ 363,169   $ 395,112     (6.5 )%   (8.1 )%
 

Reinsurance ceded

    (152,222 )   (170,875 )   (176,879 )   (10.9 )   (3.4 )
                           
 

Net premiums and policy fees

    187,294     192,294     218,233     (2.6 )   (11.9 )
 

Net investment income

    33,157     38,656     39,100     (14.2 )   (1.1 )
 

Other income

    56,552     62,271     72,054     (9.2 )   (13.6 )
                           
   

Total operating revenues

    277,003     293,221     329,387     (5.5 )   (11.0 )

BENEFITS AND EXPENSES

                               
 

Benefits and settlement expenses

    127,314     106,737     106,812     19.3     (0.1 )
 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

    55,120     57,704     82,280     (4.5 )   (29.9 )
 

Other operating expenses

    71,340     97,991     98,736     (27.2 )   (0.8 )
                           
   

Total benefits and expenses

    253,774     262,432     287,828     (3.3 )   (8.8 )

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAX

    23,229     30,789     41,559     (24.6 )   (25.9 )
                           

OPERATING INCOME

  $ 23,229   $ 30,789   $ 41,559     (24.6 )   (25.9 )
                           

        The following table summarizes key data for the Asset Protection segment:

 
  For The Year Ended December 31,   Change  
 
  2009   2008   2007   2009   2008  
 
  (Dollars In Thousands)
   
   
 

Sales

                               
 

Credit insurance

  $ 35,379   $ 67,317   $ 113,618     (47.4 )%   (40.8 )%
 

Service contracts

    226,835     279,862     341,356     (18.9 )   (18.0 )
 

Other products

    42,790     63,468     97,342     (32.6 )   (34.8 )
                           

  $ 305,004   $ 410,647   $ 552,316     (25.7 )   (25.6 )
                           

Loss Ratios(1)

                               
 

Credit insurance

    33.3 %