10-K 1 y87657e10vk.htm FORM 10-K e10vk
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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
 
 
Form 10-K
     
(Mark One)    
þ
  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010
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 001-15787
MetLife, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
     
Delaware   13-4075851
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
200 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y.   10166-0188
(Address of principal
executive offices)
  (Zip Code)
(212) 578-2211
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
     
Title of each class   Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01   New York Stock Exchange
Floating Rate Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series A, par value $0.01
  New York Stock Exchange
6.50% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series B, par value $0.01
  New York Stock Exchange
5.875% Senior Notes
  New York Stock Exchange
5.375% Senior Notes
  Irish Stock Exchange
5.25% Senior Notes
  Irish 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 þ     No o
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.  Yes o     No þ
 
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 þ     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 þ     No o
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) 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.  þ
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
 
     
Large accelerated filer þ   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 Exchange Act).  Yes o     No þ
 
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant at June 30, 2010 was approximately $31 billion. At February 18, 2011, 986,585,463 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
 
Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information from the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 26, 2011, to be filed by the registrant with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the year ended December 31, 2010.
 


 

 
Table Of Contents
 
             
        Page
        Number
 
Part I
Item 1.   Business     4  
Item 1A.   Risk Factors     28  
Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments     65  
Item 2.   Properties     66  
Item 3.   Legal Proceedings     66  
Item 4.   (Removed and Reserved)     66  
 
Part II
Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities     67  
Item 6.   Selected Financial Data     69  
Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations     71  
Item 7A.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk     180  
Item 8.   Financial Statements and Supplementary Data     191  
Item 9.   Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure     192  
Item 9A.   Controls and Procedures     192  
Item 9B.   Other Information     194  
 
Part III
Item 10.   Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance     195  
Item 11.   Executive Compensation     195  
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters     195  
Item 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence     198  
Item 14.   Principal Accountant Fees and Services     198  
 
Part IV
Item 15.   Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules     199  
       
Signatures     200  
       
Exhibit Index     E-1  
 EX-3.6
 EX-4.12
 EX-4.13
 EX-4.14
 EX-4.41.A
 EX-4.42
 EX-4.43
 EX-4.61
 EX-4.69
 EX-4.83
 EX-4.86
 EX-10.18
 EX-10.19
 EX-10.20
 EX-10.29
 EX-10.30
 EX-10.31
 EX-10.48
 EX-10.52
 EX-10.55
 EX-10.57
 EX-10.58
 EX-10.65
 EX-10.80
 EX-10.82
 EX-10.83
 EX-10.96
 EX-10.97
 EX-10.98
 EX-10.101
 EX-10.102
 EX-12.1
 EX-21.1
 EX-23.1
 EX-31.1
 EX-31.2
 EX-32.1
 EX-32.2
 EX-101 INSTANCE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 SCHEMA DOCUMENT
 EX-101 CALCULATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 LABELS LINKBASE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 PRESENTATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 DEFINITION LINKBASE DOCUMENT


Table of Contents

As used in this Form 10-K, “MetLife,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to MetLife, Inc., a Delaware corporation incorporated in 1999 (the “Holding Company”), its subsidiaries and affiliates.
 
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
 
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.
 
Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to seek financing or access our credit facilities; (3) uncertainty about the effectiveness of the U.S. government’s programs to stabilize the financial system, the imposition of fees relating thereto, or the promulgation of additional regulations; (4) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us; (5) exposure to financial and capital market risk; (6) changes in general economic conditions, including the performance of financial markets and interest rates, which may affect our ability to raise capital, generate fee income and market-related revenue and finance statutory reserve requirements and may require us to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in value of specified assets; (7) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (8) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (9) impairments of goodwill and realized losses or market value impairments to illiquid assets; (10) defaults on our mortgage loans; (11) the impairment of other financial institutions that could adversely affect our investments or business; (12) our ability to address unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, loss of key contractual relationships, or rating actions arising from acquisitions or dispositions, including our acquisition of American Life Insurance Company (“American Life”), a subsidiary of ALICO Holdings LLC (“ALICO Holdings”), and Delaware American Life Insurance Company (“DelAm,” together with American Life, collectively, “ALICO”) (the “Acquisition”) and to successfully integrate and manage the growth of acquired businesses with minimal disruption; (13) uncertainty with respect to the outcome of the closing agreement entered into between American Life and the United States Internal Revenue Service in connection with the Acquisition; (14) uncertainty with respect to any incremental tax benefits resulting from the planned elections for ALICO and certain of its subsidiaries under Section 338 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Section 338 Elections”); (15) the dilutive impact on our stockholders resulting from the issuance of equity securities to ALICO Holdings in connection with the Acquisition; (16) downward pressure on our stock price as a result of ALICO Holdings’ ability to sell its equity securities; (17) the conditional payment obligation of approximately $300 million to ALICO Holdings if the conversion of the preferred stock issued to ALICO Holdings in connection with the Acquisition into our common stock is not approved; (18) economic, political, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (19) our primary reliance, as a holding company, on dividends from our subsidiaries to meet debt payment obligations and the applicable regulatory restrictions on the ability of the subsidiaries to pay such dividends; (20) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (21) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (22) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as default or failure of counterparties to perform; (23) discrepancies between actual


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claims experience and assumptions used in setting prices for our products and establishing the liabilities for our obligations for future policy benefits and claims; (24) catastrophe losses; (25) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, distribution of amounts available under U.S. government programs, and for personnel; (26) unanticipated changes in industry trends; (27) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (28) changes in assumptions related to deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (29) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (30) exposure to losses related to variable annuity guarantee benefits, including from significant and sustained downturns or extreme volatility in equity markets, reduced interest rates, unanticipated policyholder behavior, mortality or longevity, and the adjustment for nonperformance risk; (31) deterioration in the experience of the “closed block” established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MLIC”); (32) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (33) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others, (34) discrepancies between actual experience and assumptions used in establishing liabilities related to other contingencies or obligations; (35) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, banking, international, or other operations that may affect the cost of, or demand for, our products or services, impair our ability to attract and retain talented and experienced management and other employees, or increase the cost or administrative burdens of providing benefits to employees; (36) the effects of business disruption or economic contraction due to terrorism, other hostilities, or natural catastrophes, including any related impact on our disaster recovery systems and management continuity planning which could impair our ability to conduct business effectively; (37) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (38) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the SEC.
 
We do not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if we later become aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the SEC.
 
Note Regarding Reliance on Statements in Our Contracts
 
In reviewing the agreements included as exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, please remember that they are included to provide you with information regarding their terms and are not intended to provide any other factual or disclosure information about MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries or affiliates, or the other parties to the agreements. The agreements contain representations and warranties by each of the parties to the applicable agreement. These representations and warranties have been made solely for the benefit of the other parties to the applicable agreement and:
 
  •  should not in all instances be treated as categorical statements of fact, but rather as a way of allocating the risk to one of the parties if those statements prove to be inaccurate;
 
  •  have been qualified by disclosures that were made to the other party in connection with the negotiation of the applicable agreement, which disclosures are not necessarily reflected in the agreement;
 
  •  may apply standards of materiality in a way that is different from what may be viewed as material to investors; and
 
  •  were made only as of the date of the applicable agreement or such other date or dates as may be specified in the agreement and are subject to more recent developments.
 
Accordingly, these representations and warranties may not describe the actual state of affairs as of the date they were made or at any other time. Additional information about us may be found elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and MetLife, Inc.’s other public filings, which are available without charge through the SEC website at www.sec.gov.


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Part I
 
Item 1.   Business
 
As used in this Form 10-K, “MetLife,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to MetLife, Inc., a Delaware corporation incorporated in 1999 (the “Holding Company”), its subsidiaries and affiliates.
 
With a more than 140-year history, we have grown to become a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through our subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States (“U.S.”), Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Over the past several years, we have grown our core businesses, as well as successfully executed on our growth strategy. This has included completing a number of transactions that have resulted in the acquisition and, in some cases, divestiture of certain businesses while also further strengthening our balance sheet to position MetLife for continued growth.
 
On November 1, 2010 (the “Acquisition Date”), MetLife, Inc. completed the acquisition of American Life Insurance Company (“American Life”), from ALICO Holdings LLC (“ALICO Holdings”), a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”), and Delaware American Life Insurance Company (“DelAm,”) from AIG, (American Life, together with DelAm, collectively, “ALICO”) (the “Acquisition”) for a total purchase price of $16.4 billion. The business acquired in the Acquisition provides consumers and businesses with products and services, life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and wealth management solutions. This transaction delivers on our global growth strategies, adding significant scale and reach to MetLife’s international footprint, furthering our diversification in geographic mix and product offerings, as well as increasing our distribution strength. See Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
MetLife is organized into five segments: Insurance Products, Retirement Products, Corporate Benefit Funding and Auto & Home (collectively, “U.S. Business”) and International. The assets and liabilities of ALICO as of November 30, 2010 and the operating results of ALICO from the Acquisition Date through November 30, 2010 are included in the International segment. In addition, the Company reports certain of its results of operations in Banking, Corporate & Other, which includes MetLife Bank, National Association (“MetLife Bank”) and other business activities. For reporting periods beginning in 2011, our non-U.S. Business results will be presented within two separate segments: Japan and Other International Regions. MetLife’s management continues to evaluate the Company’s segment performance and allocated resources and may adjust such measurements in the future to better reflect segment profitability.
 
U.S. Business provides a variety of insurance and financial services products — including life, dental, disability, auto and homeowner insurance, guaranteed interest and stable value products, and annuities — through both proprietary and independent retail distribution channels, as well as at the workplace. This business serves over 60,000 group customers, including over 90 of the top one hundred FORTUNE 500® companies, and provides protection and retirement solutions to millions of individuals.
 
International operates in Japan and 64 countries within Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. MetLife is the largest life insurer in Mexico and also holds leading market positions in Japan, Poland, Chile and South Korea. This business provides life insurance, accident and health insurance, credit insurance, annuities, endowment and retirement & savings products to both individuals and groups. International is the fastest-growing of MetLife’s businesses, and we believe it will be one of the largest future growth areas.
 
Within the U.S., we also provide a variety of mortgage and deposit products through MetLife Bank. Results of our banking operation are reported in Banking, Corporate & Other.
 
Operating revenues derived from any customer did not exceed 10% of consolidated operating revenues in any of the last three years. Financial information, including revenues, expenses, operating earnings, and total assets by segment, is provided in Note 22 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Operating revenues and operating earnings are performance measures that are not based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for definitions of such measures.


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We are one of the largest institutional investors in the U.S. with a $476 billion general account portfolio invested primarily in investment grade corporate bonds, structured finance securities, commercial and agricultural mortgage loans, U.S. Treasury, agency and government guaranteed securities, as well as real estate and corporate equity. Over the past several years, we have taken a number of actions to further diversify and strengthen our general account portfolio.
 
Our well-recognized brand, leading market positions, competitive and innovative product offerings and financial strength and expertise should help drive future growth and enhance shareholder value, building on a long history of fairness, honesty and integrity. Over the course of the next several years, we will pursue the following objectives to achieve our goals:
 
  •  Strengthen our growth platform
 
– Focus on targeted, disciplined global growth of our businesses
 
– Build on our widely recognized brand name
 
– Capitalize on our large base of institutional and individual customers
 
  •  Optimize our delivery and operations
 
– Expand and leverage our broad, diverse distribution channels
 
– Focus on margin improvement and return on equity expansion
 
  •  Protect and extend our risk management
 
– Build on our strong risk management and investment expertise
 
– Maintain a balanced focus on income and protection products
 
  •  Enhance organizational effectiveness
 
– Further our commitment to a diverse, high performance workplace
 
  •  Capitalize on innovation
 
– Continue to introduce innovative and competitive products
 
U.S. Business
 
Overview
 
Insurance Products
 
Our Insurance Products segment offers a broad range of protection products and services aimed at serving the financial needs of our customers throughout their lives. These products are sold to individuals and corporations, as well as other institutions and their respective employees. We have built a leading position in the U.S. group insurance market through long-standing relationships with many of the largest corporate employers in the U.S., and are one of the largest issuers of individual life insurance products in the U.S. We are organized into three businesses: Group Life, Individual Life and Non-Medical Health.
 
Our Group Life insurance products and services include variable life, universal life, and term life products. We offer group insurance products as employer-paid benefits or as voluntary benefits where all or a portion of the premiums are paid by the employee. These group products and services also include employee paid supplemental life and are offered as standard products or may be tailored to meet specific customer needs.
 
Our Individual Life insurance products and services include variable life, universal life, term life and whole life products. Additionally, through our broker-dealer affiliates, we offer a full range of mutual funds and other securities products. The elimination of transactions from activity between the segments within U.S. Business occurs within Individual Life.


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The major products within both Group Life and Individual Life are as follows:
 
Variable Life.  Variable life products provide insurance coverage through a contract that gives the policyholder flexibility in investment choices and, depending on the product, in premium payments and coverage amounts, with certain guarantees. Most importantly, with variable life products, premiums and account balances can be directed by the policyholder into a variety of separate account investment options or directed to the Company’s general account. In the separate account investment options, the policyholder bears the entire risk of the investment results. We collect specified fees for the management of the investment options. The policyholder’s cash value reflects the investment return of the selected investment options, net of management fees and insurance-related and other charges. In some instances, third-party money management firms manage these investment options. With some products, by maintaining a certain premium level, policyholders may have the advantage of various guarantees that may protect the death benefit from adverse investment experience.
 
Universal Life.  Universal life products provide insurance coverage on the same basis as variable life, except that premiums, and the resulting accumulated balances, are allocated only to the Company’s general account. Universal life products may allow the insured to increase or decrease the amount of death benefit coverage over the term of the contract and the owner to adjust the frequency and amount of premium payments. We credit premiums to an account maintained for the policyholder. Premiums are credited net of specified expenses. Interest is credited to the policyholder’s account at interest rates we determine, subject to specified minimums. Specific charges are made against the policyholder’s account for the cost of insurance protection and for expenses. With some products, by maintaining a certain premium level, policyholders may have the advantage of various guarantees that may protect the death benefit from adverse investment experience.
 
Term Life.  Term life products provide a guaranteed benefit upon the death of the insured for a specified time period in return for the periodic payment of premiums. Specified coverage periods range from one year to 30 years, but in no event are they longer than the period over which premiums are paid. Death benefits may be level over the period or decreasing. Decreasing coverage is used principally to provide for loan repayment in the event of death. Premiums may be guaranteed at a level amount for the coverage period or may be non-level and non-guaranteed. Term insurance products are sometimes referred to as pure protection products, in that there are typically no savings or investment elements. Term contracts expire without value at the end of the coverage period when the insured party is still living.
 
Whole Life.  Whole life products provide a guaranteed benefit upon the death of the insured in return for the periodic payment of a fixed premium over a predetermined period. Premium payments may be required for the entire life of the contract period, to a specified age or period, and may be level or change in accordance with a predetermined schedule. Whole life insurance includes policies that provide a participation feature in the form of dividends. Policyholders may receive dividends in cash or apply them to increase death benefits, increase cash values available upon surrender or reduce the premiums required to maintain the contract in-force. Because the use of dividends is specified by the policyholder, this group of products provides significant flexibility to individuals to tailor the product to suit their specific needs and circumstances, while at the same time providing guaranteed benefits.
 
Our Non-Medical Health products and services include dental insurance, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability income, long-term care (“LTC”), critical illness and accidental death & dismemberment coverages. Other products and services include employer-sponsored auto and homeowners insurance provided through the Auto & Home segment and prepaid legal plans. We also sell administrative services-only (“ASO”) arrangements to some employers. The major products in this area are:
 
Dental.  Dental products provide insurance and ASO plans that assist employees, retirees and their families in maintaining oral health while reducing out-of-pocket expenses and providing superior customer service. Dental plans include the Preferred Dentist Program and the Dental Health Maintenance Organization.
 
Disability.  Disability products provide a benefit in the event of the disability of the insured. In most instances, this benefit is in the form of monthly income paid until the insured reaches age 65. In addition to


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income replacement, the product may be used to provide for the payment of business overhead expenses for disabled business owners or mortgage payment protection. This is offered on both a group and individual basis.
 
Long-term Care.  LTC products provide protection against the potentially high costs of LTC services. They generally pay benefits to insureds who need assistance with activities of daily living or have a cognitive impairment. In November 2010, we announced our decision to discontinue all new sales of individual and employer group LTC products, as well as our intent to file for an in-force rate increase on our employer group business. We remain committed to our existing LTC insureds and will ensure that they continue to receive the same high level of service.
 
Retirement Products
 
Our Retirement products segment includes a variety of variable and fixed annuities that are primarily sold to individuals and employees of corporations and other institutions. The major products in this area are:
 
Variable Annuities.  Variable annuities provide for both asset accumulation and asset distribution needs. Variable annuities allow the contractholder to make deposits into various investment options in a separate account, as determined by the contractholder. The risks associated with such investment options are borne entirely by the contractholder, except where guaranteed minimum benefits are involved. In certain variable annuity products, contractholders may also choose to allocate all or a portion of their account to the Company’s general account and are credited with interest at rates we determine, subject to certain minimums. In addition, contractholders may also elect certain minimum death benefit and minimum living benefit guarantees for which additional fees are charged.
 
Fixed Annuities.  Fixed annuities provide for both asset accumulation and asset distribution needs. Fixed annuities do not allow the same investment flexibility provided by variable annuities, but provide guarantees related to the preservation of principal and interest credited. Deposits made into deferred annuity contracts are allocated to the Company’s general account and are credited with interest at rates we determine, subject to certain minimums. Credited interest rates are guaranteed not to change for certain limited periods of time, ranging from one to ten years. Fixed income annuities provide a guaranteed monthly income for a specified period of years and/or for the life of the annuitant.
 
In the fourth quarter of 2010, management realigned certain income annuity products within the Company’s segments to better conform to the way it manages and assesses its business and began reporting such product results in the Retirement Products segment previously reported in the Corporate Benefit Funding segment. Accordingly, prior period segment results have been adjusted to reflect such product reclassifications. See Note 1 and Note 22 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
 
Corporate Benefit Funding
 
Our Corporate Benefit Funding segment includes an array of annuity and investment products, including, guaranteed interest products and other stable value products, income annuities, and separate account contracts for the investment management of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets. This segment also includes certain products to fund postretirement benefits and company, bank or trust owned life insurance used to finance non-qualified benefit programs for executives. The major products in this area are:
 
Stable Value Products.  We offer general account guaranteed interest contracts, separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and similar products used to support the stable value option of defined contribution plans. We also offer private floating rate funding agreements that are used for money market funds, securities lending cash collateral portfolios and short-term investment funds.
 
Pensions Closeouts.  We offer general account and separate account annuity products, generally in connection with the termination of defined benefit pension plans, both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom (“U.K.”). We also offer partial risk transfer solutions that allow for partial transfers of pension liabilities and annuity products that include single premium buyouts.


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Torts and Settlements.  We offer innovative strategies for complex litigation settlements, primarily structured settlement annuities.
 
Capital Markets Investment Products.  Products offered include funding agreements, Federal Home Loan Bank advances and funding agreement-backed commercial paper.
 
Other Corporate Benefit Funding Products and Services.  We offer specialized life insurance products designed specifically to provide solutions for non-qualified benefit and retiree benefit funding purposes.
 
Auto & Home
 
Our Auto & Home segment includes personal lines property and casualty insurance offered directly to employees at their employer’s worksite, as well as to individuals through a variety of retail distribution channels, including independent agents, property and casualty specialists, direct response marketing and the individual distribution sales group. Auto & Home primarily sells auto insurance, which represented 68% of Auto & Home’s total net earned premiums in 2010. Homeowners and other insurance represented 32% of Auto & Home’s total net earned premiums in 2010. The major products in this area are:
 
Auto Coverages.  Auto insurance policies provide coverage for private passenger automobiles, utility automobiles and vans, motorcycles, motor homes, antique or classic automobiles and trailers. Auto & Home offers traditional coverage such as liability, uninsured motorist, no fault or personal injury protection, as well as collision and comprehensive.
 
Homeowners and Other Coverages.  Homeowners’ insurance policies provide protection for homeowners, renters, condominium owners and residential landlords against losses arising out of damage to dwellings and contents from a wide variety of perils, as well as coverage for liability arising from ownership or occupancy. Other insurance includes personal excess liability (protection against losses in excess of amounts covered by other liability insurance policies), and coverage for recreational vehicles and boat owners. Most of Auto & Home’s homeowners’ policies are traditional insurance policies for dwellings, providing protection for loss on a “replacement cost” basis. These policies also provide additional coverage for reasonable, normal living expenses incurred by policyholders that have been displaced from their homes.
 
Sales Distribution
 
U.S. Business markets our products and services through various distribution groups. Our life insurance and retirement products targeted to individuals are sold via sales forces, comprised of MetLife employees, in addition to third-party organizations. Our group life, non-medical health and corporate benefit funding products are sold via sales forces primarily comprised of MetLife employees. Personal lines property and casualty insurance products are directly marketed to employees at their employer’s worksite. Auto & Home products are also marketed and sold to individuals by independent agents and property and casualty specialists through a direct response channel and the individual distribution sales group. MetLife sales employees work with all distribution groups to better reach and service customers, brokers, consultants and other intermediaries.
 
Individual Distribution
 
Our individual distribution sales group targets the large middle-income market, as well as affluent individuals, owners of small businesses and executives of small- to medium-sized companies. We have also been successful in selling our products in various multi-cultural markets.
 
Insurance Products are sold through our individual distribution sales group and also through various third-party organizations utilizing two models. In the coverage model, wholesalers sell to high net worth individuals and small- to medium-sized businesses through independent general agencies, financial advisors, consultants, brokerage general agencies and other independent marketing organizations under contractual arrangements. In the point of sale model, wholesalers sell through financial intermediaries, including regional broker-dealers, brokerage firms, financial planners and banks.


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Retirement Products are sold through our individual distribution sales group and also through various third-party organizations such as regional broker-dealers, New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) brokerage firms, financial planners and banks.
 
The individual distribution sales group is comprised of three channels: the MetLife distribution channel, a career agency system, the New England financial distribution channel, a general agency system, and MetLife Resources, a career agency system.
 
The MetLife distribution channel had 5,053 MetLife agents under contract in 54 agencies at December 31, 2010. The career agency sales force focuses on the large middle-income and affluent markets, including multi-cultural markets. We support our efforts in multi-cultural markets through targeted advertising, specially trained agents and sales literature written in various languages.
 
The New England financial distribution channel included 33 general agencies providing support to 2,102 general agents and a network of independent brokers throughout the U.S. at December 31, 2010. The New England financial distribution channel targets high net worth individuals, owners of small businesses and executives of small- to medium-sized companies.
 
MetLife Resources, a focused distribution channel of MetLife, markets retirement, annuity and other financial products on a national basis through 547 MetLife agents and independent brokers at December 31, 2010. MetLife Resources targets the nonprofit, educational and healthcare markets.
 
We market and sell Auto & Home products through independent agents, property and casualty specialists, a direct response channel and the direct distribution group. In recent years, we have increased the number of independent agents appointed to sell these products.
 
In 2010, Auto & Home’s business was concentrated in the following states, as measured by amount and percentage of total direct earned premiums:
 
                 
    For the Year Ended December 31, 2010
    (In millions)   Percent
 
New York
  $ 391       13 %
Massachusetts
  $ 258       9 %
Illinois
  $ 203       7 %
Florida
  $ 164       5 %
Connecticut
  $ 153       5 %
Texas
  $ 142       5 %
 
Group Distribution
 
Insurance Products distributes its group life and non-medical health products and services through a sales force that is segmented by the size of the target customer. Marketing representatives sell either directly to corporate and other group customers or through an intermediary, such as a broker or consultant. Voluntary products are sold through the same sales channels, as well as by specialists for these products. Employers have been emphasizing such voluntary products and, as a result, we have increased our focus on communicating and marketing to such employees in order to further foster sales of those products. At December 31, 2010, the group life and non-medical health sales channels had 356 marketing representatives.
 
Retirement Products markets its retirement, savings, investment and payout annuity products and services to sponsors and advisors of benefit plans of all sizes. These products and services are offered to private and public pension plans, collective bargaining units, nonprofit organizations, recipients of structured settlements and the current and retired members of these and other institutions.
 
Corporate Benefit Funding products and services are distributed through dedicated sales teams and relationship managers located in 12 offices around the country. In addition, the retirement & benefits funding organization works with individual distribution and group life and non-medical health distribution areas to better reach and service customers, brokers, consultants and other intermediaries.


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Auto & Home is a leading provider of personal lines property and casualty insurance products offered to employees at their employer’s worksite. At December 31, 2010, 2,215 employers offered MetLife Auto & Home products to their employees.
 
Group marketing representatives market personal lines property and casualty insurance products to employers through a variety of means, including broker referrals and cross-selling to group customers. Once permitted by the employer, MetLife commences marketing efforts to employees. Employees who are interested in the auto and homeowners products can call a toll-free number to request a quote to purchase coverage and to request payroll deduction over the telephone. Auto & Home has also developed a proprietary software that permits an employee in most states to obtain a quote for auto insurance through Auto & Home’s internet website.
 
We have entered into several joint ventures and other arrangements with third parties to expand the marketing and distribution opportunities of group products and services. We also seek to sell our group products and services through sponsoring organizations and affinity groups. In addition, we also provide life and dental coverage to federal employees.
 
International
 
Overview
 
International provides life insurance, accident and health insurance, credit insurance, annuities, endowment and retirement & savings products to both individuals and groups. We focus on markets primarily within Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. We operate in international markets through subsidiaries and affiliates. See “Risk Factors — Fluctuations in Foreign Currency Exchange Rates Could Negatively Affect Our Profitability,” and “Risk Factors — Our International Operations Face Political, Legal, Operational and Other Risks, Including Exposure to Local and Regional Economic Conditions, That Could Negatively Affect Those Operations or Our Profitability,” and “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
 
Japan
 
Our Japan operation (excluding our Japan joint venture, as described below under “— Asia Pacific”) is comprised of the business acquired in the Acquisition. Our Japan operation is among the largest foreign life insurers in Japan and ranks 6th in the Japanese life insurance industry measured by total premiums according to the Statistics of Life Insurance in Japan 2009. It provides life insurance, accident and health insurance, annuities and endowment products to both individuals and groups. Its products are distributed through a multi-distribution platform consisting of captive agents, independent agents, brokers, bancassurance, and direct marketing (“DM”).
 
Latin America
 
We operate in 20 countries in Latin America, with the largest operations in Mexico, Chile and Argentina. The Mexican operation is the largest life insurance company in both the individual and group businesses in Mexico according to Asociación Mexicana de Instituciones de Seguro, a Mexican industry trade group which provides rankings for insurance companies. Our Chilean operation is the largest annuity company in Chile, based on market share according to Superintendencia Valores y Seguros, the Chilean insurance regulator. The Chilean operation also offers individual life insurance and group insurance products. We also actively market individual life insurance, group insurance products and credit life coverage in Argentina, but the nationalization of the pension system substantially reduced our presence in Argentina. The business environment in Argentina has been, and may continue to be, affected by governmental and legal actions which impact our results of operations.
 
Asia Pacific
 
We operate in 5 countries in Asia Pacific with the largest operations in South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia. Our South Korean operation has significant sales of variable universal life and annuity products. Our Hong Kong operation has significant sales of variable universal life and endowment products. Our Australia operation has significant sales of credit insurance and group life products. We also operate through joint ventures in Japan and China, the results of which are reflected in net investment income and are not consolidated in the financial results.


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We have a quota share reinsurance agreement with the joint venture in Japan, whereby we assume 100% of the living and death guarantee benefits associated with the variable annuity business written after April 2005 by the joint venture. As discussed in Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company reached an agreement to sell its 50% interest in the joint venture in Japan.
 
Europe and the Middle East
 
We operate in 39 countries in Europe and the Middle East with our largest operations in Poland, the U.K., France, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as through a consolidated joint venture in India. Our Poland operation is a leading provider of life insurance, accident and health insurance, and credit insurance. It is consistently ranked as a top 3 company in net profits according to “Rzeczpospolita” financial daily. Our U.K. operation provides life insurance, accident and health insurance and variable annuities in its home market and throughout Europe. Our operation in France provides life insurance, accident and health insurance and credit insurance. In the Middle East, we provide life insurance, accident and health insurance, credit insurance, annuities, endowment and retirement & savings products.
 
Sales Distribution
 
International markets its products and services through a multi-distribution strategy which varies by geographic region. The various distribution channels include: agency, bancassurance, DM, brokerage and e-commerce. In developing countries, agency covers the needs of the emerging middle class with primarily traditional products (e.g., endowment and accident and health). In more developed and mature markets, agents, while continuing to serve their existing customers to keep pace with their developing financial needs, also target upper middle class and high net worth customer bases with a more sophisticated product set including more investment-sensitive products, such as universal life, mutual fund and single premium deposits.
 
In the bancassurance channel, International leverages partnerships that span all regions. In addition, DM has extensive and far reaching capabilities in all regions. The DM operations deploy both broadcast marketing approaches (e.g. direct response TV, web-based lead generation) and traditional DM techniques such as telemarketing. Japan represents the largest DM market.
 
Japan
 
Japan’s multi-channel distribution strategy consists of captive agents, independent agents, bancassurance and DM. While face-to-face channels continue to be core to Japan’s business, other channels, including bancassurance and DM, have become a critical part of Japan’s distribution strategy. Our Japan operation has maintained its position in bancassurance due to its strong distribution relationship with Japan’s mega banks, trust banks and various regional banks, as well as with the Japan Post. The DM channel is supported by an industry-leading marketing platform, state-of-the-art call center infrastructure and its own campaign management system.
 
Japan has 5,397 captive agents, 10,642 independent agents, 96 bancassurance relationships, including Japan Post, and 195 DM sponsors.
 
Latin America
 
Latin America’s key distribution channels include captive agents, large multinational brokers and small-and medium-sized brokers, direct and group sales forces (mostly for group policies without broker intermediation), DM, bancassurance and worksite marketing. The region has an exclusive and captive agency distribution network with more than 3,000 agents also selling a variety of individual life, accident and health, and pension products (“AFORE”), as well as small- and medium-sized group life and medical solutions products. We currently work with over 3,300 active brokers with registered sales of group and individual life, accident and health, group medical, dental and pension products. Worksite marketing has over 2,300 agents.


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Asia Pacific
 
In Asia Pacific, distribution strategies differ by country but generally utilize a combination of captive agents, bancassurance relationships and DM. Agency sales are achieved through a force of approximately 7,500 agents and a growing force of independent general agents. Bancassurance sales are currently reliant upon a significant regional strategic partnership along with a number of smaller partnerships in each market. Throughout the region, our Asia Pacific operation leverages its expertise in DM operations management to conduct its own campaigns and provide those DM capabilities to third-party sponsors.
 
While not a significant part of the region’s overall business, sales of group life and pension business are primarily achieved through independent brokers and an employee sales force.
 
Europe and the Middle East
 
Our operation in Central and Eastern Europe (“CEE”) has a multi-channel distribution strategy, which includes significant face to face channels, built on a strong captive agency force of more than 3,450 agents, and relationships with more than 150 independent brokers and third-party multi-level agency networks. Our CEE operation also has a group/corporate business direct sales force of more than 70 and distribution relationships with more than 90 banks, other financial and non financial institutions, as well as a fast growing DM channel. The primary method of distribution is captive and third party agency and captive direct sales forces, with a growing presence in bank, other financial and non financial institutions, and DM.
 
Our operation in Continental Western Europe (“CWE”) also has a multi-channel distribution strategy, including DM, brokerage, banks and financial institutions. Our U.K. operation has built a strong position in the U.K. independent financial advisor sector through its strong distribution relationships with Britain’s leading advisory networks, serving the mainstream markets specializing particularly in guaranteed products. Recent arrangements with two U.K. banks should enhance our distribution capability going forward. Our U.K. operation also has an agency force which focuses on the protection market.
 
In the Middle East, our products are distributed via a variety of channels including approximately 16,400 agents, bancassurance, brokers and DM. Agency distribution is the primary channel, with MetLife having the largest captive network in the Middle East. Bancassurance is a growing channel with approximately 100 relationships, and approximately 250 programs providing access to millions of bank customers.
 
Banking, Corporate & Other
 
Banking, Corporate & Other contains the excess capital not allocated to the segments, which is invested to optimize investment spread and to fund company initiatives and various start-up and run-off entities. Banking, Corporate & Other also includes interest expense related to the majority of our outstanding debt and expenses associated with certain legal proceedings, as well as the financial results of MetLife Bank, which offers a variety of mortgage and deposit products. The elimination of transactions from activity between U.S. Business, International, and Banking, Corporate & Other occurs within Banking, Corporate & Other.
 
Mortgage products offered by MetLife Bank include forward and reverse residential mortgage loans. Residential mortgage loans are originated through MetLife Bank’s national sales force, mortgage brokers and mortgage correspondents.
 
The residential mortgage banking activities include the origination and servicing of mortgage loans. Mortgage loans are held-for-investment or sold primarily into Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) or Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) securities. MetLife Bank also leverages MetLife’s investment platform to source commercial and agriculture loans as investments on its balance sheet. MetLife Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (“FHLB of NY”) and is subject to regulation, examination and supervision by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and secondarily by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the Federal Reserve.


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The origination of forward and reverse mortgage single family loans include both variable and fixed rate products. MetLife Bank does not originate sub-prime or alternative residential mortgage loans (“Alt-A”) and the funding for the mortgage banking activities is provided by deposits and borrowings.
 
Deposit products include traditional savings accounts, money market savings accounts, certificates of deposit (“CDs”) and individual retirement accounts. MetLife Bank participates in the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service program through which certain customer CDs are exchanged for CDs of similar amounts from participating banks. The deposit products provide a relatively stable source of funding and liquidity and are used to fund securities and loans. In addition, MetLife Bank principally seeks deposits from direct customers via the Internet and postal mail, and takes advantage of cross-marketing opportunities, including through voluntary benefits platforms of its affiliates’ customers.
 
Policyholder Liabilities
 
We establish, and carry as liabilities, actuarially determined amounts that are calculated to meet our policy obligations when a policy matures or is surrendered, an insured dies or becomes disabled or upon the occurrence of other covered events, or to provide for future annuity payments. We compute the amounts for actuarial liabilities reported in our consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP. For more details on Policyholder Liabilities see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Liability for Future Policy Benefits” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Policyholder Liabilities.”
 
Pursuant to state insurance laws and country regulators, the Holding Company’s insurance subsidiaries establish statutory reserves, reported as liabilities, to meet their obligations on their respective policies. These statutory reserves are established in amounts sufficient to meet policy and contract obligations, when taken together with expected future premiums and interest at assumed rates. Statutory reserves generally differ from actuarial liabilities for future policy benefits determined using GAAP.
 
The New York Insurance Law and regulations require certain MetLife entities to submit to the New York Superintendent of Insurance or other state insurance departments, with each annual report, an opinion and memorandum of a “qualified actuary” that the statutory reserves and related actuarial amounts recorded in support of specified policies and contracts, and the assets supporting such statutory reserves and related actuarial amounts, make adequate provision for their statutory liabilities with respect to these obligations. See “— U.S. Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Policy and Contract Reserve Sufficiency Analysis.”
 
Underwriting and Pricing
 
Underwriting
 
Underwriting generally involves an evaluation of applications for Insurance Products, Retirement Products, Corporate Benefit Funding, and Auto & Home by a professional staff of underwriters and actuaries, who determine the type and the amount of risk that we are willing to accept. In addition to the products described above, with the exception of Auto & Home, International also offers credit insurance, accident and health, and medical products. We employ detailed underwriting policies, guidelines and procedures designed to assist the underwriter to properly assess and quantify risks before issuing policies to qualified applicants or groups.
 
Insurance underwriting considers not only an applicant’s medical history, but also other factors such as financial profile, foreign travel, vocations and alcohol, drug and tobacco use. Group underwriting generally evaluates the risk characteristics of each prospective insured group, although with certain voluntary products and for certain coverages, members of a group may be underwritten on an individual basis. We generally perform our own underwriting; however, certain policies are reviewed by intermediaries under guidelines established by us. Generally, we are not obligated to accept any risk or group of risks from, or to issue a policy or group of policies to, any employer or intermediary. Requests for coverage are reviewed on their merits and generally a policy is not issued unless the particular risk or group has been examined and approved by our underwriters.


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Our remote underwriting offices, intermediaries, as well as our corporate underwriting office, are periodically reviewed via continuous on-going internal underwriting audits to maintain high-standards of underwriting and consistency. Such offices are also subject to periodic external audits by reinsurers with whom we do business.
 
We have established senior level oversight of the underwriting process that facilitates quality sales and serves the needs of our customers, while supporting our financial strength and business objectives. Our goal is to achieve the underwriting, mortality and morbidity levels reflected in the assumptions in our product pricing. This is accomplished by determining and establishing underwriting policies, guidelines, philosophies and strategies that are competitive and suitable for the customer, the agent and us.
 
Auto & Home’s underwriting function has six principal aspects: evaluating potential worksite marketing employer accounts and independent agencies; establishing guidelines for the binding of risks; reviewing coverage bound by agents; underwriting potential insureds, on a case by case basis, presented by agents outside the scope of their binding authority; pursuing information necessary in certain cases to enable Auto & Home to issue a policy within our guidelines; and ensuring that renewal policies continue to be written at rates commensurate with risk.
 
Subject to very few exceptions, agents in each of the U.S. Business distribution channels have binding authority for risks which fall within its published underwriting guidelines. Risks falling outside the underwriting guidelines may be submitted for approval to the underwriting department; alternatively, agents in such a situation may call the underwriting department to obtain authorization to bind the risk themselves. In most states, we generally have the right within a specified period (usually the first 60 days) to cancel any policy.
 
Pricing
 
Pricing has traditionally reflected our corporate underwriting standards. Product pricing is based on the expected payout of benefits calculated through the use of assumptions for mortality, morbidity, expenses, persistency and investment returns, as well as certain macroeconomic factors, such as inflation. Investment-oriented products are priced based on various factors, which may include investment return, expenses, persistency and optionality. For certain investment oriented products in the U.S. and certain business sold internationally, pricing may include prospective and retrospective experience rating features. Prospective experience rating involves the evaluation of past experience for the purpose of determining future premium rates and all prior year gains and losses are borne by us. Retrospective experience rating also involves the evaluation of past experience for the purpose of determining the actual cost of providing insurance for the customer, however, the contract includes certain features that allow us to recoup certain losses or distribute certain gains back to the policyholder based on actual prior years’ experience.
 
Rates for group life, non-medical health, and medical health products are based on anticipated results for the book of business being underwritten. Renewals are generally reevaluated annually or biannually and are repriced to reflect actual experience on such products. Products offered by Corporate Benefit Funding are priced frequently and are very responsive to bond yields, and such prices include additional margin in periods of market uncertainty. This business is predominantly illiquid, because a majority of the policyholders have no contractual rights to cash values and no options to change the form of the product’s benefits.
 
Rates for individual life insurance products are highly regulated and must be approved by the regulators of the jurisdictions in which the product is sold. Generally such products are renewed annually and may include pricing terms that are guaranteed for a certain period of time. Fixed and variable annuity products are also highly regulated and approved by the respective regulators. Such products generally include penalties for early withdrawals and policyholder benefit elections to tailor the form of the product’s benefits to the needs of the opting policyholder. We periodically reevaluate the costs associated with such options and will periodically adjust pricing levels on our guarantees. Further, from time to time, we may also reevaluate the type and level of guarantee features currently being offered.
 
Rates for Auto & Home’s major lines of insurance are based on its proprietary database, rather than relying on rating bureaus. Auto & Home determines prices in part from a number of variables specific to each risk. The pricing of personal lines insurance products takes into account, among other things, the expected frequency and severity of losses, the costs of providing coverage (including the costs of acquiring policyholders and administering policy


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benefits and other administrative and overhead costs), competitive factors and profit considerations. The major pricing variables for personal lines insurance include characteristics of the insured property, such as age, make and model or construction type, as well as characteristics of the insureds, such as driving record and loss experience, and the insured’s personal financial management. Auto & Home’s ability to set and change rates is subject to regulatory oversight.
 
As a condition of our license to do business in each state, Auto & Home, like all other automobile insurers, is required to write or share the cost of private passenger automobile insurance for higher risk individuals who would otherwise be unable to obtain such insurance. This “involuntary” market, also called the “shared market,” is governed by the applicable laws and regulations of each state, and policies written in this market are generally written at rates higher than standard rates.
 
We continually review our underwriting and pricing guidelines so that our policies remain competitive and supportive of our marketing strategies and profitability goals. The current economic environment, with its volatility and uncertainty is not expected to materially impact the pricing of our products.
 
Reinsurance Activity
 
We participate in reinsurance activities in order to limit losses, minimize exposure to significant risks, and provide additional capacity for future growth. We enter into various agreements with reinsurers that cover individual risks, group risks or defined blocks of business, primarily on a coinsurance, yearly renewable term, excess or catastrophe excess basis. These reinsurance agreements spread risk and minimize the effect of losses. The extent of each risk retained by us depends on our evaluation of the specific risk, subject, in certain circumstances, to maximum retention limits based on the characteristics of coverages. We also cede first dollar mortality risk under certain contracts. In addition to reinsuring mortality risk, we reinsure other risks, as well as specific coverages. We obtain reinsurance for capital requirement purposes and also when the economic impact of the reinsurance agreement makes it appropriate to do so.
 
Under the terms of the reinsurance agreements, the reinsurer agrees to reimburse us for the ceded amount in the event a claim is paid. Cessions under reinsurance arrangements do not discharge our obligations as the primary insurer. In the event that reinsurers do not meet their obligations under the terms of the reinsurance agreements, reinsurance balances recoverable could become uncollectible.
 
We reinsure our business through a diversified group of well-capitalized, highly rated reinsurers. We analyze recent trends in arbitration and litigation outcomes in disputes, if any, with our reinsurers. We monitor ratings and evaluate the financial strength of our reinsurers by analyzing their financial statements. In addition, the reinsurance recoverable balance due from each reinsurer is evaluated as part of the overall monitoring process. Recoverability of reinsurance recoverable balances is evaluated based on these analyses. We generally secure large reinsurance recoverable balances with various forms of collateral, including secured trusts, funds withheld accounts and irrevocable letters of credit.
 
U.S. Business
 
For our individual life insurance products, we have historically reinsured the mortality risk primarily on an excess of retention basis or a quota share basis. We currently reinsure 90% of the mortality risk in excess of $1 million for most products and reinsure up to 90% of the mortality risk for certain other products. In addition to reinsuring mortality risk as described above, we reinsure other risks, as well as specific coverages. Placement of reinsurance is done primarily on an automatic basis and also on a facultative basis for risks with specified characteristics. On a case by case basis, we may retain up to $20 million per life and reinsure 100% of amounts in excess of the amount we retain. We evaluate our reinsurance programs routinely and may increase or decrease our retention at any time.
 
For other policies within the Insurance Products segment, we generally retain most of the risk and only cede particular risks on certain client arrangements.
 
Our Retirement Products segment reinsures a portion of the living and death benefit guarantees issued in connection with our variable annuities. Under these reinsurance agreements, we pay a reinsurance premium


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generally based on fees associated with the guarantees collected from policyholders, and receive reimbursement for benefits paid or accrued in excess of account values, subject to certain limitations.
 
Our Corporate Benefit Funding segment has periodically engaged in reinsurance activities, as considered appropriate.
 
Our Auto & Home segment purchases reinsurance to manage its exposure to large losses (primarily catastrophe losses) and to protect statutory surplus. We cede to reinsurers a portion of losses and premiums based upon the exposure of the policies subject to reinsurance. To manage exposure to large property and casualty losses, we utilize property catastrophe, casualty and property per risk excess of loss agreements.
 
International
 
For certain of our life insurance products, we reinsure risks above the corporate retention limit of up to $5 million to external reinsurers on a yearly renewable term basis. We may also reinsure certain risks with external reinsurers depending upon the nature of the risk and local regulatory requirements.
 
For selected large corporate clients, our International segment reinsures group employee benefits or credit insurance business with various client-affiliated reinsurance companies, covering policies issued to the employees or customers of the clients. Additionally, we cede and assume risk with other insurance companies when either company requires a business partner with the appropriate local licensing to issue certain types of policies in certain countries. In these cases, the assuming company typically underwrites the risks, develops the products and assumes most or all of the risk.
 
Our International segment also has reinsurance agreements in force that reinsure a portion of the living and death benefit guarantees issued in connection with our variable annuities. Under these agreements, we pay reinsurance fees associated with the guarantees collected from policyholders, and receive reimbursement for benefits paid or accrued in excess of account values, subject to certain limitations.
 
Banking, Corporate & Other
 
We also reinsure through 100% quota share reinsurance agreements certain run-off LTC and workers’ compensation business written by MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (“MICC”), a subsidiary of the Company.
 
Catastrophe Coverage
 
We have exposure to catastrophes, which could contribute to significant fluctuations in our results of operations. We also use excess of retention and quota share reinsurance arrangements to provide greater diversification of risk and minimize exposure to larger risks. For our International segment, we currently purchase catastrophe coverage to insure risks within certain countries deemed by management to be exposed to the greatest catastrophic risks.
 
Reinsurance Recoverables
 
For information regarding ceded reinsurance recoverable balances, included in premiums, reinsurance and other receivables in the consolidated balance sheets, see Note 9 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
U.S. Regulation
 
Insurance Regulation
 
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MLIC”) is licensed to transact insurance business in, and is subject to regulation and supervision by, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands. Each of MetLife’s insurance subsidiaries is licensed and regulated in each U.S. and international jurisdiction where it conducts insurance business. The extent of such regulation varies, but most jurisdictions have laws and regulations governing the financial aspects of insurers, including standards of


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solvency, statutory reserves, reinsurance and capital adequacy, and the business conduct of insurers. In addition, statutes and regulations usually require the licensing of insurers and their agents, the approval of policy forms and certain other related materials and, for certain lines of insurance, the approval of rates. Such statutes and regulations also prescribe the permitted types and concentration of investments. New York Insurance Law limits the amount of compensation that insurers doing business in New York may pay to their agents, as well as the amount of total expenses, including sales commissions and marketing expenses, that such insurers may incur in connection with the sale of life insurance policies and annuity contracts throughout the U.S.
 
Each insurance subsidiary is required to file reports, generally including detailed annual financial statements, with insurance regulatory authorities in each of the jurisdictions in which it does business, and its operations and accounts are subject to periodic examination by such authorities. These subsidiaries must also file, and in many jurisdictions and in some lines of insurance obtain regulatory approval for, rules, rates and forms relating to the insurance written in the jurisdictions in which they operate.
 
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) has established a program of accrediting state insurance departments. NAIC accreditation contemplates that accredited states will conduct periodic examinations of insurers domiciled in such states. NAIC-accredited states will not accept reports of examination of insurers from unaccredited states, except under limited circumstances. As a direct result, insurers domiciled in unaccredited states may be subject to financial examination by accredited states in which they are licensed, in addition to any examinations conducted by their domiciliary states. In 2009, the New York State Department of Insurance (the “Department”), MLIC’s principal insurance regulator, received accreditation from the NAIC. Previously, the Department was not accredited by the NAIC, but the absence of this accreditation did not have a significant impact upon our ability to conduct our insurance businesses.
 
State and federal insurance and securities regulatory authorities and other state law enforcement agencies and attorneys general from time to time make inquiries regarding compliance by the Holding Company and its insurance subsidiaries with insurance, securities and other laws and regulations regarding the conduct of our insurance and securities businesses. We cooperate with such inquiries and take corrective action when warranted. See Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Holding Company Regulation.  The Holding Company and its U.S. insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulation under the insurance holding company laws of various jurisdictions. The insurance holding company laws and regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally require a controlled insurance company (insurers that are subsidiaries of insurance holding companies) to register with state regulatory authorities and to file with those authorities certain reports, including information concerning its capital structure, ownership, financial condition, certain intercompany transactions and general business operations.
 
State insurance statutes also typically place restrictions and limitations on the amount of dividends or other distributions payable by insurance company subsidiaries to their parent companies, as well as on transactions between an insurer and its affiliates. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Holding Company — Liquidity and Capital Sources — Dividends from Subsidiaries.”
 
Guaranty Associations and Similar Arrangements.  Most of the jurisdictions in which our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are admitted to transact business require life and property and casualty insurers doing business within the jurisdiction to participate in guaranty associations, which are organized to pay certain contractual insurance benefits owed pursuant to insurance policies issued by impaired, insolvent or failed insurers. These associations levy assessments, up to prescribed limits, on all member insurers in a particular state on the basis of the proportionate share of the premiums written by member insurers in the lines of business in which the impaired, insolvent or failed insurer is engaged. Some states permit member insurers to recover assessments paid through full or partial premium tax offsets.
 
In the past five years, the aggregate assessments levied against MetLife have not been material. We have established liabilities for guaranty fund assessments that we consider adequate for assessments with respect to insurers that are currently subject to insolvency proceedings. See Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on the insolvency assessments.


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Statutory Insurance Examination.  As part of their regulatory oversight process, state insurance departments conduct periodic detailed examinations of the books, records, accounts, and business practices of insurers domiciled in their states. State insurance departments also have the authority to conduct examinations of non-domiciliary insurers that are licensed in their states. During the three-year period ended December 31, 2010, MetLife has not received any material adverse findings resulting from state insurance department examinations of its insurance subsidiaries conducted during this three-year period.
 
Regulatory authorities in a small number of states, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and, occasionally, the SEC, have had investigations or inquiries relating to sales of individual life insurance policies or annuities or other products by MLIC, MetLife Securities, Inc., New England Life Insurance Company, New England Securities Corporation, General American Life Insurance Company, Walnut Street Securities, Inc., MICC and Tower Square Securities, Inc. These investigations often focus on the conduct of particular financial services representatives and the sale of unregistered or unsuitable products or the misuse of client assets. Over the past several years, these and a number of investigations by other regulatory authorities were resolved for monetary payments and certain other relief, including restitution payments. We may continue to resolve investigations in a similar manner.
 
Policy and Contract Reserve Sufficiency Analysis.  Annually, our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are required to conduct an analysis of the sufficiency of all statutory reserves. In each case, a qualified actuary must submit an opinion which states that the statutory reserves, when considered in light of the assets held with respect to such reserves, make good and sufficient provision for the associated contractual obligations and related expenses of the insurer. If such an opinion cannot be provided, the insurer must set up additional reserves by moving funds from surplus. Since inception of this requirement, our U.S. insurance subsidiaries which are required by their states of domicile to provide these opinions have provided such opinions without qualifications.
 
Surplus and Capital.  Our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are subject to the supervision of the regulators in each jurisdiction in which they are licensed to transact business. Regulators have discretionary authority, in connection with the continued licensing of these insurance subsidiaries, to limit or prohibit sales to policyholders if, in their judgment, the regulators determine that such insurer has not maintained the minimum surplus or capital or that the further transaction of business will be hazardous to policyholders. See “— Risk-Based Capital.”
 
Risk-Based Capital (“RBC”).  Each of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries that is subject to RBC requirements reports its RBC based on a formula calculated by applying factors to various asset, premium and statutory reserve items, as well as taking into account the risk characteristics of the insurer. The major categories of risk involved are asset risk, insurance risk, interest rate risk, market risk and business risk. The formula is used as an early warning regulatory tool to identify possible inadequately capitalized insurers for purposes of initiating regulatory action, and not as a means to rank insurers generally. State insurance laws provide insurance regulators the authority to require various actions by, or take various actions against, insurers whose RBC ratio does not meet or exceed certain RBC levels. As of the date of the most recent annual statutory financial statements filed with insurance regulators, the RBC of each of these subsidiaries was in excess of each of those RBC levels. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Capital.”
 
Statutory Accounting Principles.  The NAIC provides standardized insurance industry accounting and reporting guidance through its Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual (the “Manual”). However, statutory accounting principles continue to be established by individual state laws, regulations and permitted practices. The Department has adopted the Manual with certain modifications for the preparation of statutory financial statements of insurance companies domiciled in New York. Changes to the Manual or modifications by the various state insurance departments may impact the statutory capital and surplus of the Company’s U.S. insurance subsidiaries.
 
Regulation of Investments.  Each of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are subject to state laws and regulations that require diversification of our investment portfolios and limit the amount of investments in certain asset categories, such as below investment grade fixed income securities, equity real estate, other equity investments, and derivatives. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations would cause investments exceeding regulatory limitations to be treated as non-admitted assets for purposes of measuring surplus and, in some instances, would


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require divestiture of such non-qualifying investments. We believe that the investments made by each of the Company’s insurance subsidiaries complied, in all material respects, with such regulations at December 31, 2010.
 
Until various studies are completed and final regulations are promulgated pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), the full impact of Dodd-Frank on the investments, investment activities and insurance and annuity products of the Company remain unclear. See “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
Federal Initiatives.  Although the federal government generally does not directly regulate the insurance business, federal initiatives often have an impact on our business in a variety of ways. See “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.” From time to time, federal measures are proposed which may significantly affect the insurance business. These areas include financial services regulation, securities regulation, pension regulation, health care regulation, privacy, tort reform legislation and taxation. In addition, various forms of direct and indirect federal regulation of insurance have been proposed from time to time, including proposals for the establishment of an optional federal charter for insurance companies. Dodd-Frank established the Federal Insurance Office within the Department of Treasury to collect information about the insurance industry, recommend prudential standards, and represent the U.S. in dealings with foreign insurance regulators. See “Risk Factors — Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
Financial Holding Company Regulation
 
Regulatory Agencies.  As the owner of a federally-chartered bank, MetLife, Inc. is a bank holding company and financial holding company. As such, the Holding Company is subject to regulation under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHC Act”), and to inspection, examination, and supervision by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition, MetLife Bank is subject to regulation and examination primarily by the OCC and secondarily by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the FDIC, as described below under “— Banking Regulation.”
 
Financial Holding Company Activities.  As a financial holding company, MetLife, Inc.’s activities and investments are restricted by the BHC Act, as amended by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (the “GLB Act”), to those that are “financial” in nature or “incidental” or “complementary” to such financial activities. Activities that are financial in nature include securities underwriting, dealing and market making, sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies, insurance underwriting and agency, merchant banking and activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined to be closely related to banking. In addition, under the insurance company investment portfolio provision of the GLB Act, financial holding companies are authorized to make investments in other financial and non-financial companies, through their insurance subsidiaries, that are in the ordinary course of business and in accordance with state insurance law, provided the financial holding company does not routinely manage or operate such companies except as may be necessary to obtain a reasonable return on investment. Under Dodd-Frank, as a large, interconnected bank holding company with assets of $50 billion or more, or possibly as an otherwise systemically important financial company, MetLife, Inc. will be subject to enhanced prudential standards imposed on systemically significant financial companies. Enhanced standards will be applied to RBC, liquidity, leverage (unless another, similar standard is appropriate for the Company), resolution plan and credit exposure reporting, concentration limits, and risk management. The so-called “Volcker Rule” provisions of Dodd-Frank restrict the ability of affiliates of insured depository institutions (such as MetLife Bank) to engage in proprietary trading or sponsor or invest in hedge funds or private equity funds. See “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
Capital.  MetLife, Inc. and MetLife Bank are subject to risk-based and leverage capital guidelines issued by the federal banking regulatory agencies for banks and financial holding companies. The federal banking regulatory agencies are required by law to take specific prompt corrective actions with respect to institutions that do not meet minimum capital standards. MetLife, Inc. may become required to comply with further requirements relating to the


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calculation of capital, commonly referred to as “Basel II,” which could require significant investment by the Company, including software. In addition, in December 2010, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published its final rules for increased capital and liquidity requirements (commonly referred to as “Basel III”) for bank holding companies, such as MetLife, Inc. Assuming these requirements are endorsed and adopted by the U.S., they are to be phased in beginning January 1, 2013. It is possible that even more stringent capital and liquidity requirements could be imposed under Dodd-Frank if MetLife, Inc. is determined to be a systemically important company. The ability of MetLife Bank and MetLife, Inc. to pay dividends could be reduced by any additional capital requirements that might be imposed as a result of the enactment of Dodd-Frank and/or the endorsement and adoption by the U.S. of Basel III. See “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “Risk Factors — Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth.” At December 31, 2010, MetLife, Inc. and MetLife Bank were in compliance with applicable requirements currently in effect.
 
Consumer Protection Laws.  Numerous other federal and state laws also affect the Holding Company’s and MetLife Bank’s earnings and activities, including federal and state consumer protection laws. The GLB Act included consumer privacy provisions that, among other things, require disclosure of a financial institution’s privacy policy to customers. In addition, these provisions permit states to adopt more extensive privacy protections through legislation or regulation. As part of Dodd-Frank, Congress established the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to supervise and regulate institutions that provide certain financial products and services to consumers. Although the consumer financial services subject to the Bureau’s jurisdiction generally exclude insurance business of the kind in which we engage, the Bureau does have authority to regulate consumer services provided by MetLife Bank.
 
Change of Control and Restrictions on Mergers and Acquisitions.  Because MetLife, Inc. is a financial holding company and bank holding company, no person may acquire control of MetLife, Inc. without the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board. A change of control is conclusively presumed upon acquisition of 25% or more of any class of voting securities and rebuttably presumed upon acquisition of 10% or more of any class of voting securities. Further, as a result of MetLife, Inc.’s ownership of MetLife Bank, approval from the OCC would be required in connection with a change of control (generally presumed upon the acquisition of 10% or more of any class of voting securities) of MetLife, Inc. As a result of Dodd-Frank, Federal Reserve approval would be required after July 21, 2011, for any acquisition of a non-bank firm by a bank holding company having more than $10 billion of assets, such as MetLife, Inc. As a bank holding company with assets of $50 billion or more, MetLife, Inc. will be required to provide prior notice to the Federal Reserve before acquiring control of voting shares of a company engaged in financial activities that has $10 billion or more of consolidated assets. MetLife, Inc. received the approval of the Federal Reserve prior to consummating the Acquisition.
 
Banking Regulation
 
As a federally chartered national association, MetLife Bank is subject to a wide variety of banking laws, regulations and guidelines. Federal banking laws regulate most aspects of the business of MetLife Bank, but certain state laws may apply as well. MetLife Bank is principally regulated by the OCC and secondarily by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the FDIC. Federal banking laws and regulations address various aspects of MetLife Bank’s business and operations with respect to, among other things, chartering to carry on business as a bank; maintaining minimum capital ratios; capital management in relation to the bank’s assets; safety and soundness standards; loan loss and other statutory reserves; liquidity; financial reporting and disclosure standards; counterparty credit concentration; restrictions on related party and affiliate transactions; lending limits; payment of interest; unfair or deceptive acts or practices; privacy; and bank holding company and bank change of control. MetLife Bank is also subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection created by Dodd-Frank to promulgate and enforce consumer protection rules for certain kinds of financial products. Dodd-Frank established a statutory standard for Federal preemption of state consumer financial protection laws, which standard will require national banks to comply with many state consumer financial protection laws that previously were considered preempted by Federal law. The FDIC has the right to assess FDIC-insured banks for funds to help pay the obligations of insolvent banks to depositors. Federal and state banking regulators regularly


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re-examine existing laws and regulations applicable to banks and their products. Changes in these laws and regulations, or in interpretations thereof, are often made for the benefit of the consumer at the expense of the bank.
 
Securities, Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Regulation
 
Some of our subsidiaries and their activities in offering and selling variable insurance products are subject to extensive regulation under the federal securities laws administered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). These subsidiaries issue variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies through separate accounts that are registered with the SEC as investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). Each registered separate account is generally divided into sub-accounts, each of which invests in an underlying mutual fund which is itself a registered investment company under the Investment Company Act. In addition, the variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies issued by the separate accounts are registered with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Other subsidiaries are registered with the SEC as broker-dealers under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and are members of, and subject to, regulation by FINRA. Further, some of our subsidiaries are registered as investment advisers with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Advisers Act”), and are also registered as investment advisers in various states, as applicable. Certain variable contract separate accounts sponsored by our subsidiaries are exempt from registration, but may be subject to other provisions of the federal securities laws.
 
Federal and state securities regulatory authorities and FINRA from time to time make inquiries and conduct examinations regarding compliance by the Holding Company and its subsidiaries with securities and other laws and regulations. We cooperate with such inquiries and examinations and take corrective action when warranted.
 
Federal and state securities laws and regulations are primarily intended to protect investors in the securities markets and generally grant regulatory agencies broad rulemaking and enforcement powers, including the power to limit or restrict the conduct of business for failure to comply with such laws and regulations. We may also be subject to similar laws and regulations in the foreign countries in which we provide investment advisory services, offer products similar to those described above, or conduct other activities.
 
Environmental Considerations
 
As an owner and operator of real property, we are subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. Inherent in such ownership and operation is also the risk that there may be potential environmental liabilities and costs in connection with any required remediation of such properties. In addition, we hold equity interests in companies that could potentially be subject to environmental liabilities. We routinely have environmental assessments performed with respect to real estate being acquired for investment and real property to be acquired through foreclosure. We cannot provide assurance that unexpected environmental liabilities will not arise. However, based on information currently available to us, we believe that any costs associated with compliance with environmental laws and regulations or any remediation of such properties will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
 
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) Considerations
 
We provide products and services to certain employee benefit plans that are subject to ERISA, or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). As such, our activities are subject to the restrictions imposed by ERISA and the Code, including the requirement under ERISA that fiduciaries must perform their duties solely in the interests of ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries and the requirement under ERISA and the Code that fiduciaries may not cause a covered plan to engage in prohibited transactions with persons who have certain relationships with respect to such plans. The applicable provisions of ERISA and the Code are subject to enforcement by the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
 
In John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Harris Trust and Savings Bank (1993), the U.S. Supreme Court held that certain assets in excess of amounts necessary to satisfy guaranteed obligations under a participating group annuity general account contract are “plan assets.” Therefore, these assets are subject to certain fiduciary


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obligations under ERISA, which requires fiduciaries to perform their duties solely in the interest of ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries. On January 5, 2000, the Secretary of Labor issued final regulations indicating, in cases where an insurer has issued a policy backed by the insurer’s general account to or for an employee benefit plan, the extent to which assets of the insurer constitute plan assets for purposes of ERISA and the Code. The regulations apply only with respect to a policy issued by an insurer on or before December 31, 1998 (“Transition Policy”). No person will generally be liable under ERISA or the Code for conduct occurring prior to July 5, 2001, where the basis of a claim is that insurance company general account assets constitute plan assets. An insurer issuing a new policy that is backed by its general account and is issued to or for an employee benefit plan after December 31, 1998 will generally be subject to fiduciary obligations under ERISA, unless the policy is a guaranteed benefit policy.
 
The regulations indicate the requirements that must be met so that assets supporting a Transition Policy will not be considered plan assets for purposes of ERISA and the Code. These requirements include detailed disclosures to be made to the employee benefits plan and the requirement that the insurer must permit the policyholder to terminate the policy on 90 day notice and receive without penalty, at the policyholder’s option, either (i) the unallocated accumulated fund balance (which may be subject to market value adjustment) or (ii) a book value payment of such amount in annual installments with interest. We have taken and continue to take steps designed to ensure compliance with these regulations.
 
Legislative and Regulatory Developments
 
Dodd-Frank, enacted in July 2010, effected the most far-reaching overhaul of financial regulation in the U.S. in decades. Dodd-Frank also establishes the framework for new regulations relating to prudential standards for systemically significant financial companies, certain investment activities, consumer protection, the liquidation of bank holding companies, derivative transitions, corporate governance and executive compensation. These changes are particularly relevant to the Company as an insurer, public company and bank holding company. The potential impact of these changes on the Company are more fully discussed under “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth,” “Risk Factors — Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “Risk Factors — New and Impending Compensation and Corporate Governance Regulations Could Hinder or Prevent Us From Attracting and Retaining Management and Other Employees with the Talent and Experience to Manage and Conduct Our Business Effectively.” The full impact of Dodd-Frank on us will depend on the numerous rulemaking initiatives required or permitted by Dodd-Frank and the various studies mandated by Dodd-Frank, which are scheduled to be completed over the next few years.
 
We cannot predict what other proposals may be made, what legislation may be introduced or enacted or the impact of any such legislation on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
International Regulation
 
With the acquisition of ALICO, the Company has significantly expanded its scope of operations in foreign jurisdictions. The Company’s international operations are regulated in the jurisdictions in which they are located or operate. The Company’s international insurance operations are subject to minimum capital, solvency and operational requirements. The authority of the Company’s international operations to conduct business is subject to licensing requirements, permits and approvals, and these authorizations are subject to modification and revocation. Periodic examinations of insurance company books and records, financial reporting requirements, market conduct examinations and policy filing requirements are among the techniques used by regulators to supervise our non-U.S. insurance businesses. The Company also has investment and pension companies in certain foreign jurisdictions that provide mutual fund, pension and other financial products and services. Those entities are subject to securities, investment, pension and other laws and regulations, and oversight by the relevant securities, pension and other authorities of the countries in which the companies operate.
 
The Company’s international operations are exposed to increased political, legal, financial, operational and other risks. Our international operations may be materially adversely affected by the actions and decisions of foreign authorities and regulators, such as through nationalization or expropriation of assets, the imposition of limits


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on foreign ownership of local companies, changes in laws (including tax laws and regulations), their application or interpretation, political instability, dividend limitations, price controls, currency exchange controls or other restrictions that prevent us from transferring funds from these operations out of the countries in which they operate or converting local currencies we hold into U.S. dollars or other currencies, as well as other adverse actions by foreign governmental authorities and regulators. Such actions may negatively affect our business in these jurisdictions. See “Risk Factors — Our International Operations Face Political, Legal, Operational and Other Risks, Including Exposure to Local and Regional Economic Conditions, That Could Negatively Affect Those Operations or Our Profitability.”
 
Certain of the Company’s international insurance operations, including Japan, may be subject to assessments, generally based on their proportionate share of business written in the relevant jurisdiction, for certain obligations to policyholders and claimants resulting from the insolvency of insurance companies. Under the Japanese Insurance Business Law, all licensed life insurers in Japan are assessed on a pre-funded basis by the Life Insurance Policyholders Protection Corporation of Japan. These assessments are aggregated across all licensed life insurers in Japan and used to satisfy certain obligations to policyholders and claimants of insolvent life insurance companies. As we cannot predict the timing and scope of future assessments, they may materially affect the results of operations of the Company’s international insurance operations in particular quarterly or annual periods. In addition, in some jurisdictions, some of the Company’s insurance products are considered “securities” under local law and may be subject to local securities regulations and oversight by local securities regulators.
 
Our operations in Japan are subject to regulation and examination by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (“FSA”). Our operations in Japan are required to file with the FSA annual reports which include financial statements. Similar to the U.S., Japanese law provides that insurers in Japan must maintain specified solvency standards for the protection of policyholders and to support the financial strength of licensed insurers. As of September 30, 2010, the date of our most recent regulatory filing in Japan, the solvency margin ratio of our Japan operations was 1,466%, which is significantly in excess of the legally mandated solvency margin in Japan. The FSA has issued a proposal to revise the current method of calculating the solvency margin ratio. The FSA intends to apply the revised method to life insurance companies for the fiscal year-end 2011 (March 31, 2012) for life insurance companies in Japan, and require the disclosure of the ratio as reference information for fiscal year-end 2010 (March 31, 2011).
 
A portion of the annual earnings of our Japan operations may be repatriated each year, and may further be distributed to the Holding Company as a dividend. We may determine not to repatriate profits from the Japan operations or to repatriate a reduced amount in order to maintain or improve the solvency margin of the Japan operations or for other reasons. In addition, the FSA may limit or not permit profit repatriations or other transfers of funds to the U.S. if such transfers would be detrimental to the solvency or financial strength of our Japan operations or for other reasons.
 
In addition, the European Commission has established Solvency II as a new capital adequacy regime for the European insurance industry, which will become effective beginning in 2013. Solvency II sets capital standards for insurers on a risk basis and has a three-pillar structure covering quantitative requirements, supervisory review, and market disclosure. Regulators in certain other countries, such as Mexico, are also establishing new capital regimes similar to Solvency II. Compliance with these new capital standards may impact the level of capital required to be held at individual legal entities. Further, the efforts required to comply with these regulations may increase operating costs at these entities.
 
We expect the scope and extent of regulation outside of the U.S., as well as regulatory oversight, generally to continue to increase. That oversight, and the legal and regulatory environment in the countries in which the Company operates, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations.
 
Governmental Responses to Extraordinary Market Conditions
 
U.S. Federal Governmental Responses
 
Dodd-Frank was enacted in response to the recent economic crisis. See “— Legislative and Regulatory Developments.” Actions taken by Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Treasury and other


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agencies of the U.S. Federal government prior to the enactment of Dodd-Frank were increasingly aggressive and, together with a series of interest rate reductions that began in the second half of 2007, intended to provide liquidity to financial institutions and markets, to avert a loss of investor confidence in particular troubled institutions and to prevent or contain the spread of the financial crisis. These measures included:
 
  •  expanding the types of institutions that have access to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s discount window;
 
  •  providing asset guarantees and emergency loans to particular distressed companies;
 
  •  a temporary ban on short selling of shares of certain financial institutions (including, for a period, MetLife);
 
  •  programs intended to reduce the volume of mortgage foreclosures by modifying the terms of mortgage loans for distressed borrowers;
 
  •  temporarily guaranteeing money market funds; and
 
  •  programs to support the mortgage-backed securities market and mortgage lending.
 
Many of the actions outlined above expired or terminated by mid-2010 or earlier.
 
In addition to these actions, pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA”), enacted in October 2008, the U.S. Treasury injected capital into selected financial institutions and their holding companies. EESA also authorized the U.S. Treasury to purchase mortgage-backed and other securities from financial institutions as part of the overall $700 billion available for the purpose of stabilizing the financial markets; this authority expired in October 2010. The Federal government, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, FDIC and other governmental and regulatory bodies also took other actions to address the financial crisis. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York made funds available to commercial and financial companies under a number of programs, including the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (the “CPFF”), and the FDIC established the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (the “FDIC Program”). In March 2009, MetLife, Inc. issued $397 million of senior notes guaranteed by the FDIC under the FDIC Program. The FDIC Program and the CPFF expired in late 2009 and early 2010, respectively. During the period of its existence, the Company made limited use of the CPFF, and no amounts were outstanding under the CPFF at December 31, 2009.
 
In February 2009, the Treasury Department outlined a financial stability plan with additional measures to provide capital relief to institutions holding troubled assets, including a capital assistance program for banks that have undergone a “stress test” (the “Capital Assistance Program”) and a public-private investment fund to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions. MetLife was eligible to participate in the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program, a voluntary capital infusion program established under EESA, but elected not to participate in that program. MetLife took part in the “stress test” and was advised by the Federal Reserve in May 2009 that, based on the stress test’s economic scenarios and methodology, MetLife had adequate capital to sustain a further deterioration in the economy. In January 2011, MetLife submitted to the Federal Reserve a comprehensive capital plan, as mandated by the Federal Reserve for the same bank holding companies that completed the 2009 stress test. The capital plan projects MetLife’s capital levels to the end of 2012 under baseline and stress scenarios. The Federal Reserve has stated that it will consider the results of the capital plan exercise in evaluating proposed capital actions by participating bank holding companies, such as common stock dividend increases and stock repurchases. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will provide its assessment of participating institutions’ capital plans in late March 2011.
 
State Insurance Regulatory Responses
 
The NAIC adopted a number of reserve and capital relief proposals during 2009. The NAIC revisited many of those adoptions and studied related and additional topics for potential adoption during 2010.
 
The NAIC revisited the mortgage experience adjustment factor (the “MEAF”) which is utilized in calculating RBC charges that are assigned to commercial and agricultural mortgages held by our domestic insurers. The MEAF calculation includes the ratio of an insurer’s commercial and agricultural mortgage default experience to the industry average commercial and agricultural mortgage default experience and, in 2009, a cap of 125% and a floor


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of 75% were adopted. The NAIC adopted during 2010 a cap of 175% and a floor of 80%. As a result of this revision in MEAF for 2010, the RBC impact on our U.S. insurance subsidiaries is not likely to be material.
 
In late 2009, the NAIC issued Statement of Statutory Accounting Principles (“SSAP”) 10R (“SSAP 10R”). SSAP 10R increased the amount of deferred tax assets that may be admitted on a statutory basis. The admission criteria for realizing the value of deferred tax assets was increased from a one year to a three year period. Further, the aggregate cap on deferred tax assets that may be admitted was increased from 10% to 15% of surplus. These changes increased the capital and surplus of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries, thereby positively impacting RBC at December 31, 2009. To temper this positive RBC impact, and as a temporary measure at December 31, 2009 only, a 5% pre-tax RBC charge must be applied to the additional admitted deferred tax assets generated by SSAP 10R. The adoption for 2009 had a December 31, 2009 sunset; however, during 2010, the 2009 adoption, including the 5% pre-tax RBC charge, was extended through December 31, 2011.
 
In late 2009, following rating agency downgrades of virtually all residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) from certain vintages, the NAIC engaged PIMCO Advisory (“PIMCO”), a provider of investment advisory services, to analyze approximately 20,000 RMBS held by insurers and evaluate the likely loss that holders of those securities would suffer in the event of a default. PIMCO’s analysis showed that the severity of expected losses on those securities evaluated that are held by our U.S. insurance companies was significantly less than would be implied by the rating agencies’ ratings of such securities. The NAIC incorporated the results of PIMCO’s analysis into the RBC charges assigned to the evaluated securities, with a beneficial impact on the RBC of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries. The NAIC utilized the solution again for 2010. The NAIC adopted a similar solution for 2010 for commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) by selecting BlackRock Solutions, a provider of investment advisory services, to assist in the RBC determination process. BlackRock Solutions will serve as a third-party modeler of the 7,000 CMBS holdings of U.S. insurance companies, including MetLife’s U.S. insurance subsidiaries. The impact of the implementation for 2010 of the modeling solution for CMBS is not known at the current time but the RBC impact on our U.S. insurance subsidiaries is not expected to be material.
 
Foreign Governmental and Intergovernmental Responses
 
In an effort to strengthen the financial condition of key financial institutions or avert their collapse, and to forestall or reduce the effects of reduced lending activity, a number of foreign governments and intergovernmental entities have taken action to enhance stability and liquidity, reduce risk and increase regulatory controls and oversight. Foreign government and intergovernmental responses have been similar to some of those taken by the U.S. Federal government, including injecting capital into domestic financial institutions in exchange for ownership stakes and, in the case of certain European Union member states such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, providing or making available certain funds and rescue packages to support the solvency of such countries or financial institutions, and such responses are intended to achieve similar goals. We cannot predict whether foreign government and/or intergovernmental actions will achieve their intended purpose or how such actions will impact competition in the financial services industry. We expect the scope and extent of regulation outside the U.S., as well as regulatory oversight, generally to continue to increase. That oversight, and the legal and regulatory environment in the countries in which the Company operates, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations.
 
Competition
 
We believe that competition faced by our segments is based on a number of factors, including service, product features, scale, price, financial strength, claims-paying ratings, credit ratings, e-business capabilities and name recognition. We compete with a large number of other insurance companies, as well as non-insurance financial services companies, such as banks, broker-dealers and asset managers, for individual consumers, employer and other group customers as well as agents and other distributors of insurance and investment products. Some of these companies offer a broader array of products, have more competitive pricing or, with respect to other insurance companies, have higher claims paying ability ratings. Many of our insurance products are underwritten annually and, accordingly, there is a risk that group purchasers may be able to obtain more favorable terms from competitors rather than renewing coverage with us.


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We believe that the turbulence in financial markets that began in the second half of 2007, its impact on the capital position of many competitors, and subsequent actions by regulators and rating agencies have altered the competitive environment. In particular, we believe that these factors have highlighted financial strength as the most significant differentiator from the perspective of some customers and certain distributors. We believe the Company is well positioned to compete in this environment. In particular, the Company distributes many of its individual products through other financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers. These distribution partners are currently placing greater emphasis on the financial strength of the company whose products they sell. In addition, the financial market turbulence has highlighted the extent of the risk associated with certain variable annuity products and has led many companies in our industry to re-examine the pricing and features of the products they offer. The effects of current market conditions may also lead to consolidation in the life insurance industry. Although we cannot predict the ultimate impact of these conditions, we believe that the strongest companies will enjoy a competitive advantage as a result of the current circumstances.
 
We must attract and retain productive sales representatives to sell our insurance, annuities and investment products. Strong competition exists among insurance companies for sales representatives with demonstrated ability. We compete with other insurance companies for sales representatives primarily on the basis of our financial position, support services and compensation and product features. See “— U.S. Business — Sales Distribution.” In the U.S. and selected international markets, we continue to undertake several initiatives to grow our career agency force, while continuing to enhance the efficiency and production of our existing sales force. We cannot provide assurance that these initiatives will succeed in attracting and retaining new agents. Sales of individual insurance, annuities and investment products and our results of operations and financial position could be materially adversely affected if we are unsuccessful in attracting and retaining agents. See “Risk Factors — We May Be Unable to Attract and Retain Sales Representatives for Our Products.”
 
Numerous aspects of our business are subject to regulation. Legislative and other changes affecting the regulatory environment can affect our competitive position within the life insurance industry and within the broader financial services industry. See “— U.S. Regulation,” “— International Regulation,” “Risk Factors — Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “Risk Factors — Changes in U.S. Federal and State Securities Laws and Regulations, and State Insurance Regulations Regarding Suitability of Annuity Product Sales, May Affect Our Operations and Our Profitability.”
 
Employees
 
At December 31, 2010, we had approximately 66,000 employees. We believe that our relations with our employees are satisfactory.
 
Executive Officers of the Registrant
 
Set forth below is information regarding the executive officers of MetLife, Inc.:
 
C. Robert Henrikson, age 63, has been Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since April 25, 2006. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC from March 1, 2006, President and Chief Operating Officer of MetLife, Inc. from June 2004, and President of the U.S. Insurance and Financial Services businesses of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC from July 2002 to June 2004. He served as President of Institutional Business of MetLife, Inc. from September 1999 to July 2002 and President of Institutional Business of MLIC from May 1999 through June 2002. He was Senior Executive Vice President, Institutional Business, of MLIC from December 1997 to May 1999, Executive Vice President, Institutional Business, from January 1996 to December 1997, and Senior Vice President, Pensions, from January 1991 to January 1995. He is a director of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC.
 
Gwenn L. Carr, age 65, has been Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since August 2009. Previously, she was Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC from June 2009, Senior Vice President, Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Inc, and MLIC from 2007, Senior Vice President and Secretary of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC from October 2004, and Vice President


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and Secretary of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC from August 1999. Ms. Carr was Vice President and Secretary of ITT Corporation from 1990 to 1999.
 
Kathleen A. Henkel, age 62, has been Executive Vice President, Human Resources, of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since March 2010. Previously, she was Senior Vice President, Human Resources, of MLIC from July 2008 to March 2010 and Senior Vice President, Institutional Business, of MLIC from December 2005 to July 2008. Ms. Henkel was promoted to Senior Vice President of MLIC after serving as a Vice President of MLIC from 1992 to 2004. Ms. Henkel joined the Company in 1966 and has served in various senior management positions since that time.
 
Steven A. Kandarian, age 58, has been Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since April 2005. Previously, he was the executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation from 2001 to 2004. Before joining the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Mr. Kandarian was founder and managing partner of Orion Capital Partners, LP, where he managed a private equity fund specializing in venture capital and corporate acquisitions for eight years. He is a director of MetLife Bank.
 
Nicholas D. Latrenta, age 59, has been Executive Vice President of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since August 2010 and General Counsel of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since May 2010. Previously, he was Senior Chief Counsel of MLIC supporting the Insurance Group from March 2007 to April 2010, Chief Counsel of MLIC supporting Institutional Business, ERISA and the Product Tax Legal Group from April 2006 to February 2007, Chief Counsel of MLIC supporting MetLife Business-Legal from July 2004 to March 2006, and Senior Vice President of MLIC Institutional Business from October 2000 to June 2004. Mr. Latrenta was promoted to Senior Vice President of MLIC in 1997 after serving as a Vice President of MLIC from 1986 to 1997. Mr. Latrenta joined the Company in 1969 and has served in various senior management positions since that time. Mr. Latrenta is a director of American Life Insurance Company.
 
Maria R. Morris, age 48, has been Executive Vice President, Technology and Operations, of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since January 2008. Previously, she was Executive Vice President of MLIC from December 2005 to January 2008, Senior Vice President of MLIC from July 2003 to December 2005, and Vice President of MLIC from March 1997 to July 2003. Ms. Morris is a director of MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut.
 
William J. Mullaney, age 51, has been President, U.S. Business of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since August 2009. Previously, he was President, Institutional Business, of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC from January 2007 to July 2009, President of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company from January 2005 to January 2007, Senior Vice President of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company from July 2002 to December 2004, Senior Vice President, Institutional Business, of MLIC from August 2001 to July 2002, and a Vice President of MLIC for more than five years. He is a director of MetLife Bank.
 
William J. Toppeta, age 62, has been President, International, of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since June 2001. He was President of Client Services and Chief Administrative Officer of MetLife, Inc. from September 1999 to June 2001 and President of Client Services and Chief Administrative Officer of MLIC from May 1999 to June 2001. He was Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Client Services, of MLIC from March 1999 to May 1999, Senior Executive Vice President, Individual, from February 1998 to March 1999, Executive Vice President, Individual Business, from July 1996 to February 1998, Senior Vice President from October 1995 to July 1996 and President and Chief Executive Officer of its Canadian Operations from July 1993 to October 1995. Mr. Toppeta is a director of American Life Insurance Company.
 
William J. Wheeler, age 49, has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MetLife, Inc. and MLIC since December 2003, prior to which he was a Senior Vice President of MLIC from 1997 to December 2003. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette for more than five years. Mr. Wheeler is a director of MetLife Bank.
 
Trademarks
 
We have a worldwide trademark portfolio that we consider important in the marketing of our products and services, including, among others, the trademark “MetLife.” We also have the exclusive license to use the Peanuts® characters in the area of financial services and healthcare benefit services in the U.S. and internationally under an


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advertising and premium agreement with Peanuts Worldwide, LLC until December 31, 2014. We also have a non-exclusive license to use certain Citigroup-owned trademarks in connection with the marketing, distribution or sale of life insurance and annuity products under a licensing agreement with Citigroup until June 30, 2015. Furthermore, as result of the recent Acquisition, we acquired American Life Insurance Company and its trademarks, including the “Alico” trademark. We believe that our rights in our trademarks and under our Peanuts® characters license and our Citigroup license are well protected.
 
Available Information
 
MetLife files periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Such reports, proxy statements and other information may be obtained by visiting the Public Reference Room of the SEC at its Headquarters Office, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20549 or by calling the SEC at 1-202-551-8090 or 1-800-SEC-0330 (Office of Investor Education and Advocacy). In addition, the SEC maintains an internet website (www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, including MetLife, Inc.
 
MetLife makes available, free of charge, on its website (www.metlife.com) through the Investor Relations page, its annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to all those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after filing (furnishing) such reports to the SEC. Other information found on the website is not part of this or any other report filed with or furnished to the SEC.
 
Item 1A.   Risk Factors
 
Difficult Conditions in the Global Capital Markets and the Economy Generally May Materially Adversely Affect Our Business and Results of Operations and These Conditions May Not Improve in the Near Future
 
Our business and results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the global capital markets and the economy generally, both in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Stressed conditions, volatility and disruptions in global capital markets or in particular markets or financial asset classes can have an adverse effect on us, in part because we have a large investment portfolio and our insurance liabilities are sensitive to changing market factors. Disruptions in one market or asset class can also spread to other markets or asset classes. Although the disruption in the global financial markets that began in late 2007 has moderated, not all global financial markets are functioning normally, and some remain reliant upon government intervention and liquidity. Upheavals in the financial markets can also affect our business through their effects on general levels of economic activity, employment and customer behavior. Although the recent recession in the U.S. ended in June of 2009, the recovery from the recession has been below historic averages and the unemployment rate is expected to remain high for some time. In addition, inflation is expected to remain at low levels for some time. Some economists believe that some level of disinflation and deflation risk remains in the U.S. economy. The global recession and disruption of the financial markets has led to concerns over capital markets access and the solvency of certain European Union member states, including Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. The Japanese economy, to which we face increased exposure as a result of the Acquisition, continues to experience low nominal growth, a deflationary environment, and weak consumer spending.
 
Our revenues and net investment income are likely to remain under pressure in such circumstances and our profit margins could erode. Also, in the event of extreme prolonged market events, such as the recent global credit crisis, we could incur significant capital and/or operating losses. Even in the absence of a market downturn, we are exposed to substantial risk of loss due to market volatility.
 
We are a significant writer of variable annuity products. The account values of these products decrease as a result of downturns in capital markets. Decreases in account values reduce the fees generated by our variable annuity products, cause the amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs (“DAC”) to accelerate and could increase the level of insurance liabilities we must carry to support those variable annuities issued with any associated guarantees.
 
Factors such as consumer spending, business investment, government spending, the volatility and strength of the capital markets, and inflation all affect the business and economic environment and, ultimately, the amount and


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profitability of our business. In an economic downturn characterized by higher unemployment, lower family income, lower corporate earnings, lower business investment and lower consumer spending, the demand for our financial and insurance products could be adversely affected. Group insurance, in particular, is affected by the higher unemployment rate. In addition, we may experience an elevated incidence of claims and lapses or surrenders of policies. Our policyholders may choose to defer paying insurance premiums or stop paying insurance premiums altogether. Adverse changes in the economy could affect earnings negatively and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. The recent market turmoil has precipitated, and may continue to raise the possibility of, legislative, regulatory and governmental actions. We cannot predict whether or when such actions may occur, or what impact, if any, such actions could have on our business, results of operations and financial condition. See “— Actions of the U.S. Government, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Other Governmental and Regulatory Bodies for the Purpose of Stabilizing and Revitalizing the Financial Markets and Protecting Investors and Consumers May Not Achieve the Intended Effect or Could Adversely Affect MetLife’s Competitive Position,” “— Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth,” “— Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “— Competitive Factors May Adversely Affect Our Market Share and Profitability.”
 
Adverse Capital and Credit Market Conditions May Significantly Affect Our Ability to Meet Liquidity Needs, Access to Capital and Cost of Capital
 
The capital and credit markets are sometimes subject to periods of extreme volatility and disruption. Such volatility and disruption could cause liquidity and credit capacity for certain issuers to be limited.
 
We need liquidity to pay our operating expenses, interest on our debt and dividends on our capital stock, maintain our securities lending activities and replace certain maturing liabilities. Without sufficient liquidity, we will be forced to curtail our operations, and our business will suffer. The principal sources of our liquidity are insurance premiums, annuity considerations, deposit funds, and cash flow from our investment portfolio and assets, consisting mainly of cash or assets that are readily convertible into cash. Sources of liquidity in normal markets also include short-term instruments such as funding agreements and commercial paper. Sources of capital in normal markets include long-term instruments, medium- and long-term debt, junior subordinated debt securities, capital securities and equity securities.
 
In the event market or other conditions have an adverse impact on our capital and liquidity beyond expectations and our current resources do not satisfy our needs, we may have to seek additional financing. The availability of additional financing will depend on a variety of factors such as market conditions, regulatory considerations, the general availability of credit, the volume of trading activities, the overall availability of credit to the financial services industry, our credit ratings and credit capacity, as well as the possibility that customers or lenders could develop a negative perception of our long- or short-term financial prospects if we incur large investment losses or if the level of our business activity decreases due to a market downturn. Similarly, our access to funds may be impaired if regulatory authorities or rating agencies take negative actions against us. Our internal sources of liquidity may prove to be insufficient and, in such case, we may not be able to successfully obtain additional financing on favorable terms, or at all.
 
Our liquidity requirements may change if, among other things, we are required to return significant amounts of cash collateral on short notice under securities lending agreements.
 
Disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the capital and credit markets may also limit our access to capital required to operate our business, most significantly our insurance operations. Such market conditions may limit our ability to replace, in a timely manner, maturing liabilities; satisfy regulatory capital requirements (under both insurance and banking laws); and access the capital necessary to grow our business. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Financial Holding Company Regulation” for information relating to the possible impact of Basel II and Basel III on the Company. As such, we may be forced to delay raising capital, issue different types of securities than we would otherwise, less effectively deploy such capital, issue shorter tenor securities than we prefer, or bear an unattractive cost of capital which could decrease our profitability and significantly reduce our financial flexibility. Our results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and statutory capital position could be materially adversely affected by disruptions in the financial markets.


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Actions of the U.S. Government, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Other Governmental and Regulatory Bodies for the Purpose of Stabilizing and Revitalizing the Financial Markets and Protecting Investors and Consumers May Not Achieve the Intended Effect or Could Adversely Affect MetLife’s Competitive Position
 
In recent years, Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the FDIC, the U.S. Treasury and other agencies of the U.S. federal government took a number of increasingly aggressive actions (in addition to continuing a series of interest rate reductions that began in the second half of 2007) intended to provide liquidity to financial institutions and markets, to avert a loss of investor confidence in particular troubled institutions, to prevent or contain the spread of the financial crisis and to spur economic growth. Most of these programs have largely run their course or been discontinued. More likely to be relevant to MetLife, Inc. is the monetary policy implemented by the Federal Reserve Board, as well as Dodd-Frank, which will significantly change financial regulation in the U.S. in a number of areas that could affect MetLife. Given the large number of provisions that must be implemented through regulatory action, we cannot predict what impact this could have on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
It is not certain what effect the enactment of Dodd-Frank will have on the financial markets, the availability of credit, asset prices and MetLife’s operations. See “— Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.” In addition, the U.S. federal government (including the FDIC) and private lenders have instituted programs to reduce the monthly payment obligations of mortgagors and/or reduce the principal payable on residential mortgage loans. As a result of such programs or of any legislation requiring loan modifications, we may need to maintain or increase our engagement in similar activities in order to comply with program or statutory requirements and to remain competitive. We cannot predict whether the funds made available by the U.S. federal government and its agencies will be enough to continue stabilizing or to further revive the financial markets or, if additional amounts are necessary, whether the Federal Reserve Board will make funds available, whether Congress will be willing to make the necessary appropriations, what the public’s sentiment would be towards any such appropriations, or what additional requirements or conditions might be imposed on the use of any such additional funds.
 
The choices made by the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC in their distribution of funds under EESA and any future asset purchase programs, as well as any decisions made regarding the imposition of additional regulation on large financial institutions may have, over time, the effect of supporting or burdening some aspects of the financial services industry more than others. Some of our competitors have received, or may in the future receive, benefits under one or more of the federal government’s programs. This could adversely affect our competitive position. See “— Competitive Factors May Adversely Affect Our Market Share and Profitability.” See also “— New and Impending Compensation and Corporate Governance Regulations Could Hinder or Prevent Us From Attracting and Retaining Management and Other Employees with the Talent and Experience to Manage and Conduct Our Business Effectively” and “— Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth
 
Our insurance operations are subject to a wide variety of insurance and other laws and regulations. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Insurance Regulation.” State insurance laws regulate most aspects of our U.S. insurance businesses, and our insurance subsidiaries are regulated by the insurance departments of the states in which they are domiciled and the states in which they are licensed. Our non-U.S. insurance operations are principally regulated by insurance regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled or operate. See “Business — International Regulation.”
 
State laws in the U.S. grant insurance regulatory authorities broad administrative powers with respect to, among other things:
 
  •  licensing companies and agents to transact business;
 
  •  calculating the value of assets to determine compliance with statutory requirements;
 
  •  mandating certain insurance benefits;


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  •  regulating certain premium rates;
 
  •  reviewing and approving policy forms;
 
  •  regulating unfair trade and claims practices, including through the imposition of restrictions on marketing and sales practices, distribution arrangements and payment of inducements;
 
  •  regulating advertising;
 
  •  protecting privacy;
 
  •  establishing statutory capital and reserve requirements and solvency standards;
 
  •  fixing maximum interest rates on insurance policy loans and minimum rates for guaranteed crediting rates on life insurance policies and annuity contracts;
 
  •  approving changes in control of insurance companies;
 
  •  restricting the payment of dividends and other transactions between affiliates; and
 
  •  regulating the types, amounts and valuation of investments.
 
State insurance guaranty associations have the right to assess insurance companies doing business in their state for funds to help pay the obligations of insolvent insurance companies to policyholders and claimants. Because the amount and timing of an assessment is beyond our control, the liabilities that we have currently established for these potential liabilities may not be adequate. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Guaranty Associations and Similar Arrangements.”
 
State insurance regulators and the NAIC regularly reexamine 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 at the expense of the insurer and, thus, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Currently, the U.S. federal government does not directly regulate the business of insurance. However, Dodd-Frank allows federal regulators to compel state insurance regulators to liquidate an insolvent insurer under some circumstances if the state regulators have not acted within a specific period. It also establishes the Federal Insurance Office which has the authority to participate in the negotiations of international insurance agreements with foreign regulators for the U.S. The Federal Insurance Office also is authorized to collect information about the insurance industry and recommend prudential standards.
 
Federal legislation and administrative policies in several areas can significantly and adversely affect insurance companies. These areas include financial services regulation, securities regulation, pension regulation, health care regulation, privacy, tort reform legislation and taxation. In addition, various forms of direct and indirect federal regulation of insurance have been proposed from time to time, including proposals for the establishment of an optional federal charter for insurance companies. Other aspects of our insurance operations could also be affected by Dodd-Frank. For example, Dodd-Frank imposes new restrictions on the ability of affiliates of insured depository institutions (such as MetLife Bank) to engage in proprietary trading or sponsor or invest in hedge funds or private equity funds. See “— Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
As a federally chartered national association, MetLife Bank is subject to a wide variety of banking laws, regulations and guidelines. Federal banking laws regulate most aspects of the business of MetLife Bank, but certain state laws may apply as well. MetLife Bank is principally regulated by the OCC, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC.
 
Federal banking laws and regulations address various aspects of MetLife Bank’s business and operations with respect to, among other things:
 
  •  chartering to carry on business as a bank;
 
  •  the permissibility of certain activities;
 
  •  maintaining minimum capital ratios;


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  •  capital management in relation to the bank’s assets;
 
  •  dividend payments;
 
  •  safety and soundness standards;
 
  •  loan loss and other related liabilities;
 
  •  liquidity;
 
  •  financial reporting and disclosure standards;
 
  •  counterparty credit concentration;
 
  •  restrictions on related party and affiliate transactions;
 
  •  lending limits (and, in addition, Dodd-Frank includes the credit exposures arising from securities lending by MetLife Bank within lending limits otherwise applicable to loans);
 
  •  payment of interest;
 
  •  unfair or deceptive acts or practices;
 
  •  privacy; and
 
  •  bank holding company and bank change of control.
 
Federal and state banking regulators regularly re-examine existing laws and regulations applicable to banks and their products. Changes in these laws and regulations, or in interpretations thereof, are often made for the benefit of the consumer at the expense of the bank and, thus, could have a material adverse effect on the financial condition and results of operations of MetLife Bank.
 
In addition, Dodd-Frank establishes a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection that supervises and regulates institutions providing certain financial products and services to consumers. Although the consumer financial services to which this legislation applies exclude insurance business of the kind in which we engage, the new Bureau has authority to regulate consumer services provided by MetLife Bank and non-insurance consumer services provided elsewhere throughout MetLife. Dodd-Frank established a statutory standard for Federal pre-emption of state consumer financial protection laws, which standard will require national banks to comply with many state consumer financial protection laws that previously were considered preempted by Federal law. As a result, the regulatory and compliance burden on MetLife Bank may increase and could adversely affect its business and results of operations. Dodd-Frank also includes provisions on mortgage lending, anti-predatory lending and other regulatory and supervisory provisions that could impact the business and operations of MetLife Bank.
 
Dodd-Frank also authorizes the SEC to establish a standard of conduct applicable to brokers and dealers when providing personalized investment advice to retail and other customers. This standard of conduct would be to act in the best interest of the customer without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker or dealer providing the advice. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Banking Regulation” and “— Changes in U.S. Federal and State Securities Laws and Regulations, and State Insurance Regulations Regarding Suitability of Annuity Product Sales, May Affect Our Operations and Our Profitability.”
 
In December 2010, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published Basel III for banks and bank holding companies, such as MetLife, Inc. Assuming regulators in the U.S. endorse and adopt Basel III, it will require banks and bank holding companies to hold greater amounts of capital, to comply with requirements for short-term liquidity and to reduce reliance on short-term funding sources. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Financial Holding Company Regulation — Capital” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Industry Trends — Financial and Economic Environment.” It is not clear how these new requirements will compare to the enhanced prudential standards that may apply to us under Dodd-Frank. See “— Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”


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As a bank holding company, MetLife, Inc.’s ability to pay dividends may be restricted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition, the ability of MetLife Bank and MetLife, Inc. to pay dividends could be restricted by any additional capital requirements that might be imposed as a result of the enactment of Dodd-Frank and/or the endorsement and adoption by the U.S. of Basel III.
 
The FDIC has the right to assess FDIC-insured banks for funds to help pay the obligations of insolvent banks to depositors. Because the amount and timing of an assessment is beyond our control, the liabilities that we have currently established for these potential liabilities may not be adequate. In addition, Dodd-Frank will result in increased assessment for banks with assets of $10.0 billion or more, which includes MetLife Bank.
 
Our international operations are subject to regulation in the jurisdictions in which they operate, as described further under “Business — International Regulation.” A significant portion of our revenues are generated through operations in foreign jurisdictions, including many countries in early stages of economic and political development. Our international operations may be materially adversely affected by foreign authorities and regulators, such as through nationalization or expropriation of assets, the imposition of limits on foreign ownership, changes in laws or their interpretation or application, political instability, dividend limitations, price controls, currency exchange controls or other restrictions that prevent us from transferring funds from these operations out of the countries in which they operate or converting local currencies we hold to U.S. dollars or other currencies, as well as adverse actions by foreign governmental authorities and regulators. This may also impact many of our customers and independent sales intermediaries. Changes in the regulations that affect their operations also may affect our business relationships with them and their ability to purchase or distribute our products. Accordingly, these changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our international operations are subject to local laws and regulations, and we expect the scope and extent of regulation outside of the U.S., as well as regulatory oversight, generally to continue to increase. The authority of our international operations to conduct business is subject to licensing requirements, permits and approvals, and these authorizations are subject to modification and revocation. The regulatory environment in the countries in which we operate and changes in laws could have a material adverse effect on us and our foreign operations. See “— Our International Operations Face Political, Legal, Operational and Other Risks, Including Exposure to Local and Regional Economic Conditions, that Could Negatively Affect Those Operations or Our Profitability” and “Business — International Regulation.”
 
Furthermore, the increase in our international operations as a result of the acquisition of ALICO may also subject us to increased supervision by the Federal Reserve Board, since the size of a bank holding company’s foreign activities is taken as an indication of the holding company’s complexity. It may also have an effect on the manner in which MetLife, Inc. is required to calculate its RBC.
 
Compliance with applicable laws and regulations is time consuming and personnel-intensive, and changes in these laws and regulations may materially increase our direct and indirect compliance and other expenses of doing business, thus having a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
From time to time, regulators raise issues during examinations or audits of MetLife, Inc.’s regulated subsidiaries that could, if determined adversely, have a material impact on us. We cannot predict whether or when regulatory actions may be taken that could adversely affect our operations. In addition, the interpretations of regulations by regulators may change and statutes may be enacted with retroactive impact, particularly in areas such as accounting or statutory reserve requirements.
 
We are also subject to other regulations and may in the future become subject to additional regulations. See “Business — U.S. Regulation” and “Business — International Regulation.”


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Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth
 
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed Dodd-Frank. Various provisions of Dodd-Frank could affect our business operations and our profitability and limit our growth. For example:
 
  •  As a large, interconnected bank holding company with assets of $50 billion or more, or possibly as an otherwise systemically important financial company, MetLife, Inc. will be subject to enhanced prudential standards imposed on systemically significant financial companies. Enhanced standards will be applied to RBC, liquidity, leverage (unless another, similar, standard is appropriate), resolution plan and credit exposure reporting, concentration limits, and risk management. Off-balance sheet activities are required to be accounted for in meeting capital requirements. In addition, if it were determined that MetLife posed a substantial threat to U.S. financial stability, the applicable federal regulators would have the right to require it to take one or more other mitigating actions to reduce that risk, including limiting its ability to merge with or acquire another company, terminating activities, restricting its ability to offer financial products or requiring it to sell assets or off-balance sheet items to unaffiliated entities. Enhanced standards would also permit, but not require, regulators to establish requirements with respect to contingent capital, enhanced public disclosures and short-term debt limits. These standards are described as being more stringent than those otherwise imposed on bank holding companies; however, the Federal Reserve Board is permitted to apply them on an institution-by-institution basis, depending on its determination of the institution’s riskiness. In addition, under Dodd-Frank, all bank holding companies that have elected to be treated as financial holding companies, such as MetLife, Inc. will be required to be “well capitalized” and “well managed” as defined by the Federal Reserve Board, on a consolidated basis and not just at their depository institution(s), a higher standard than was applicable to financial holding companies before Dodd-Frank.
 
  •  MetLife, Inc., as a bank holding company, will have to meet minimum leverage ratio and RBC requirements on a consolidated basis to be established by the Federal Reserve Board that are not less than those applicable to insured depository institutions under so-called prompt corrective action regulations as in effect on the date of the enactment of Dodd-Frank. One consequence of these new rules will ultimately be the inability of bank holding companies to include trust-preferred securities as part of their Tier 1 capital. Because of the phase-in period for these new rules, they should have little practical effect on MetLife’s ability to treat its currently outstanding trust-preferred securities as part of its Tier 1 capital, but they do prevent MetLife, Inc. from treating the common equity units issued as part of the consideration for the Acquisition as Tier I capital, since the new rules apply immediately to instruments issued after May 19, 2010.
 
  •  Under the provisions of Dodd-Frank relating to the resolution or liquidation of certain types of financial institutions, including bank holding companies, if MetLife, Inc. were to become insolvent or were in danger of defaulting on its obligations, it could be compelled to undergo liquidation with the FDIC as receiver. For this new regime to be applicable, a number of determinations would have to be made, including that a default by the affected company would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the U.S. If the FDIC were to be appointed as the receiver for such a company, the liquidation of that company would occur under the provisions of the new liquidation authority, and not under the Bankruptcy Code. In such a liquidation, the holders of such company’s debt could in certain a respects be treated differently than under the Bankruptcy Code. In particular, unsecured creditors and shareholders are intended to bear the losses of the company being liquidated. The FDIC is authorized to establish rules for the priority of creditors’ claims and, under certain circumstances, to treat similarly situated creditors differently. These provisions could apply to some financial institutions whose outstanding debt securities we hold in our investment portfolios. Dodd-Frank also provides for the assessment of bank holding companies with assets of $50.0 billion or more, non-bank financial companies supervised by the Federal Reserve Bank, and other financial companies with assets of $50.0 billion or more to cover the costs of liquidating any financial company subject to the new liquidation authority. Although it is not possible to assess the full impact of the liquidation authority at this time, it could affect the funding costs of large bank holding companies or financial companies that might be viewed as systemically significant. It could also lead to an increase in secured financings.
 
  •  Dodd-Frank also includes a new framework of regulation of the OTC derivatives markets which will require clearing of certain types of transactions currently traded OTC and could potentially impose additional costs,


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  including new capital, reporting and margin requirements and additional regulation on the Company. Increased margin requirements on MetLife, Inc.’s part and a smaller universe of securities that will qualify as eligible collateral could reduce its liquidity and require an increase in its holdings of cash and government securities with lower yields causing a reduction in income. However, increased margin requirements and the expanded ability to transfer trades between MetLife, Inc.’s counterparties could reduce MetLife, Inc.’s exposure to its counterparties’ default. MetLife, Inc. uses derivatives to mitigate a wide range of risks in connection with its businesses, including the impact of increased benefit exposures from our annuity products that offer guaranteed benefits. The derivative clearing requirements of Dodd-Frank could increase the cost of our risk mitigation and expose us to the risk of a default by a clearinghouse or one of its members. In addition, we are subject to the risk that hedging and other management procedures prove ineffective in reducing the risks to which insurance policies expose us or that unanticipated policyholder behavior or mortality, combined with adverse market events, produces economic losses beyond the scope of the risk management techniques employed. Any such losses could be increased by any higher costs of writing derivatives (including customized derivatives) that might result from the enactment of Dodd-Frank.
 
  •  Dodd-Frank restricts the ability of insured depository institutions and of companies, such as MetLife, Inc., that control an insured depository institution and their affiliates, to engage in proprietary trading and to sponsor or invest in funds (hedge funds and private equity funds) that rely on certain exemptions from the Investment Company Act. Dodd-Frank provides an exemption for investment activity by a regulated insurance company or its affiliate solely for the general account of such insurance company if such activity is in compliance with the insurance company investments laws of the state or jurisdiction in which such company is domiciled and the appropriate Federal regulators after consultation with relevant insurance commissioners have not jointly determined such laws to be insufficient to protect the safety and soundness of the institution or the financial stability of the U.S. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the appropriate Federal regulatory authorities are permitted under the legislation to impose, as part of rulemaking, additional capital requirements and other restrictions on any exempted activity. Dodd-Frank provides for a period of study and rule making during which the effects of the statutory language may be clarified. Among other considerations, the study is to assess and include recommendations so as to appropriately accommodate the business of insurance within an insurance company subject to regulation in accordance with relevant insurance company investments laws. While these provisions of Dodd-Frank are supposed to accommodate the business of insurance, until the related study and rulemaking are complete, it is unclear whether MetLife, Inc. may have to alter any of its future investment activities to comply.
 
  •  Until various studies are completed and final regulations are promulgated pursuant to Dodd-Frank, the full impact of Dodd-Frank on the investments and investment activities and insurance and annuity products of MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries remains unclear. For example, besides directly limiting our future investment activities, Dodd-Frank could potentially negatively impact the market for, the returns from, or liquidity in, primary and secondary investments in private equity funds and hedge funds that are connected to (either through a fund sponsorship or investor relationship) an insured depository institution. The number of sponsors of such funds going forward may diminish, which may impact our available fund investment opportunities. Although Dodd-Frank provides for various transition periods for coming into compliance, fund sponsors that are subject to Dodd-Frank, and whose funds we have invested in, may have to spin off their funds business or reduce their ownership stakes in their funds, thereby potentially impacting our related investments in such funds. In addition, should such funds be required or choose to liquidate or sell their underlying assets, the market value and liquidity of such assets or the broader related asset classes could negatively be affected, including securities and real estate assets that MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries hold or may plan to sell. Secondary sales of fund interests at significant discounts by banking institutions and their affiliates, which are not fund sponsors but nevertheless are subject to the divestment requirements of Dodd-Frank, could reduce the returns realized by investors such as MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries seeking to access liquidity by selling their fund interests. In addition, our existing derivatives counterparties and the financial institutions subject to Dodd-Frank in which we have invested also could be negatively impacted by Dodd-Frank. See also “— New and Impending Compensation and Corporate Governance Regulations Could Hinder or Prevent Us From Attracting and Retaining Management and Other Employees with the Talent and Experience to Manage and Conduct Our Business Effectively.”


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  •  In addition, Dodd-Frank statutorily imposes the requirement that MetLife, Inc. serve as a source of strength for MetLife Bank.
 
The addition of a new regulatory regime over MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries, the likelihood of additional regulations, and the other changes discussed above could require changes to MetLife, Inc.’s operations. Whether such changes would affect our competitiveness in comparison to other institutions is uncertain, since it is possible that at least some of our competitors, for example insurance holding companies that control thrifts, rather than banks, will be similarly affected. Competitive effects are possible, however, if MetLife, Inc. were required to pay any new or increased assessments and capital requirements are imposed, and to the extent any new prudential supervisory standards are imposed on MetLife, Inc. but not on its competitors. We cannot predict whether other proposals will be adopted, or what impact, if any, the adoption of Dodd-Frank or other proposals and the resulting studies and regulations could have on our business, financial condition or results of operations or on our dealings with other financial companies. See also “— Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “— New and Impending Compensation and Corporate Governance Regulations Could Hinder or Prevent Us From Attracting and Retaining Management and Other Employees with the Talent and Experience to Manage and Conduct Our Business Effectively.”
 
Moreover, Dodd-Frank potentially affects such a wide range of the activities and markets in which MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries engage and participate that it may not be possible to anticipate all of the ways in which it could affect us. For example, many of our methods for managing risk and exposures are based upon the use of observed historical market behavior or statistics based on historical models. Historical market behavior may be altered by the enactment of Dodd-Frank. As a result of this enactment and otherwise, these methods may not fully predict future exposures, which could be significantly greater than our historical measures indicate.
 
The Resolution of Several Issues Affecting the Financial Services Industry Could Have a Negative Impact on Our Reported Results or on Our Relations with Current and Potential Customers
 
We will continue to be subject to legal and regulatory actions in the ordinary course of our business, both in the U.S. and internationally. This could result in a review of business sold in the past under previously acceptable market practices at the time. Regulators are increasingly interested in the approach that product providers use to select third-party distributors and to monitor the appropriateness of sales made by them. In some cases, product providers can be held responsible for the deficiencies of third-party distributors.
 
As a result of publicity relating to widespread perceptions of industry abuses, there have been numerous regulatory inquiries and proposals for legislative and regulatory reforms.
 
In Asia, where MetLife derives and will continue to derive a significant portion of its income, regulatory regimes are developing at different speeds, driven by a combination of global factors and local considerations. New requirements may be introduced that are retrospectively applied to sales made prior to their introduction.
 
We Are Exposed to Significant Financial and Capital Markets Risk Which May Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations, Financial Condition and Liquidity, and May Cause Our Net Investment Income to Vary from Period to Period
 
We are exposed to significant financial and capital markets risk, including changes in interest rates, credit spreads, equity prices, real estate markets, foreign currency exchange rates, market volatility, the performance of the global economy in general, the performance of the specific obligors, including governments, included in our portfolio and other factors outside our control.
 
Our exposure to interest rate risk relates primarily to the market price and cash flow variability associated with changes in interest rates. Changes in interest rates will impact the net unrealized gain or loss position of our fixed income investment portfolio. If long-term interest rates rise dramatically within a six to twelve month time period, certain of our life insurance businesses and fixed annuity business may be exposed to disintermediation risk. Disintermediation risk refers to the risk that our policyholders may surrender their contracts in a rising interest rate environment, requiring us to liquidate fixed income investments in an unrealized loss position. Due to the long-term


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nature of the liabilities associated with certain of our life insurance businesses, guaranteed benefits on variable annuities, and structured settlements, sustained declines in long-term interest rates may subject us to reinvestment risks and increased hedging costs. In other situations, declines in interest rates may result in increasing the duration of certain life insurance liabilities, creating asset-liability duration mismatches.
 
Our investment portfolio also contains interest rate sensitive instruments, such as fixed income securities, which may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates from governmental monetary policies, domestic and international economic and political conditions and other factors beyond our control. Changes in interest rates will impact both the net unrealized gain or loss position of our fixed income portfolio and the rates of return we receive on funds invested. Our mitigation efforts with respect to interest rate risk are primarily focused towards maintaining an investment portfolio with diversified maturities that has a weighted average duration that is approximately equal to the duration of our estimated liability cash flow profile. However, our estimate of the liability cash flow profile may be inaccurate and we may be forced to liquidate fixed income investments prior to maturity at a loss in order to cover the cash flow profile of the liability. Although we take measures to manage the economic risks of investing in a changing interest rate environment, we may not be able to mitigate the interest rate risk of our fixed income investments relative to our liabilities. See also “— Changes in Market Interest Rates May Significantly Affect Our Profitability.”
 
Our exposure to credit spreads primarily relates to market price volatility and cash flow variability associated with changes in credit spreads. A widening of credit spreads will adversely impact both the net unrealized gain or loss position of the fixed-income investment portfolio, will increase losses associated with credit-based non-qualifying derivatives where we assume credit exposure, and, if issuer credit spreads increase significantly or for an extended period of time, will likely result in higher other-than-temporary impairments. Credit spread tightening will reduce net investment income associated with new purchases of fixed maturity securities. In addition, market volatility can make it difficult to value certain of our securities if trading becomes less frequent. As such, valuations may include assumptions or estimates that may have significant period to period changes which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. Credit spreads on both corporate and structured securities widened significantly during 2008, resulting in continuing depressed pricing. As a result of improved conditions, credit spreads narrowed in 2009 and changed to a lesser extent in 2010. If there is a resumption of significant volatility in the markets, it could cause changes in credit spreads and defaults and a lack of pricing transparency which, individually or in tandem, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows through realized investment losses, impairments, and changes in unrealized loss positions.
 
Our primary exposure to equity risk relates to the potential for lower earnings associated with certain of our insurance businesses where fee income is earned based upon the estimated fair value of the assets under management. Downturns and volatility in equity markets can have a material adverse effect on the revenues and investment returns from our savings and investment products and services. Because these products and services generate fees related primarily to the value of assets under management, a decline in the equity markets could reduce our revenues from the reduction in the value of the investments we manage. The retail variable annuity business in particular is highly sensitive to equity markets, and a sustained weakness in the equity markets could decrease revenues and earnings in variable annuity products. Furthermore, certain of our variable annuity products offer guaranteed benefits which increase our potential benefit exposure should equity markets decline. MetLife, Inc. uses derivatives and reinsurance to mitigate the impact of such increased potential benefit exposures. We are also exposed to interest rate and equity risk based upon the discount rate and expected long-term rate of return assumptions associated with our pension and other postretirement benefit obligations. Sustained declines in long-term interest rates or equity returns likely would have a negative effect on the funded status of these plans. Lastly, we invest a portion of our investments in public and private equity securities, leveraged buy-out funds, hedge funds and other private equity funds and the estimated fair value of such investments may be impacted by downturns or volatility in equity markets.
 
Our primary exposure to real estate risk relates to commercial and agricultural real estate. Our exposure to commercial and agricultural real estate risk stems from various factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, market conditions including the demand and supply of leasable commercial space, creditworthiness of tenants and partners, capital markets volatility and the inherent interest rate movement. In addition, our real estate joint venture development program is subject to risks, including, but not limited to, reduced property sales and decreased availability of financing which could adversely impact the joint venture developments and/or operations. The state of the economy


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and speed of recovery in fundamental and capital market conditions in the commercial and agricultural real estate sectors will continue to influence the performance of our investments in these sectors. These factors and others beyond our control could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows through net investment income, realized investment losses and levels of valuation allowances.
 
Our investment portfolio contains investments in government bonds issued by European nations. Recently, the European Union member states have experienced above average public debt, inflation and unemployment as the global economic downturn has developed. A number of member states are significantly impacted by the economies of their more influential neighbors, such as Germany. In addition, financial troubles of one nation can trigger a domino effect on others. In particular, a number of large European banks hold significant amounts of sovereign financial institution debt of other European nations and could experience difficulties as a result of defaults or declines in the value of such debt. Our investment portfolio also contains investments in revenue bonds issued under the auspices of U.S. states and municipalities and a limited amount of general obligation bonds of U.S. states and municipalities (collectively, “Municipal Bonds”). Recently, certain U.S. states and municipalities have faced budget deficits and financial difficulties. There can be no assurance that the financial difficulties of such U.S. states and municipalities would not have an adverse impact on our Municipal Bond portfolio.
 
Our primary foreign currency exchange risks are described under “— Fluctuations in Foreign Currency Exchange Rates Could Negatively Affect Our Profitability.” Changes in these factors, which are significant risks to us, can affect our net investment income in any period, and such changes can be substantial.
 
A portion of our investments are made in leveraged buy-out funds, hedge funds and other private equity funds, many of which make private equity investments. The amount and timing of net investment income from such investment funds tends to be uneven as a result of the performance of the underlying investments, including private equity investments. The timing of distributions from the funds, which depends on particular events relating to the underlying investments, as well as the funds’ schedules for making distributions and their needs for cash, can be difficult to predict. As a result, the amount of net investment income that we record from these investments can vary substantially from quarter to quarter. Recovering private equity markets and stabilizing credit and real estate markets during 2010 had a positive impact on returns and net investment income on private equity funds, hedge funds and real estate joint ventures, which are included within other limited partnership interests and real estate and real estate joint venture portfolios. Although volatility in most global financial markets has moderated, if there is a resumption of significant volatility, it could adversely impact returns and net investment income on these alternative investment classes.
 
Continuing challenges include continued weakness in the U.S. real estate market and increased residential mortgage loan and other consumer loan delinquencies, investor anxiety over the U.S. and European economies, rating agency downgrades of various structured products and financial issuers, unresolved issues with structured investment vehicles and monoline financial guarantee insurers, deleveraging of financial institutions and hedge funds and the continuing recovery in the inter-bank market. If there is a resumption of significant volatility in the markets, it could cause changes in interest rates, declines in equity prices, and the strengthening or weakening of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar which, individually or in tandem, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows through realized investment losses, impairments, increased valuation allowances and changes in unrealized gain or loss positions.
 
Changes in Market Interest Rates May Significantly Affect Our Profitability
 
Some of our products, principally traditional whole life insurance, fixed annuities and guaranteed interest contracts, expose us to the risk that changes in interest rates will reduce our investment margin or “spread,” or the difference between the amounts that we are required to pay under the contracts in our general account and the rate of return we are able to earn on general account investments intended to support obligations under the contracts. Our spread is a key component of our net income.
 
As interest rates decrease or remain at low levels, we may be forced to reinvest proceeds from investments that have matured or have been prepaid or sold at lower yields, reducing our investment margin. Moreover, borrowers may prepay or redeem the fixed income securities, commercial or agricultural mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities in our investment portfolio with greater frequency in order to borrow at lower market rates, which exacerbates this risk.


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Lowering interest crediting rates can help offset decreases in investment margins on some products. However, our ability to lower these rates could be limited by competition or contractually guaranteed minimum rates and may not match the timing or magnitude of changes in asset yields. As a result, our spread could decrease or potentially become negative. Our expectation for future spreads is an important component in the amortization of DAC and value of business acquired (“VOBA”), and significantly lower spreads may cause us to accelerate amortization, thereby reducing net income in the affected reporting period. In addition, 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 our new investments carry lower returns. A decline in market interest rates could also reduce our return on investments that do not support particular policy obligations. Accordingly, declining interest rates may materially affect our results of operations, financial position and cash flows and significantly reduce our profitability. We recognize that a low interest rate environment will adversely affect our earnings, but we do not believe any such impact will be material in 2011.
 
The sufficiency of our life insurance statutory reserves in Taiwan is highly sensitive to interest rates and other related assumptions. This is due to the sustained low interest rate environment in Taiwan coupled with long-term interest rate guarantees of approximately 6% embedded in the life and health contracts sold prior to 2003 and the lack of availability of long-duration investments in the Taiwanese capital markets to match such long-duration liabilities. The key assumptions include current Taiwan government bond yield rates increasing approximately 1% from current levels over the next ten years, lapse rates, mortality and morbidity levels remaining consistent with recent experience, and U.S. dollar-denominated investments making up to 35% of total assets backing life insurance statutory reserves. Current reserve adequacy analysis shows that provisions are adequate; however, adverse changes in key assumptions for interest rates, lapse experience and mortality and morbidity levels could lead to a need to strengthen reserves.
 
Increases in market interest rates could also negatively affect our profitability. In periods of rapidly increasing interest rates, we may not be able to replace, in a timely manner, the investments in MetLife’s general account with higher yielding investments needed to fund the higher crediting rates necessary to keep interest sensitive products competitive. We, therefore, may have to accept a lower spread and, thus, lower profitability or face a decline in sales and greater loss of existing contracts and related assets. In addition, policy loans, surrenders and withdrawals may tend to increase as policyholders seek investments with higher perceived returns as interest rates rise. This process may result in cash outflows requiring that we sell investments at a time when the prices of those investments are adversely affected by the increase in market interest rates, which may result in realized investment losses. Unanticipated withdrawals and terminations may cause us to accelerate the amortization of DAC, VOBA and negative VOBA, which reduces net income. An increase in market interest rates could also have a material adverse effect on the value of our investment portfolio, for example, by decreasing the estimated fair values of the fixed income securities that comprise a substantial portion of our investment portfolio. Lastly, an increase in interest rates could result in decreased fee income associated with a decline in the value of variable annuity account balances invested in fixed income funds.
 
Some of Our Investments Are Relatively Illiquid and Are in Asset Classes That Have Been Experiencing Significant Market Valuation Fluctuations
 
We hold certain investments that may lack liquidity, such as privately-placed fixed maturity securities; mortgage loans; policy loans and leveraged leases; equity real estate, including real estate joint ventures and funds; and other limited partnership interests. These asset classes represented 26.6% of the carrying value of our total cash and investments at December 31, 2010. In recent years, even some of our very high quality investments experienced reduced liquidity during periods of market volatility or disruption. If we require significant amounts of cash on short notice in excess of normal cash requirements or are required to post or return cash collateral in connection with our investment portfolio, derivatives transactions or securities lending program, we may have difficulty selling these investments in a timely manner, be forced to sell them for less than we otherwise would have been able to realize, or both. The reported value of our relatively illiquid types of investments, our investments in the asset classes described above and, at times, our high quality, generally liquid asset classes, do not necessarily reflect the lowest current market price for the asset. If we were forced to sell certain of our investments in the global market, there can be no assurance that we will be able to sell them for the prices at which we have recorded them and we could be forced to sell them at significantly lower prices.


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Our Participation in a Securities Lending Program Subjects Us to Potential Liquidity and Other Risks
 
We participate in a securities lending program whereby blocks of securities, which are included in fixed maturity securities and short-term investments, are loaned to third parties, primarily brokerage firms and commercial banks. We generally obtain collateral in an amount equal to 102% of the estimated fair value of the loaned securities, which is obtained at the inception of a loan and maintained at a level greater than or equal to 100% for the duration of the loan. Returns of loaned securities by the third parties would require us to return the collateral associated with such loaned securities. In addition, in some cases, the maturity of the securities held as invested collateral (i.e., securities that we have purchased with cash collateral received from the third parties) may exceed the term of the related securities on loan and the estimated fair value may fall below the amount of cash received as collateral and invested. If we are required to return significant amounts of cash collateral on short notice and we are forced to sell securities to meet the return obligation, we may have difficulty selling such collateral that is invested in securities in a timely manner, be forced to sell securities in a volatile or illiquid market for less than we otherwise would have been able to realize under normal market conditions, or both. In addition, under stressful capital market and economic conditions, liquidity broadly deteriorates, which may further restrict our ability to sell securities. If we decrease the amount of our securities lending activities over time, the amount of net investment income generated by these activities will also likely decline. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments — Securities Lending.”
 
Our Requirements to Pledge Collateral or Make Payments Related to Declines in Estimated Fair Value of Specified Assets May Adversely Affect Our Liquidity and Expose Us to Counterparty Credit Risk
 
Some of our transactions with financial and other institutions specify the circumstances under which the parties are required to pledge collateral related to any decline in the estimated fair value of the specified assets. In addition, under the terms of some of our transactions, we may be required to make payments to our counterparties related to any decline in the estimated fair value of the specified assets. The amount of collateral we may be required to pledge and the payments we may be required to make under these agreements may increase under certain circumstances, which could adversely affect our liquidity. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Liquidity and Capital Sources — Collateral Financing Arrangements” and Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Gross Unrealized Losses on Fixed Maturity and Equity Securities May Be Realized or Result in Future Impairments, Resulting in a Reduction in Our Net Income
 
Fixed maturity and equity securities classified as available-for-sale are reported at their estimated fair value. Unrealized gains or losses on available-for-sale securities are recognized as a component of other comprehensive income (loss) and are, therefore, excluded from net income. Our gross unrealized losses on fixed maturity and equity securities available for sale at December 31, 2010 were $6.9 billion. The portion of the $6.9 billion of gross unrealized losses for fixed maturity and equity securities where the estimated fair value has declined and remained below amortized cost or cost by 20% or more for six months or greater was $2.1 billion at December 31, 2010. The accumulated change in estimated fair value of these available-for-sale securities is recognized in net income when the gain or loss is realized upon the sale of the security or in the event that the decline in estimated fair value is determined to be other-than-temporary and an impairment charge to earnings is taken. Realized losses or impairments may have a material adverse effect on our net income in a particular quarterly or annual period.
 
The Determination of the Amount of Allowances and Impairments Taken on Our Investments is Highly Subjective and Could Materially Impact Our Results of Operations or Financial Position
 
The determination of the amount of allowances and impairments varies by investment type and is based upon our periodic evaluation and assessment of known and inherent risks associated with the respective asset class. Such evaluations and assessments are revised as conditions change and new information becomes available. We update our evaluations regularly and reflect changes in allowances and impairments in net investment losses as such evaluations are revised. Additional impairments may need to be taken or allowances provided for in the future. Furthermore, historical trends may not be indicative of future impairments or allowances.


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For example, the cost of our fixed maturity and equity securities is adjusted for impairments deemed to be other-than-temporary. The assessment of whether impairments have occurred is based on our case-by-case evaluation of the underlying reasons for the decline in estimated fair value. The review of our fixed maturity and equity securities for impairments includes an analysis of the total gross unrealized losses by three categories of securities: (i) securities where the estimated fair value has declined and remained below cost or amortized cost by less than 20%; (ii) securities where the estimated fair value has declined and remained below cost or amortized cost by 20% or more for less than six months; and (iii) securities where the estimated fair value has declined and remained below cost or amortized cost by 20% or more for six months or greater.
 
Additionally, we consider a wide range of factors about the security issuer and use our best judgment in evaluating the cause of the decline in the estimated fair value of the security and in assessing the prospects for near term recovery. Inherent in our evaluation of the security are assumptions and estimates about the operations of the issuer and its future earnings potential. Considerations in the impairment evaluation process include, but are not limited to: (i) the length of time and the extent to which the estimated fair value has been below cost or amortized cost; (ii) the potential for impairments of securities when the issuer is experiencing significant financial difficulties; (iii) the potential for impairments in an entire industry sector or sub-sector; (iv) the potential for impairments in certain economically depressed geographic locations; (v) the potential for impairments of securities where the issuer, series of issuers or industry has suffered a catastrophic type of loss or has exhausted natural resources; (vi) with respect to fixed maturity securities, whether we have the intent to sell or will more likely than not be required to sell a particular security before recovery of the decline in estimated fair value below amortized cost; (vii) with respect to equity securities, whether we have the ability and intent to hold a particular security for a period of time sufficient to allow for the recovery of its estimated fair value to an amount at least equal to its cost; (viii) unfavorable changes in forecasted cash flows on mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities (“ABS”); and (ix) other subjective factors, including concentrations and information obtained from regulators and rating agencies.
 
Defaults on Our Mortgage Loans and Volatility in Performance May Adversely Affect Our Profitability
 
Our mortgage loans face default risk and are principally collateralized by commercial, agricultural and residential properties. We establish valuation allowances for estimated impairments at the balance sheet date. Such valuation allowances are based on the excess carrying value of the loan over the present value of expected future cash flows discounted at the loan’s original effective interest rate, the estimated fair value of the loan’s collateral if the loan is in the process of foreclosure or otherwise collateral dependent, or the loan’s observable market price. We also establish valuation allowances for loan losses for pools of loans with similar risk characteristics, such as property types, or loans having similar loan-to-value ratios and debt service coverage ratios, when based on past experience, it is probable that a credit event has occurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. These valuation allowances are based on loan risk characteristics, historical default rates and loss severities, real estate market fundamentals and outlook as well as other relevant factors. At December 31, 2010, mortgage loans that were either delinquent or in the process of foreclosure totaled less than 0.6% of our mortgage loan investments. The performance of our mortgage loan investments, however, may fluctuate in the future. In addition, substantially all of our mortgage loans held-for-investment have balloon payment maturities. An increase in the default rate of our mortgage loan investments could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition through realized investment losses or increases in our valuation allowances.
 
Further, any geographic or sector concentration of our mortgage loans may have adverse effects on our investment portfolios and consequently on our results of operations or financial condition. While we seek to mitigate this risk by having a broadly diversified portfolio, events or developments that have a negative effect on any particular geographic region or sector may have a greater adverse effect on the investment portfolios to the extent that the portfolios are concentrated. Moreover, our ability to sell assets relating to such particular groups of related assets may be limited if other market participants are seeking to sell at the same time. In addition, legislative proposals that would allow or require modifications to the terms of mortgage loans could be enacted. We cannot predict whether these proposals will be adopted, or what impact, if any, such proposals or, if enacted, such laws, could have on our business or investments. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments — Mortgage Loans.”


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The Impairment of Other Financial Institutions Could Adversely Affect Us
 
We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and other investment funds and other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty. In addition, with respect to secured transactions, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the loan or derivative exposure due to us. We also have exposure to these financial institutions in the form of unsecured debt instruments, non-redeemable and redeemable preferred securities, derivative transactions, joint venture, hedge fund and equity investments. Further, potential action by governments and regulatory bodies in response to the financial crisis affecting the global banking system and financial markets, such as investment, nationalization, conservatorship, receivership and other intervention, whether under existing legal authority or any new authority that may be created, could negatively impact these instruments, securities, transactions and investments. There can be no assurance that any such losses or impairments to the carrying value of these investments would not materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
 
We Face Unforeseen Liabilities, Asset Impairments or Rating Actions Arising from Acquisitions, Including ALICO, and Dispositions of Businesses or Difficulties Integrating and Managing Growth of Such Businesses
 
We have engaged in dispositions and acquisitions of businesses in the past, and expect to continue to do so in the future. Acquisition and disposition activity exposes us to a number of risks.
 
There could be unforeseen liabilities or asset impairments, including goodwill impairments, that arise in connection with the businesses that we may sell or the businesses that we may acquire in the future.
 
In addition, there may be liabilities or asset impairments that we fail, or are unable, to discover in the course of performing due diligence investigations on each business that we have acquired or may acquire. Furthermore, even for obligations and liabilities that we do discover during the due diligence process, neither the valuation adjustment nor the contractual protections we negotiate may be sufficient to fully protect us from losses. For example, in connection with the acquisition of ALICO, we may be exposed to obligations and liabilities of ALICO that are not adequately covered, in amount, scope or duration, by the indemnification provisions in the Stock Purchase Agreement or reflected or reserved for in ALICO’s historical financial statements. Although we have rights to indemnification from ALICO Holdings under the Stock Purchase Agreement for certain losses, our rights are limited by survival periods for bringing claims and monetary limitations on the amount we may recover, and we cannot be certain that indemnification will be, among other things, collectible or sufficient in amount, scope or duration to fully offset any loss we may suffer.
 
Furthermore, the use of our own funds as consideration in any acquisition would consume capital resources that would no longer be available for other corporate purposes. We also may not be able to raise sufficient funds to consummate an acquisition if, for example, we are unable to sell our securities or close related bridge credit facilities. Moreover, as a result of uncertainty and risks associated with potential acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, rating agencies may take certain actions with respect to the ratings assigned to MetLife, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
 
Our ability to achieve certain benefits we anticipate from any acquisitions of businesses will depend in large part upon our ability to successfully integrate such businesses in an efficient and effective manner. We may not be able to integrate such businesses smoothly or successfully, and the process may take longer than expected. The integration of operations and differences in operational culture may require the dedication of significant management resources, which may distract management’s attention from day-to-day business. If we are unable to successfully integrate the operations of such acquired businesses, we may be unable to realize the benefits we expect to achieve as a result of such acquisitions and our business and results of operations may be less than expected.


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The success with which we are able to integrate acquired operations, will depend on our ability to manage a variety of issues, including the following:
 
  •  Loss of key personnel or higher than expected employee attrition rates could adversely affect the performance of the acquired business and our ability to integrate it successfully.
 
  •  Customers of the acquired business may reduce, delay or defer decisions concerning their use of its products and services as a result of the acquisition or uncertainty related to the consummation of the acquisition, including, for example, potential unfamiliarity with the MetLife brand in regions where MetLife did not have a market presence prior to the acquisition.
 
  •  If the acquired business relies upon independent distributors to distribute its products, these distributors may not continue to generate the same volume of business for MetLife after the acquisition. Independent distributors may reexamine the scope of their relationship with the acquired business or MetLife as a result of the acquisition and decide to curtail or eliminate distribution of our products.
 
  •  Integrating acquired operations with our existing operations may require us to coordinate geographically separated organizations, address possible differences in corporate culture and management philosophies, merge financial processes and risk and compliance procedures, combine separate information technology platforms and integrate operations that were previously closely tied to the former parent of the acquired business or other service providers.
 
  •  In cases where we or an acquired business operates in certain markets through joint ventures, the acquisition may affect the continued success and prospects of the joint venture. Our ability to exercise management control or influence over these joint venture operations and our investment in them will depend on the continued cooperation between the joint venture participants and on the terms of the joint venture agreements, which allocate control among the joint venture participants. We may face financial or other exposure in the event that any of these joint venture partners fail to meet their obligations under the joint venture, encounter financial difficulty or elect to alter, modify or terminate the relationship.
 
  •  We may incur significant costs in connection with any acquisition and the related integration. The costs and liabilities actually incurred in connection with an acquisition and subsequent integration process may exceed those anticipated.
 
All of these challenges are present in our integration of ALICO, which we expect to extend over a substantial period.
 
The prospects of our business also may be materially and adversely affected if we are not able to manage the growth of any acquired business successfully. For example, the life insurance markets in many of the international markets in which ALICO operates have experienced significant growth in recent years. Management of ALICO’s growth to date has required significant management and operational resources and is likely to continue to do so. Future growth of our combined business will require, among other things, the continued development of adequate underwriting and claim handling capabilities and skills, sufficient capital base, increased marketing and sales activities, and the hiring and training of new personnel.
 
There can be no assurance that we will be successful in managing future growth of any acquired business, including ALICO. In particular, there may be difficulties in hiring and training sufficient numbers of customer service personnel and agents to keep pace with any future growth in the number of customers in our developing or developed markets. In addition, we may experience difficulties in upgrading, developing and expanding information technology systems quickly enough to accommodate any future growth. If we are unable to manage future growth, our prospects may be materially and adversely affected.
 
There Can Be No Assurance That the Closing Agreement American Life Entered Into With the IRS Will Achieve Its Intended Effect, or That American Life Will Be Able to Comply with the Related Agreed Upon Plan
 
On March 4, 2010, American Life entered into a closing agreement with the Commissioner of the IRS with respect to a U.S. withholding tax issue arising from payments by foreign branches of a life insurance company


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incorporated under U.S. law. IRS Revenue Ruling 2004-75, effective January 1, 2005, requires foreign branches of U.S. life insurance companies in certain circumstances to withhold U.S. income taxes on payments of taxable income made with respect to certain insurance and annuity products paid to customers resident in a foreign country. The closing agreement provides transitional relief under Section 7805(b) of the Code to American Life, such that American Life’s foreign branches will not be required to withhold U.S. income tax on the income portion of payments made pursuant to American Life’s life insurance and annuity contracts (“Covered Payments”) under IRS Revenue Ruling 2004-75 for any tax periods beginning on January 1, 2005 and ending on December 31, 2013 (the “Deferral Period”). In accordance with the closing agreement, American Life submitted a plan to the IRS indicating the steps American Life will take (on a country by country basis) to ensure that no substantial amount of U.S. withholding tax will arise from Covered Payments made by American Life’s foreign branches to foreign customers after the Deferral Period. In addition, the closing agreement requires that such plan be updated in quarterly filings with the IRS. The closing agreement is final and binding upon American Life and the IRS; provided, however, that the agreement can be reopened in the event of malfeasance, fraud or a misrepresentation of a material fact, and is subject to change of law risk that occurs after the effective date of the closing agreement (with certain exceptions). In addition, the closing agreement provides that no legislative amendment to Section 861(a)(1)(A) of the Code shall shorten the Deferral Period, regardless of when such amendment is enacted. The plan American Life delivered to the IRS involves the transfer of businesses from certain of the foreign branches of American Life to one or more existing or newly-formed foreign affiliates of American Life; however, the plan is subject to change pursuant to the quarterly updates that American Life will provide to the IRS. An estimate of the costs to comply with the plan has been recorded in the financial statements. Also the achievement of the plan presented to the IRS within the required time frame of December 31, 2013 is contingent upon regulatory approvals and other requirements. Failure to achieve the plan in a timely manner could cause American Life to be required to withhold U.S. income taxes on the taxable portion of payments made by American Life’s foreign branches after December 31, 2013 to customers resident in a foreign country, which could put American Life at a competitive disadvantage with its competitors that sell similar products through foreign entities and could have a material adverse effect on American Life’s future revenues or expenses or both.
 
There Can Be No Assurance That Any Incremental Tax Benefit Will Result From the Currently Planned Elections Under Section 338 of the Code
 
MetLife, Inc. currently plans to make Section 338 Elections with respect to ALICO and certain of its subsidiaries, and MetLife, Inc. believes that ALICO and such subsidiaries should have additional amortizable basis in their assets for U.S. tax purposes as a result of such elections. No assurance can be given, however, as to the incremental tax benefit, if any, that will result from any such elections, if made.
 
The Issuance of Certain Equity Securities to ALICO Holdings in Connection with the Acquisition Will Have a Dilutive Impact on MetLife, Inc.’s Stockholders
 
As part of the consideration paid to ALICO Holdings pursuant to the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement, MetLife, Inc. issued to ALICO Holdings (A) 78,239,712 shares of its common stock, (B) 6,857,000 shares of the Series B Contingent Convertible Junior Participating Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock (the “Convertible Preferred Stock”), which will be convertible into approximately 68,570,000 shares of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock (subject to anti-dilution adjustments) upon a favorable vote of MetLife, Inc.’s common stockholders, and (C) $3.0 billion aggregate stated amount of MetLife, Inc.’s common equity units, which initially consist of (x) purchase contracts obligating the holder to purchase a variable number of shares of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock on each of three specified future settlement dates (approximately two, three and four years after the closing of the Acquisition, subject to deferral under certain circumstances) for a fixed amount per purchase contract (an aggregate of $1.0 billion on each settlement date) (the “Stock Purchase Contracts”) and (y) an interest in each of three series of debt securities of MetLife, Inc. The aggregate amount of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock expected to be issued to ALICO Holdings in connection with the Acquisition (including shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the Convertible Preferred Stock and shares of common stock issuable upon settlement of the Stock Purchase Contracts) is expected to be approximately 214,600,000 to 231,500,000 shares.


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As a result of the issuance of these securities, more shares of common stock will be outstanding and each existing stockholder will own a smaller percentage of our common stock then outstanding.
 
Subject to Certain Limitations, ALICO Holdings Will Be Able to Sell MetLife, Inc.’s Equity Securities at Any Time From and After the Date 270 Days After the Closing of the Acquisition, Which Could Cause MetLife, Inc.’s Stock Price to Decrease
 
ALICO Holdings agreed in the Investor Rights Agreement entered into in connection with the Acquisition, not to transfer any of MetLife, Inc.’s securities received pursuant to the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement, at any time up to the date 270 days after the closing of the Acquisition, without the consent of MetLife, Inc. However, from and after such date, ALICO Holdings will be able to transfer up to half of such equity securities, and from and after the first anniversary of the closing of the Acquisition, ALICO Holdings will be able to transfer all of such securities, subject in each case to certain limited volume and timing restrictions set forth in the Investor Rights Agreement. Moreover, ALICO Holdings will agree to use commercially reasonable efforts to transfer, and it will cause its affiliates to so transfer, all of MetLife, Inc.’s securities received in connection with the Acquisition prior to the later of (i) the fifth anniversary of the closing of the Acquisition, and (ii) the first anniversary of the third stock purchase date under the Stock Purchase Contracts. Subject to certain conditions, we have agreed to register the resale of MetLife, Inc.’s equity and other securities to be issued to ALICO Holdings under the Securities Act. The sale or transfer of a substantial number of these securities within a short period of time could cause MetLife, Inc.’s stock price to decrease, make it more difficult for us to raise funds through future offerings of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock or acquire other businesses using MetLife, Inc.’s common stock as consideration.
 
If MetLife, Inc.’s Stockholders Do Not Vote to Approve the Conversion of the Convertible Preferred Stock Into Common Stock, MetLife, Inc. Will Be Required to Pay Approximately $300 Million to ALICO Holdings
 
ALICO Holdings received shares of the Convertible Preferred Stock upon completion of the Acquisition. Each share of Convertible Preferred Stock will convert into 10 shares of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock (subject to anti-dilution adjustments) if conversion is approved by MetLife, Inc.’s common stockholders. If we fail to obtain such approval prior to the first anniversary of the closing of the Acquisition, November 1, 2011, MetLife, Inc. will be required to pay approximately $300 million to ALICO Holdings, assuming no purchase price adjustments, and, upon request, register the Convertible Preferred Stock for sale by ALICO Holdings in a public offering and list the Convertible Preferred Stock on the NYSE.
 
Fluctuations in Foreign Currency Exchange Rates Could Negatively Affect Our Profitability
 
We are exposed to risks associated with fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar resulting from our holdings of non-U.S. dollar denominated investments, investments in foreign subsidiaries and net income from foreign operations and issuance of non-U.S. dollar denominated instruments, including guaranteed interest contracts and funding agreements. These risks relate to potential decreases in estimated fair value and income resulting from a strengthening or weakening in foreign exchange rates versus the U.S. dollar. In general, the weakening of foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar will adversely affect the estimated fair value of our non-U.S. dollar denominated investments, our investments in foreign subsidiaries, and our net income from foreign operations. Although we use foreign currency swaps and forward contracts to mitigate foreign currency exchange rate risk, we cannot provide assurance that these methods will be effective or that our counterparties will perform their obligations. See “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
 
From time to time, various emerging market countries have experienced severe economic and financial disruptions, including significant devaluations of their currencies. Our exposure to foreign exchange rate risk is exacerbated by our investments in certain emerging markets.
 
Historically, we have matched substantially all of our foreign currency liabilities in our foreign subsidiaries with investments denominated in their respective foreign currency, which limits the effect of currency exchange rate fluctuation on local operating results; however, fluctuations in such rates affect the translation of these results into our U.S. dollar basis consolidated financial statements. Although we take certain actions to address this risk, foreign


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currency exchange rate fluctuation could materially adversely affect our reported results due to unhedged positions or the failure of hedges to effectively offset the impact of the foreign currency exchange rate fluctuation. See “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
 
The Acquisition has increased our exposure to risks associated with fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar and increased our exposure to emerging markets. Fluctuations in the yen/ U.S. dollar exchange rate can have a significant effect on our reported financial position and results of operations because ALICO has substantial operations in Japan and a significant portion of its premiums and investment income are received in yen. Claims and expenses are also paid in yen and ALICO primarily purchases yen-denominated assets to support yen-denominated policy liabilities. These and other yen-denominated financial statement items are, however, translated into U.S. dollars for financial reporting purposes. Accordingly, fluctuations in the yen/U.S. dollar exchange rate can have a significant effect on our reported financial position and results of operations.
 
Due to our significant international operations, during periods when any foreign currency in which we derive our revenues (such as the Japanese yen) weakens, translating amounts expressed in that currency into U.S. dollars causes fewer U.S. dollars to be reported. When the relevant foreign currency strengthens, translating such currency into U.S. dollars causes more U.S. dollars to be reported. Between September 30, 2010 and December 31, 2010, the Japanese yen has strengthened against the U.S. dollar, which fluctuated from a low point of ¥80.40 to the U.S. dollar on October 29, 2010 to a high point of ¥84.26 to the U.S. dollar on November 29, 2010, which has been somewhat offset by the weakening of the euro, which fluctuated from a high point of 0.7702 euro to the U.S. dollar on November 30, 2010, to 0.7039 euro to the U.S. dollar on November 4, 2010. Any unrealized foreign currency translation adjustments are reported in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). The weakening of a foreign currency relative to the U.S. dollar will generally adversely affect the value of investments in U.S. dollar terms and reduce the level of reserves denominated in that currency.
 
Our International Operations Face Political, Legal, Operational and Other Risks, Including Exposure to Local and Regional Economic Conditions, That Could Negatively Affect Those Operations or Our Profitability
 
Our international operations face political, legal, operational and other risks that we do not face in our domestic operations. We face the risk of discriminatory regulation, nationalization or expropriation of assets, price controls and exchange controls or other restrictions that prevent us from transferring funds from these operations out of the countries in which they operate or converting local currencies we hold into U.S. dollars or other currencies. Some of our foreign insurance operations are, and are likely to continue to be, in emerging markets where these risks are heightened. See “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.” In addition, we rely on local sales forces in these countries and may encounter labor problems resulting from workers’ associations and trade unions in some countries. In several countries, including Japan, China and India, we operate with local business partners with the resulting risk of managing partner relationships to the business objectives. If our business model is not successful in a particular country, we may lose all or most of our investment in building and training the sales force in that country. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Executive Summary” and Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
We are expanding our international operations in certain markets where we operate and in selected new markets. This may require considerable management time, as well as start-up expenses for market development before any significant revenues and earnings are generated. Operations in new foreign markets may achieve low margins or may be unprofitable, and expansion in existing markets may be affected by local economic and market conditions. Therefore, as we expand internationally, we may not achieve expected operating margins and our results of operations may be negatively impacted.
 
In addition, in recent years, the operating environment in Argentina has been very challenging. In Argentina, we were formerly principally engaged in the pension business. In December 2008, the Argentine government nationalized private pensions and seized the pension funds’ investments, eliminating the private pensions business in Argentina. As a result, we have experienced and will continue to experience reductions in the operation’s revenues and cash flows. The Argentine government now controls all assets which previously were managed by our


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Argentine pension operations. Further governmental or legal actions related to our operations in Argentina could negatively impact our operations in Argentina and result in future losses.
 
We have market presence in over 60 different countries and increased exposure to risks posed by local and regional economic conditions. Europe has recently experienced a deep recession and countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and, in particular, Greece and Ireland, have been particularly affected by the recession, resulting in increased national debts and depressed economic activity. We have significant operations and investments in these countries which could be adversely affected by economic developments such as higher taxes, growing inflation, decreasing government spending, rising unemployment and currency instability.
 
In addition to fluctuations in the yen/U.S. dollar exchange rate discussed above, we face increased exposure to the Japanese markets as a result of ALICO’s considerable presence there. Deterioration in Japan’s economic recovery could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
 
We also have operations in the Middle East where the legal and political systems and regulatory frameworks are subject to instability and disruptions. Lack of legal certainty and stability in the region exposes our operations to increased risk of disruption and to adverse or unpredictable actions by regulators and may make it more difficult for us to enforce our contracts, which may negatively impact our business in this region. See also “— Changes in Market Interest Rates May Significantly Affect Our Profitability” regarding the impact of low interest rates on our Taiwanese operations.
 
As a Holding Company, MetLife, Inc. Depends on the Ability of Its Subsidiaries to Transfer Funds to It to Meet Its Obligations and Pay Dividends
 
MetLife, Inc. is a holding company for its insurance and financial subsidiaries and does not have any significant operations of its own. Dividends from its subsidiaries and permitted payments to it under its tax sharing arrangements with its subsidiaries are its principal sources of cash to meet its obligations and to pay preferred and common stock dividends. If the cash MetLife, Inc. receives from its subsidiaries is insufficient for it to fund its debt service and other holding company obligations, MetLife, Inc. may be required to raise cash through the incurrence of debt, the issuance of additional equity or the sale of assets.
 
The payment of dividends and other distributions to MetLife, Inc. by its insurance subsidiaries is regulated by insurance laws and regulations. In general, dividends in excess of prescribed limits require insurance regulatory approval. In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of dividends or other payments by its insurance subsidiaries to MetLife, Inc. if they determine that the payment could be adverse to our policyholders or contractholders. The payment of dividends and other distributions by insurance companies is also influenced by business conditions and rating agency considerations. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Insurance Regulation” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Holding Company — Liquidity and Capital Sources — Dividends from Subsidiaries.” The ability of MetLife Bank to pay dividends is also subject to regulation by the OCC.
 
Any payment of interest, dividends, distributions, loans or advances by our foreign subsidiaries and branches to MetLife, Inc. could be subject to taxation or other restrictions on dividends or repatriation of earnings under applicable law, monetary transfer restrictions and foreign currency exchange regulations in the jurisdiction in which such foreign subsidiaries operate. See “Business — International Regulation” and “— Our International Operations Face Political, Legal, Operational and Other Risks, Including Exposure to Local and Regional Economic Conditions, That Could Negatively Affect Those Operations or Our Profitability.”
 
A Downgrade or a Potential Downgrade in Our Financial Strength or Credit Ratings Could Result in a Loss of Business and Materially Adversely Affect Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
Financial strength ratings, which various Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSRO”) publish as indicators of an insurance company’s ability to meet contractholder and policyholder obligations, are important to maintaining public confidence in our products, our ability to market our products and our competitive position.


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Downgrades in our financial strength ratings could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations in many ways, including:
 
  •  reducing new sales of insurance products, annuities and other investment products;
 
  •  adversely affecting our relationships with our sales force and independent sales intermediaries;
 
  •  materially increasing the number or amount of policy surrenders and withdrawals by contractholders and policyholders;
 
  •  requiring us to reduce prices for many of our products and services to remain competitive; and
 
  •  adversely affecting our ability to obtain reinsurance at reasonable prices or at all.
 
In addition to the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries, various NRSROs also publish credit ratings for MetLife, Inc. and several of its subsidiaries. Credit ratings are indicators of a debt issuer’s ability to meet the terms of debt obligations in a timely manner and are important factors in our overall funding profile and ability to access certain types of liquidity. Downgrades in our credit ratings could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations in many ways, including adversely limiting our access to capital markets, potentially increasing the cost of debt, and requiring us to post collateral. For example, with respect to derivative transactions with credit ratings downgrade triggers, a one-notch downgrade would have increased our derivative collateral requirements by $99 million at December 31, 2010. Also, $375 million of liabilities associated with funding agreements and other capital market products were subject to credit ratings downgrade triggers that permit early termination subject to a notice period of 90 days.
 
In view of the difficulties experienced during 2008 and 2009 by many financial institutions, including our competitors in the insurance industry, we believe it is possible that the NRSROs will continue to heighten the level of scrutiny that they apply to such institutions, will continue to increase the frequency and scope of their credit reviews, will continue to request additional information from the companies that they rate, and may adjust upward the capital and other requirements employed in the NRSRO models for maintenance of certain ratings levels. Rating agencies use an “outlook statement” of “positive,” “stable,” “negative” or “developing” to indicate a medium- or long-term trend in credit fundamentals which, if continued, may lead to a ratings change. A rating may have a “stable” outlook to indicate that the rating is not expected to change; however, a “stable” rating does not preclude a rating agency from changing a rating at any time, without notice. Certain rating agencies assign rating modifiers such as “CreditWatch” or “Under Review” to indicate their opinion regarding the potential direction of a rating. These ratings modifiers are generally assigned in connection with certain events such as potential mergers and acquisitions, or material changes in a company’s results, in order for the rating agencies to perform their analyses to fully determine the rating implications of the event. Certain rating agencies have recently implemented rating actions, including downgrades, outlook changes and modifiers, for MetLife, Inc.’s and certain of its subsidiaries’ insurer financial strength and credit ratings.
 
Based on the announcement in February 2010 that MetLife was in discussions to acquire ALICO, in February 2010, S&P and A.M. Best placed the ratings of MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries on “CreditWatch with negative implications” and “under review with negative implications,” respectively. Also in connection with the announcement, in March 2010, Moody’s changed the ratings outlook of MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries from “stable” to “negative” outlook. Upon completion of the public financing transactions related to the Acquisition, in August 2010, S&P affirmed the ratings of MetLife, Inc. and subsidiaries with a “negative” outlook, and removed them from “CreditWatch.” On November 1, 2010, upon closing of the Acquisition, S&P changed the rating outlook of ALICO to “positive” from “negative” and affirmed its financial strength rating; the ratings of MetLife, Inc. and its other subsidiaries were unaffected by this ratings action. Also on November 1, 2010, Fitch Ratings upgraded by one notch (and changed the rating outlook from “Rating Watch Positive” to “stable”) the financial strength rating of American Life and affirmed all existing ratings for MetLife, Inc. and its other subsidiaries. On November 4, 2010, A.M. Best upgraded by one notch the financial strength rating of American Life and changed the rating outlook from “under review with positive implications” to “negative.” A.M. Best also changed the outlook for MetLife, Inc. and certain of its other subsidiaries to “negative” from “under review with negative implications.” Effective as of January in 2011, MetLife withdrew the American Life financial strength ratings by A.M. Best and Fitch Ratings as once it became a subsidiary of MetLife it was not deemed necessary to maintain stand-alone ratings.


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On July 1, 2010, Moody’s published revised guidance called “Revisions to Moody’s Hybrid Tool Kit” (the “Guidance”) for assigning equity credit to so-called hybrid securities, i.e., securities with both debt and equity characteristics (“Hybrids”). Moody’s evaluates Hybrids using certain specified criteria and then places each such security into a “basket,” with a specific percentage of debt and equity being associated with each basket, which is then used to adjust full sets of financial statements for purposes of, among other things, calculating the issuing company’s financial leverage. Under the Guidance, Hybrids are one element that Moody’s considers within the context of an issuer’s overall credit profile. As of December 31, 2010, we have approximately $11.1 billion of Hybrids outstanding, which includes approximately $6.2 billion of debt securities and $4.9 billion of equity securities. Application of the Guidance has resulted in Moody’s significantly reducing the amount of equity credit it assigns to these securities, including the common equity units issued to ALICO Holdings in connection with the Acquisition. We do not expect at this time, as a result of the Guidance, that a reduction in Moody’s equity treatment of our Hybrids, including the common equity units, would result in any material negative impact on MetLife, Inc.’s credit rating or the financial strength ratings of its insurance company subsidiaries. However, if we decided to increase our adjusted capital as a result of the application of the Guidance, we may seek to (i) issue additional common equity or higher equity content Hybrids satisfying the Guidance’s revised rating criteria, and/or (ii) redeem, repurchase or restructure existing Hybrids. Any sale of additional common equity would have a dilutive effect on our common stockholders.
 
We cannot predict what actions rating agencies may take, or what actions we may take in response to the actions of rating agencies, which could adversely affect our business. As with other companies in the financial services industry, our ratings could be downgraded at any time and without any notice by any NRSRO.
 
An Inability to Access Our Credit Facilities Could Result in a Reduction in Our Liquidity and Lead to Downgrades in Our Credit and Financial Strength Ratings
 
In October 2010, we entered into two senior unsecured credit facilities: a three-year $3 billion facility and a 364-day $1 billion facility. We also have other facilities which we enter into in the ordinary course of business. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Liquidity and Capital Sources — Credit and Committed Facilities” and Notes 11 and 24 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
We rely on our credit facilities as a potential source of liquidity. The availability of these facilities could be critical to our credit and financial strength ratings and our ability to meet our obligations as they come due in a market when alternative sources of credit are tight. The credit facilities contain certain administrative, reporting, legal and financial covenants. We must comply with covenants under our credit facilities, including a requirement to maintain a specified minimum consolidated net worth.
 
Our right to make borrowings under these facilities is subject to the fulfillment of certain important conditions, including our compliance with all covenants, and our ability to borrow under these facilities is also subject to the continued willingness and ability of the lenders that are parties to the facilities to provide funds. Our failure to comply with the covenants in the credit facilities or fulfill the conditions to borrowings, or the failure of lenders to fund their lending commitments (whether due to insolvency, illiquidity or other reasons) in the amounts provided for under the terms of the facilities, would restrict our ability to access these credit facilities when needed and, consequently, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Defaults, Downgrades or Other Events Impairing the Carrying Value of Our Fixed Maturity or Equity Securities Portfolio May Reduce Our Earnings
 
We are subject to the risk that the issuers, or guarantors, of fixed maturity securities we own may default on principal and interest payments they owe us. We are also subject to the risk that the underlying collateral within loan-backed securities, including mortgage-backed securities, may default on principal and interest payments causing an adverse change in cash flows. Fixed maturity securities represent a significant portion of our investment portfolio. The occurrence of a major economic downturn, acts of corporate malfeasance, widening risk spreads, or other events that adversely affect the issuers, guarantors or underlying collateral of these securities could cause the estimated fair value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio and our earnings to decline and the default rate of the


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fixed maturity securities in our investment portfolio to increase. A ratings downgrade affecting issuers or guarantors of particular securities, or similar trends that could worsen the credit quality of issuers, such as the corporate issuers of securities in our investment portfolio, could also have a similar effect. With economic uncertainty, credit quality of issuers or guarantors could be adversely affected. Similarly, a ratings downgrade affecting a security we hold could indicate the credit quality of that security has deteriorated and could increase the capital we must hold to support that security to maintain our RBC levels. Any event reducing the estimated fair value of these securities other than on a temporary basis could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Levels of writedowns or impairments are impacted by our assessment of intent to sell, or whether it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell, fixed maturity securities and the intent and ability to hold equity securities which have declined in value until recovery. If we determine to reposition or realign portions of the portfolio so as not to hold certain equity securities, or intend to sell or determine that it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell, certain fixed maturity securities in an unrealized loss position prior to recovery, then we will incur an other-than-temporary impairment charge in the period that the decision was made not to hold the equity security to recovery, or to sell, or the determination was made it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the fixed maturity security.
 
Our Risk Management Policies and Procedures May Leave Us Exposed to Unidentified or Unanticipated Risk, Which Could Negatively Affect Our Business
 
Management of risk requires, among other things, policies and procedures to record properly and verify a large number of transactions and events. We have devoted significant resources to develop our risk management policies and procedures and expect to continue to do so in the future. Nonetheless, our policies and procedures may not be comprehensive. Many of our methods for managing risk and exposures are based upon the use of observed historical market behavior or statistics based on historical models. As a result, these methods may not fully predict future exposures, which can be significantly greater than our historical measures indicate. Other risk management methods depend upon the evaluation of information regarding markets, clients, catastrophe occurrence or other matters that is publicly available or otherwise accessible to us. This information may not always be accurate, complete, up-to-date or properly evaluated. See “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
 
Reinsurance May Not Be Available, Affordable or Adequate to Protect Us Against Losses
 
As part of our overall risk management strategy, we purchase reinsurance for certain risks underwritten by our various business segments. See “Business — Reinsurance Activity.” While reinsurance agreements generally bind the reinsurer for the life of the business reinsured at generally fixed pricing, market conditions beyond our control determine the availability and cost of the reinsurance protection for new business. In certain circumstances, the price of reinsurance for business already reinsured may also increase. Any decrease in the amount of reinsurance will increase our risk of loss and any increase in the cost of reinsurance will, absent a decrease in the amount of reinsurance, reduce our earnings. Accordingly, we may be forced to incur additional expenses for reinsurance or may not be able to obtain sufficient reinsurance on acceptable terms, which could adversely affect our ability to write future business or result in the assumption of more risk with respect to those policies we issue.
 
If the Counterparties to Our Reinsurance or Indemnification Arrangements or to the Derivative Instruments We Use to Hedge Our Business Risks Default or Fail to Perform, We May Be Exposed to Risks We Had Sought to Mitigate, Which Could Materially Adversely Affect Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
We use reinsurance, indemnification and derivative instruments to mitigate our risks in various circumstances. In general, reinsurance does not relieve us of our direct liability to our policyholders, even when the reinsurer is liable to us. Accordingly, we bear credit risk with respect to our reinsurers and indemnitors. We cannot provide assurance that our reinsurers will pay the reinsurance recoverables owed to us or that indemnitors will honor their obligations now or in the future or that they will pay these recoverables on a timely basis. A reinsurer’s or indemnitor’s insolvency, inability or unwillingness to make payments under the terms of reinsurance agreements or indemnity agreements with us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.


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In addition, we use derivative instruments to hedge various business risks. We enter into a variety of derivative instruments, including options, forwards, interest rate, credit default and currency swaps with a number of counterparties. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments.” If our counterparties fail or refuse to honor their obligations under these derivative instruments, our hedges of the related risk will be ineffective. This is a more pronounced risk to us in view of the stresses suffered by financial institutions over the past few years. Such failure could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Differences Between Actual Claims Experience and Underwriting and Reserving Assumptions May Adversely Affect Our Financial Results
 
Our earnings significantly depend upon the extent to which our actual claims experience is consistent with the assumptions we use in setting prices for our products and establishing liabilities for future policy benefits and claims. Our liabilities for future policy benefits and claims are established based on estimates by actuaries of how much we will need to pay for future benefits and claims. For life insurance and annuity products, we calculate these liabilities based on many assumptions and estimates, including estimated premiums to be received over the assumed life of the policy, the timing of the event covered by the insurance policy, the amount of benefits or claims to be paid and the investment returns on the investments we make with the premiums we receive. We establish liabilities for property and casualty claims and benefits based on assumptions and estimates of damages and liabilities incurred. To the extent that actual claims experience is less favorable than the underlying assumptions we used in establishing such liabilities, we could be required to increase our liabilities.
 
Due to the nature of the underlying risks and the high degree of uncertainty associated with the determination of liabilities for future policy benefits and claims, we cannot determine precisely the amounts which we will ultimately pay to settle our liabilities. Such amounts may vary from the estimated amounts, particularly when those payments may not occur until well into the future. We evaluate our liabilities periodically based on accounting requirements, which change from time to time, the assumptions used to establish the liabilities, as well as our actual experience. We charge or credit changes in our liabilities to expenses in the period the liabilities are established or re-estimated. If the liabilities originally established for future benefit payments prove inadequate, we must increase them. Such increases could affect earnings negatively and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
Catastrophes May Adversely Impact Liabilities for Policyholder Claims and Reinsurance Availability
 
Our life insurance operations are exposed to the risk of catastrophic mortality, such as a pandemic or other event that causes a large number of deaths. Significant influenza pandemics have occurred three times in the last century, but neither the likelihood, timing, nor the severity of a future pandemic can be predicted. A significant pandemic could have a major impact on the global economy or the economies of particular countries or regions, including travel, trade, tourism, the health system, food supply, consumption, overall economic output and, eventually, on the financial markets. In addition, a pandemic that affected our employees or the employees of our distributors or of other companies with which we do business could disrupt our business operations. The effectiveness of external parties, including governmental and non-governmental organizations, in combating the spread and severity of such a pandemic could have a material impact on the losses experienced by us. In our group insurance operations, a localized event that affects the workplace of one or more of our group insurance customers could cause a significant loss due to mortality or morbidity claims. These events could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations in any period and, depending on their severity, could also materially and adversely affect our financial condition.
 
Our Auto & Home business has experienced, and will likely in the future experience, catastrophe losses that may have a material adverse impact on the business, results of operations and financial condition of the Auto & Home segment. Although Auto & Home makes every effort to manage our exposure to catastrophic risks through volatility management and reinsurance programs, these efforts do not eliminate all risk. Catastrophes can be caused by various events, including hurricanes, windstorms, earthquakes, hail, tornadoes, explosions, severe winter weather (including snow, freezing water, ice storms and blizzards), fires and man-made events such as terrorist attacks. Historically, substantially all of our catastrophe-related claims have related to homeowners coverages.


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However, catastrophes may also affect other Auto & Home coverages. Due to their nature, we cannot predict the incidence, timing and severity of catastrophes. In addition, changing climate conditions, primarily rising global temperatures, may be increasing, or may in the future increase, the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes such as hurricanes.
 
Hurricanes and earthquakes are of particular note for our homeowners coverages. Areas of major hurricane exposure include coastal sections of the northeastern U.S. (including lower New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts), the Gulf Coast (including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas) and Florida. We also have some earthquake exposure, primarily along the New Madrid fault line in the central U.S. and in the Pacific Northwest.
 
The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Most catastrophes are restricted to small geographic areas; however, hurricanes, earthquakes and man-made catastrophes may produce significant damage or loss of life in larger areas, especially those that are heavily populated. Claims resulting from natural or man-made catastrophic events could cause substantial volatility in our financial results for any fiscal quarter or year and could materially reduce our profitability or harm our financial condition. Also, catastrophic events could harm the financial condition of our reinsurers and thereby increase the probability of default on reinsurance recoveries. Our ability to write new business could also be affected. It is possible that increases in the value, caused by the effects of inflation or other factors, and geographic concentration of insured property, could increase the severity of claims from catastrophic events in the future.
 
Most of the jurisdictions in which our insurance subsidiaries are admitted to transact business require life and property and casualty insurers doing business within the jurisdiction to participate in guaranty associations, which are organized to pay contractual benefits owed pursuant to insurance policies issued by impaired, insolvent or failed insurers. These associations levy assessments, up to prescribed limits, on all member insurers in a particular state on the basis of the proportionate share of the premiums written by member insurers in the lines of business in which the impaired, insolvent or failed insurer is engaged. In addition, certain states have government owned or controlled organizations providing life and property and casualty insurance to their citizens. The activities of such organizations could also place additional stress on the adequacy of guaranty fund assessments. Many of these organizations also have the power to levy assessments similar to those of the guaranty associations described above. Some states permit member insurers to recover assessments paid through full or partial premium tax offsets. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Guaranty Associations and Similar Arrangements” and “Business — International Regulation.”
 
While in the past five years, the aggregate assessments levied against MetLife, Inc.’s insurance subsidiaries have not been material, it is possible that a large catastrophic event could render such guaranty funds inadequate and we may be called upon to contribute additional amounts, which may have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations in a particular period. We have established liabilities for guaranty fund assessments that we consider adequate for assessments with respect to insurers that are currently subject to insolvency proceedings, but additional liabilities may be necessary. See Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Consistent with industry practice and accounting standards, we establish liabilities for claims arising from a catastrophe only after assessing the probable losses arising from the event. We cannot be certain that the liabilities we have established will be adequate to cover actual claim liabilities. From time to time, states have passed legislation that has the effect of limiting the ability of insurers to manage risk, such as legislation restricting an insurer’s ability to withdraw from catastrophe-prone areas. While we attempt to limit our exposure to acceptable levels, subject to restrictions imposed by insurance regulatory authorities, a catastrophic event or multiple catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
Our ability to manage this risk and the profitability of our property and casualty and life insurance businesses depends in part on our ability to obtain catastrophe reinsurance, which may not be available at commercially acceptable rates in the future. See “— Reinsurance May Not Be Available, Affordable or Adequate to Protect Us Against Losses.”


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Our Statutory Reserve Financings May Be Subject to Cost Increases and New Financings May Be Subject to Limited Market Capacity
 
To support statutory reserves for several products, including, but not limited to, our level premium term life and universal life with secondary guarantees and MLIC’s closed block, we currently utilize capital markets solutions for financing a portion of our statutory reserve requirements. While we have financing facilities in place for our previously written business and have remaining capacity in existing facilities to support writings through the end of 2010 or later, certain of these facilities are subject to cost increases upon the occurrence of specified ratings downgrades of MetLife or are subject to periodic repricing. Any resulting cost increases could negatively impact our financial results.
 
Future capacity for these statutory reserve funding structures in the marketplace is not guaranteed. If capacity becomes unavailable for a prolonged period of time, hindering our ability to obtain funding for these new structures, our ability to write additional business in a cost effective manner may be impacted.
 
Competitive Factors May Adversely Affect Our Market Share and Profitability
 
Our segments are subject to intense competition. We believe that this competition is based on a number of factors, including service, product features, scale, price, financial strength, claims-paying ratings, credit ratings, e-business capabilities and name recognition. We compete with a large number of other insurers, as well as non-insurance financial services companies, such as banks, broker-dealers and asset managers, for individual consumers, employers and other group customers and agents and other distributors of insurance and investment products. Some of these companies offer a broader array of products, have more competitive pricing or more attractive features in their products or, with respect to other insurers, have higher claims paying ability ratings. Some may also have greater financial resources with which to compete. National banks, which may sell annuity products of life insurers in some circumstances, also have pre-existing customer bases for financial services products. Many of our group insurance products are underwritten annually, and, accordingly, there is a risk that group purchasers may be able to obtain more favorable terms from competitors rather than renewing coverage with us. The effect of competition may, as a result, adversely affect the persistency of these and other products, as well as our ability to sell products in the future.
 
In addition, the investment management and securities brokerage businesses have relatively few barriers to entry and continually attract new entrants. See “Business — Competition.”
 
Finally, the new requirements imposed on the financial industry by Dodd-Frank could similarly have differential effects. See “— Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
Industry Trends Could Adversely Affect the Profitability of Our Businesses
 
Our segments continue to be influenced by a variety of trends that affect the insurance industry, including competition with respect to product features, price, distribution capability, customer service and information technology. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Industry Trends.” The impact on our business and on the life insurance industry generally of the volatility and instability of the financial markets is difficult to predict, and our business plans, financial condition and results of operations may be negatively impacted or affected in other unexpected ways. In addition, the life insurance industry is subject to state regulation, and, as complex products are introduced, regulators may refine capital requirements and introduce new reserving standards. Dodd-Frank, Basel III and the market environment in general may also lead to changes in regulation that may benefit or disadvantage us relative to some of our competitors. See “Business — Competition,” “— Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “— Competitive Factors May Adversely Affect Our Market Share and Profitability.”


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Consolidation of Distributors of Insurance Products May Adversely Affect the Insurance Industry and the Profitability of Our Business
 
The insurance industry distributes many of its individual products through other financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers. An increase in bank and broker-dealer consolidation activity may negatively impact the industry’s sales, and such consolidation could increase competition for access to distributors, result in greater distribution expenses and impair our ability to market insurance products to our current customer base or to expand our customer base. Consolidation of distributors and/or other industry changes may also increase the likelihood that distributors will try to renegotiate the terms of any existing selling agreements to terms less favorable to us.
 
Our Valuation of Fixed Maturity, Equity and Trading and Other Securities and Short-Term Investments May Include Methodologies, Estimations and Assumptions Which Are Subject to Differing Interpretations and Could Result in Changes to Investment Valuations That May Materially Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations or Financial Condition
 
Fixed maturity, equity, and trading and other securities and short-term investments which are reported at estimated fair value on the consolidated balance sheets represent the majority of our total cash and investments. We have categorized these securities into a three-level hierarchy, based on the priority of the inputs to the respective valuation technique.
 
The fair value hierarchy gives the highest priority to quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3). An asset or liability’s classification within the fair value hierarchy is based on the lowest level of significant input to its valuation. The input levels are as follows:
 
  Level 1 —  Unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. We define active markets based on average trading volume for equity securities. The size of the bid/ask spread is used as an indicator of market activity for fixed maturity securities.
 
  Level 2 —  Quoted prices in markets that are not active or inputs that are observable either directly or indirectly. Level 2 inputs include quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities other than quoted prices in Level 1; quoted prices in markets that are not active; or other significant inputs that are observable or can be derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.
 
  Level 3 —  Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and are significant to the estimated fair value of the assets or liabilities. Unobservable inputs reflect the reporting entity’s own assumptions about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. Level 3 assets and liabilities include financial instruments whose values are determined using pricing models, discounted cash flow methodologies, or similar techniques, as well as instruments for which the determination of the estimated fair value requires significant management judgment or estimation.
 
At December 31, 2010, 7.0%, 85.8% and 7.2% of these securities represented Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, respectively. The Level 1 securities primarily consist of certain U.S. Treasury, agency and government guaranteed fixed maturity securities; certain foreign government fixed maturity securities; exchange-traded common stock; certain trading securities; certain fair value option securities and certain short-term investments. The Level 2 assets include fixed maturity and equity securities priced principally through independent pricing services using observable inputs. These fixed maturity securities include most U.S. Treasury, agency and government guaranteed securities, as well as the majority of U.S. and foreign corporate securities, RMBS, CMBS, state and political subdivision securities, foreign government securities, and ABS. Equity securities classified as Level 2 primarily consist of non-redeemable preferred securities and certain equity securities where market quotes are available but are not considered actively traded and are priced by independent pricing services. We review the valuation methodologies used by the independent pricing services on an ongoing basis and ensure that any changes to valuation methodologies are justified. Level 3 assets include fixed maturity securities priced principally through independent non-binding broker quotations or market standard valuation methodologies using inputs that are not


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market observable or cannot be derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data. Level 3 consists of less liquid fixed maturity securities with very limited trading activity or where less price transparency exists around the inputs to the valuation methodologies including: U.S. and foreign corporate securities — including below investment grade private placements; RMBS; CMBS; and ABS — including all of those supported by sub-prime mortgage loans. Equity securities classified as Level 3 securities consist principally of nonredeemable preferred stock and common stock of companies that are privately held or companies for which there has been very limited trading activity or where less price transparency exists around the inputs to the valuation.
 
Prices provided by independent pricing services and independent non-binding broker quotations can vary widely even for the same security.
 
The determination of estimated fair values by management in the absence of quoted market prices is based on: (i) valuation methodologies; (ii) securities we deem to be comparable; and (iii) assumptions deemed appropriate given the circumstances. The fair value estimates are made at a specific point in time, based on available market information and judgments about financial instruments, including estimates of the timing and amounts of expected future cash flows and the credit standing of the issuer or counterparty. Factors considered in estimating fair value include: coupon rate, maturity, estimated duration, call provisions, sinking fund requirements, credit rating, industry sector of the issuer, and quoted market prices of comparable securities. The use of different methodologies and assumptions may have a material effect on the estimated fair value amounts. During periods of market disruption including periods of significantly rising or high interest rates, rapidly widening credit spreads or illiquidity, it may be difficult to value certain of our securities, for example sub-prime mortgage-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities where the underlying loans are Alt-A and CMBS, if trading becomes less frequent and/or market data becomes less observable. In times of financial market disruption, certain asset classes that were in active markets with significant observable data may become illiquid. In such cases, more securities may fall to Level 3 and thus require more subjectivity and management judgment. As such, valuations may include inputs and assumptions that are less observable or require greater estimation, as well as valuation methods which are more sophisticated or require greater estimation thereby resulting in estimated fair values which may be greater or less than the amount at which the investments may be ultimately sold. Further, rapidly changing and unprecedented credit and equity market conditions could materially impact the valuation of securities as reported within our consolidated financial statements and the period-to-period changes in estimated fair value could vary significantly. Decreases in value may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
 
If Our Business Does Not Perform Well, We May Be Required to Recognize an Impairment of Our Goodwill or Other Long-Lived Assets or to Establish a Valuation Allowance Against the Deferred Income Tax Asset, Which Could Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations or Financial Condition
 
Goodwill represents the excess of the amounts we paid to acquire subsidiaries and other businesses over the estimated fair value of their net assets at the date of acquisition. As of December 31, 2010, our goodwill was $11,781, of which $6,959 of goodwill was established in connection with the acquisition of ALICO. We test goodwill at least annually for impairment. Impairment testing is performed based upon estimates of the estimated fair value of the “reporting unit” to which the goodwill relates. The reporting unit is the operating segment or a business one level below that operating segment if discrete financial information is prepared and regularly reviewed by management at that level. The estimated fair value of the reporting unit is impacted by the performance of the business. The performance of our businesses may be adversely impacted by prolonged market declines. If it is determined that the goodwill has been impaired, we must write down the goodwill by the amount of the impairment, with a corresponding charge to net income. Such writedowns could have an adverse effect on our results of operation or financial position. For example, our goodwill has increased substantially as a result of the Acquisition. Market factors, the failure of ALICO to perform well, or issues relating to the integration of ALICO could result in the reporting units containing parts of ALICO having fair values lower than their respective carrying values, which would result in a writedown of goodwill and, consequently, it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Goodwill.”
 
Long-lived assets, including assets such as real estate, also require impairment testing to determine whether changes in circumstances indicate that MetLife will be unable to recover the carrying amount of the asset group


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through future operations of that asset group or market conditions that will impact the estimated fair value of those assets. Such writedowns could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.
 
Deferred income tax represents the tax effect of the differences between the book and tax basis of assets and liabilities. Deferred tax assets are assessed periodically by management to determine if they are realizable. Factors in management’s determination include the performance of the business including the ability to generate future taxable income. If based on available information, it is more likely than not that the deferred income tax asset will not be realized then a valuation allowance must be established with a corresponding charge to net income. Such charges could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.
 
If Our Business Does Not Perform Well or if Actual Experience Versus Estimates Used in Valuing and Amortizing DAC, Deferred Sales Inducements (“DSI”) and VOBA Vary Significantly, We May Be Required to Accelerate the Amortization and/or Impair the DAC, DSI and VOBA Which Could Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations or Financial Condition
 
We incur significant costs in connection with acquiring new and renewal business. Those costs that vary with and are primarily related to the production of new and renewal business are deferred and referred to as DAC. Bonus amounts credited to certain policyholders, either immediately upon receiving a deposit or as excess interest credits for a period of time, are referred to as DSI. The recovery of DAC and DSI is dependent upon the future profitability of the related business. The amount of future profit or margin is dependent principally on investment returns in excess of the amounts credited to policyholders, mortality, morbidity, persistency, interest crediting rates, dividends paid to policyholders, expenses to administer the business, creditworthiness of reinsurance counterparties and certain economic variables, such as inflation. Of these factors, we anticipate that investment returns are most likely to impact the rate of amortization of such costs. The aforementioned factors enter into management’s estimates of gross profits or margins, which generally are used to amortize such costs.
 
If the estimates of gross profits or margins were overstated, then the amortization of such costs would be accelerated in the period the actual experience is known and would result in a charge to income. Significant or sustained equity market declines could result in an acceleration of amortization of the DAC and DSI related to variable annuity and variable universal life contracts, resulting in a charge to income. Such adjustments could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
 
VOBA is an intangible asset that represents the excess of book value over the estimated fair value of acquired insurance, annuity, and investment-type contracts in-force at the acquisition date. The estimated fair value of the acquired liabilities is based on actuarially determined projections, by each block of business, of future policy and contract charges, premiums, mortality and morbidity, separate account performance, surrenders, operating expenses, investment returns, nonperformance risk adjustment and other factors. Actual experience on the purchased business may vary from these projections. Revisions to estimates result in changes to the amounts expensed in the reporting period in which the revisions are made and could result in a charge to income. Also, as VOBA is amortized similarly to DAC and DSI, an acceleration of the amortization of VOBA would occur if the estimates of gross profits or margins were overstated. Accordingly, the amortization of such costs would be accelerated in the period in which the actual experience is known and would result in a charge to net income. Significant or sustained equity market declines could result in an acceleration of amortization of the VOBA related to variable annuity and variable universal life contracts, resulting in a charge to income. Such adjustments could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs and Value of Business Acquired” for further consideration of DAC and VOBA.
 
Changes in Accounting Standards Issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or Other Standard- Setting Bodies May Adversely Affect Our Financial Statements
 
Our financial statements are subject to the application of GAAP, which is periodically revised and/or expanded. Accordingly, from time to time we are required to adopt new or revised accounting standards issued by recognized authoritative bodies, including the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Market conditions have prompted accounting standard setters to expose new guidance which further interprets or seeks to revise accounting


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pronouncements related to financial instruments, structures or transactions, as well as to issue new standards expanding disclosures. The impact of accounting pronouncements that have been issued but not yet implemented is disclosed in this annual and quarterly reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. An assessment of proposed standards is not provided as such proposals are subject to change through the exposure process and, therefore, the effects on our financial statements cannot be meaningfully assessed. It is possible that future accounting standards we are required to adopt could change the current accounting treatment that we apply to our consolidated financial statements and that such changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Changes in Our Discount Rate, Expected Rate of Return and Expected Compensation Increase Assumptions for Our Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans May Result in Increased Expenses and Reduce Our Profitability
 
We determine our pension and other postretirement benefit plan costs based on our best estimates of future plan experience. These assumptions are reviewed regularly and include discount rates, expected rates of return on plan assets and expected increases in compensation levels and expected medical inflation. Changes in these assumptions may result in increased expenses and reduce our profitability. See Note 17 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for details on how changes in these assumptions would affect plan costs.
 
Guarantees Within Certain of Our Products that Protect Policyholders Against Significant Downturns in Equity Markets May Decrease Our Earnings, Increase the Volatility of Our Results if Hedging or Risk Management Strategies Prove Ineffective, Result in Higher Hedging Costs and Expose Us to Increased Counterparty Risk
 
Certain of our variable annuity products include guaranteed benefits. These include guaranteed death benefits, guaranteed withdrawal benefits, lifetime withdrawal guarantees, guaranteed minimum accumulation benefits, and guaranteed minimum income benefits. 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. We use reinsurance in combination with derivative instruments to mitigate the liability exposure and the volatility of net income associated with these liabilities, and while we believe that these and other actions have mitigated the risks related to these benefits, we remain liable for the guaranteed benefits in the event that reinsurers or derivative counterparties are unable or unwilling to pay. In addition, we are subject to the risk that hedging and other management procedures prove ineffective or that unanticipated policyholder behavior or mortality, combined with adverse market events, produces economic losses beyond the scope of the risk management techniques employed. These, individually or collectively, may have a material adverse effect on net income, financial condition or liquidity. We are also subject to the risk that the cost of hedging these guaranteed minimum benefits increases as implied volatilities increase and/or interest rates decrease, resulting in a reduction to net income.
 
The valuation of certain of the foregoing liabilities (carried at fair value) includes an adjustment for nonperformance risk that reflects the credit standing of the issuing entity. This adjustment, which is not hedged, is based in part on publicly available information regarding credit spreads related to the Holding Company’s debt, including credit default swaps. In periods of extreme market volatility, movements in these credit spreads can have a significant impact on net income.
 
Guarantees Within Certain of Our Life and Annuity Products May Increase Our Exposure to Foreign Exchange Risk, and Decrease Our Earnings
 
Certain of our life and annuity products are exposed to foreign exchange risk. Payments under these contracts may be required to be made in different currencies, depending on the circumstances. Therefore, payments may be required in a different currency than the currency upon which the liability valuation is based. If the currency upon which expected future payments are made strengthens relative to the currency upon which the liability valuation is based, the liability valuation may increase, resulting in a reduction of net income.


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We May Need to Fund Deficiencies in Our Closed Block; Assets Allocated to the Closed Block Benefit Only the Holders of Closed Block Policies
 
MLIC’s plan of reorganization, as amended (the “Plan”), required that we establish and operate an accounting mechanism, known as a closed block, to ensure that the reasonable dividend expectations of policyholders who own certain individual insurance policies of MLIC are met. See Note 10 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. We allocated assets to the closed block in an amount that will produce cash flows which, together with anticipated revenue from the policies included in the closed block, are reasonably expected to be sufficient to support obligations and liabilities relating to these policies, including, but not limited to, provisions for the payment of claims and certain expenses and tax, and to provide for the continuation of the policyholder dividend scales in effect for 1999, if the experience underlying such scales continues, and for appropriate adjustments in such scales if the experience changes. We cannot provide assurance that the closed block assets, the cash flows generated by the closed block assets and the anticipated revenue from the policies included in the closed block will be sufficient to provide for the benefits guaranteed under these policies. If they are not sufficient, we must fund the shortfall. Even if they are sufficient, we may choose, for competitive reasons, to support policyholder dividend payments with our general account funds.
 
The closed block assets, the cash flows generated by the closed block assets and the anticipated revenue from the policies in the closed block will benefit only the holders of those policies. In addition, to the extent that these amounts are greater than the amounts estimated at the time the closed block was funded, dividends payable in respect of the policies included in the closed block may be greater than they would be in the absence of a closed block. Any excess earnings will be available for distribution over time only to closed block policyholders.
 
Litigation and Regulatory Investigations Are Increasingly Common in Our Businesses and May Result in Significant Financial Losses and/or Harm to Our Reputation
 
We face a significant risk of litigation and regulatory investigations and actions in the ordinary course of operating our businesses, including the risk of class action lawsuits. Our pending legal and regulatory actions include proceedings specific to us and others generally applicable to business practices in the industries in which we operate. In connection with our insurance operations, plaintiffs’ lawyers may bring or are bringing class actions and individual suits alleging, among other things, issues relating to sales or underwriting practices, claims payments and procedures, product design, disclosure, administration, denial or delay of benefits and breaches of fiduciary or other duties to customers. Plaintiffs in class action and other lawsuits against us may seek very large or indeterminate amounts, including punitive and treble damages, and the damages claimed and the amount of any probable and estimable liability, if any, may remain unknown for substantial periods of time. See Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Due to the vagaries of litigation, the outcome of a litigation matter and the amount or range of potential loss at particular points in time may normally be difficult to ascertain. Uncertainties can include how fact finders will evaluate documentary evidence and the credibility and effectiveness of witness testimony, and how trial and appellate courts will apply the law in the context of the pleadings or evidence presented, whether by motion practice, or at trial or on appeal. Disposition valuations are also subject to the uncertainty of how opposing parties and their counsel will themselves view the relevant evidence and applicable law.
 
On a quarterly and annual basis, we review relevant information with respect to litigation and contingencies to be reflected in our consolidated financial statements. The review includes senior legal and financial personnel. Estimates of possible losses or ranges of loss for particular matters cannot in the ordinary course be made with a reasonable degree of certainty. Liabilities are established when it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated.
 
Liabilities have been established for a number of matters noted in Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. It is possible that some of the matters could require us to pay damages or make other expenditures or establish accruals in amounts that could not be estimated at December 31, 2010.


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MLIC and its affiliates are currently defendants in numerous lawsuits including class actions and individual suits, alleging improper marketing or sales of individual life insurance policies, annuities, mutual funds or other products.
 
In addition, MLIC is a defendant in a large number of lawsuits seeking compensatory and punitive damages for personal injuries allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products. These lawsuits principally have focused on allegations with respect to certain research, publication and other activities of one or more of MLIC’s employees during the period from the 1920’s through approximately the 1950’s and have alleged that MLIC learned or should have learned of certain health risks posed by asbestos and, among other things, improperly publicized or failed to disclose those health risks. Additional litigation relating to these matters may be commenced in the future. The ability of MLIC to estimate its ultimate asbestos exposure is subject to considerable uncertainty, and the conditions impacting its liability can be dynamic and subject to change. The availability of reliable data is limited and it is difficult to predict with any certainty the numerous variables that can affect liability estimates, including the number of future claims, the cost to resolve claims, the disease mix and severity of disease in pending and future claims, the impact of the number of new claims filed in a particular jurisdiction and variations in the law in the jurisdictions in which claims are filed, the possible impact of tort reform efforts, the willingness of courts to allow plaintiffs to pursue claims against MLIC when exposure took place after the dangers of asbestos exposure were well known, and the impact of any possible future adverse verdicts and their amounts. The number of asbestos cases that may be brought or the aggregate amount of any liability that MLIC may incur, and the total amount paid in settlements in any given year are uncertain and may vary significantly from year to year. Accordingly, it is reasonably possible that our total exposure to asbestos claims may be materially greater than the liability recorded by us in our consolidated financial statements and that future charges to income may be necessary. The potential future charges could be material in the particular quarterly or annual periods in which they are recorded.
 
We are also subject to various regulatory inquiries, such as information requests, subpoenas and books and record examinations, from state and federal regulators and other authorities. A substantial legal liability or a significant regulatory action against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, even if we ultimately prevail in the litigation, regulatory action or investigation, we could suffer significant reputational harm, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, including our ability to attract new customers, retain our current customers and recruit and retain employees. Regulatory inquiries and litigation may cause volatility in the price of stocks of companies in our industry.
 
The New York Attorney General announced on July 29, 2010 that his office had launched a major fraud investigation into the life insurance industry for practices related to the use of retained asset accounts as a settlement option for death benefits and that subpoenas requesting comprehensive data related to retained asset accounts have been served on MetLife and other insurance carriers. We received the subpoena on July 30, 2010. We also have received requests for documents and information from U.S. congressional committees and members as well as various state regulatory bodies, including the New York Insurance Department. It is possible that other state and federal regulators or legislative bodies may pursue similar investigations or make related inquiries. We cannot predict what effect any such investigations might have on our earnings or the availability of our retained asset account known as the Total Control Account (“TCA”), but we believe that our financial statements taken as a whole would not be materially affected. We believe that any allegations that information about the TCA is not adequately disclosed or that the accounts are fraudulent or violate state or federal laws are without merit.
 
We cannot give assurance that current claims, litigation, unasserted claims probable of assertion, investigations and other proceedings against us will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. It is also possible that related or unrelated claims, litigation, unasserted claims probable of assertion, investigations and proceedings may be commenced in the future, and we could become subject to further investigations and have lawsuits filed or enforcement actions initiated against us. In addition, increased regulatory


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scrutiny and any resulting investigations or proceedings could result in new legal actions and precedents and industry-wide regulations that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We May Not be Able to Protect Our Intellectual Property and May be Subject to Infringement Claims
 
We rely on a combination of contractual rights with third parties and copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret laws to establish and protect our intellectual property. Although we endeavor to protect our rights, third parties may infringe or misappropriate our intellectual property. We may have to litigate to enforce and protect our copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and know-how or to determine their scope, validity or enforceability. This would represent a diversion of resources that may be significant and our efforts may not prove successful. The inability to secure or protect our intellectual property assets could have a material adverse effect on our business and our ability to compete.
 
We may be subject to claims by third parties for (i) patent, trademark or copyright infringement, (ii) breach of copyright, trademark or license usage rights, or (iii) misappropriation of trade secrets. Any such claims and any resulting litigation could result in significant expense and liability for damages. If we were found to have infringed or misappropriated a third-party patent or other intellectual property right, we could in some circumstances be enjoined from providing certain products or services to our customers or from utilizing and benefiting from certain methods, processes, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets or licenses. Alternatively, we could be required to enter into costly licensing arrangements with third parties or implement a costly work around. Any of these scenarios could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
New and Impending Compensation and Corporate Governance Regulations Could Hinder or Prevent Us From Attracting and Retaining Management and Other Employees with the Talent and Experience to Manage and Conduct Our Business Effectively
 
The compensation and corporate governance practices of financial institutions have become and will continue to be subject to increasing regulation and scrutiny. Dodd-Frank includes new requirements that will affect our corporate governance and compensation practices, including some that have resulted in (or are likely to lead to) shareholders having the limited right to use MetLife, Inc.’s proxy statement to solicit proxies to vote for their own candidates for director, impose additional requirements for membership on Board committees, requirements for additional shareholder votes on compensation matters, requirements for policies to recover compensation previously paid to certain executives under certain circumstances, elimination of broker discretionary voting on compensation matters, requirements for additional performance and compensation disclosure, and other requirements. See “— Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.” In addition, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC and other U.S. bank regulators have released guidelines on incentive compensation that may apply to or impact MetLife, Inc. as a bank holding company. These requirements and restrictions, and others Congress or regulators may propose or implement, could hinder or prevent us from attracting and retaining management and other employees with the talent and experience to manage and conduct our business effectively.
 
Although AIG has received assurances from the Troubled Asset Relief Program Special Master for Executive Compensation that neither we nor ALICO will be subject to compensation related requirements and restrictions under programs established in whole or in part under EESA, there can be no assurance that the Acquisition will not lead to greater public or governmental scrutiny, regulation, or restrictions on our compensation practices as a result of the Acquisition and expansion into new markets outside the U.S., whether in connection with AIG’s having received U.S. government funding or as a result of other factors.
 
Legislative and Regulatory Activity in Health Care and Other Employee Benefits Could Increase the Costs or Administrative Burdens of Providing Benefits to Our Employees or Hinder or Prevent Us From Attracting and Retaining Employees, or Affect our Profitability As a Provider of Life Insurance, Annuities, and Non-Medical Health Insurance Benefit Products
 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, and The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, signed into law on March 30, 2010 (together, the “Health Care Act”), may


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lead to fundamental changes in the way that employers, including us, provide health care benefits, other benefits, and other forms of compensation to their employees and former employees. Among other changes, and subject to various effective dates, the Health Care Act generally restricts certain limits on benefits, mandates coverage for certain kinds of care, extends the required coverage of dependent children through age 26, eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions or limitations, requires cost reporting and, in some cases, requires premium rebates to participants under certain circumstances, limits coverage waiting periods, establishes several penalties on employers who fail to offer sufficient coverage to their full-time employees, and requires employers under certain circumstances to provide employees with vouchers to purchase their own health care coverage. The Health Care Act also provides for increased taxation of “high cost” coverage, restricts the tax deductibility of certain compensation paid by health insurers, reduces the tax deductibility of retiree health care costs to the extent of any retiree prescription drug benefit subsidy provided to the employer by the federal government, increases Medicare taxes on certain high earners, and establishes health insurance “exchanges” for individual purchases of health insurance.
 
The impact of the Health Care Act on us as an employer and on the benefit plans we sponsor for employees or retirees and their dependents, whether those benefits remain competitive or effective in meeting their business objectives, and our costs to provide such benefits and our tax liabilities in connection with benefits or compensation, cannot be predicted. Furthermore, we cannot predict the impact of choices that will be made by various regulators, including the U.S. Treasury, the IRS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and state regulators, to promulgate regulations or guidance, or to make determinations under or related to the Health Care Act. Either the Health Care Act or any of these regulatory actions could adversely affect our ability to attract, retain, and motivate talented associates. They could also result in increased or unpredictable costs to provide employee benefits, and could harm our competitive position if we are subject to fees, penalties, tax provisions or other limitations in the Health Care Act and our competitors are not.
 
The Health Care Act also imposes requirements on us as a provider of non-medical health insurance benefit products, subject to various effective dates. It also imposes requirements on the purchasers of certain of these products and has implications for certain other MLIC products, such as annuities. We cannot predict the impact of the Act or of regulations, guidance or determinations made by various regulators, on the various products that we offer. Either the Health Care Act or any of these regulatory actions could adversely affect our ability to offer certain of these products in the same manner as we do today. They could also result in increased or unpredictable costs to provide certain products, and could harm our competitive position if the Health Care Act has a disparate impact on our products compared to products offered by our competitors.
 
The Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 also includes certain provisions for defined benefit pension plan funding relief. These provisions may impact the likelihood and/or timing of corporate plan sponsors terminating their plans and/or engaging in transactions to partially or fully transfer pension obligations to an insurance company. As part of our Corporate Benefit Funding segment, we offer general account and separate account group annuity products that enable a plan sponsor to transfer these risks, often in connection with the termination of defined benefit pension plans. Consequently, this legislation could indirectly affect the mix of our business, with fewer closeouts and more non-guaranteed funding products, and adversely impact our results of operations.
 
Changes in U.S. Federal and State Securities Laws and Regulations, and State Insurance Regulations Regarding Suitability of Annuity Product Sales, May Affect Our Operations and Our Profitability
 
Federal and state securities laws and regulations apply to insurance products that are also “securities,” including variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies. As a result, some of MetLife, Inc.’s subsidiaries and their activities in offering and selling variable insurance contracts and policies are subject to extensive regulation under these securities laws. These subsidiaries issue variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies through separate accounts that are registered with the SEC as investment companies under the Investment Company Act. Each registered separate account is generally divided into sub-accounts, each of which invests in an underlying mutual fund which is itself a registered investment company under the Investment Company Act. In addition, the variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies issued by the separate accounts are registered with the SEC under the Securities Act. Other subsidiaries are registered with the SEC as


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broker-dealers under the Exchange Act, and are members of and subject to regulation by FINRA. Further, some of our subsidiaries are registered as investment advisers with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and are also registered as investment advisers in various states, as applicable.
 
Federal and state securities laws and regulations are primarily intended to ensure the integrity of the financial markets and to protect investors in the securities markets, as well as protect investment advisory or brokerage clients. These laws and regulations generally grant regulatory agencies broad rulemaking and enforcement powers, including the power to limit or restrict the conduct of business for failure to comply with the securities laws and regulations. A number of changes have recently been suggested to the laws and regulations that govern the conduct of our variable insurance products business and our distributors that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. For example, Dodd-Frank authorizes the SEC to establish a standard of conduct applicable to brokers and dealers when providing personalized investment advice to retail and other customers. This standard of conduct would be to act in the best interest of the customer without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker or dealer providing the advice. Further, proposals have been made that the SEC establish a self-regulatory organization with respect to registered investment advisers, which could increase the level of regulatory oversight over such investment advisers.
 
In addition, state insurance regulators are becoming more active in adopting and enforcing suitability standards with respect to sales of annuities, both fixed and variable. In particular, the NAIC has adopted a revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (“SAT”), that will, if enacted by the states, place new responsibilities upon issuing insurance companies with respect to the suitability of annuity sales, including responsibilities for training agents. Several states have already enacted laws based on the SAT.
 
We also may be subject to similar laws and regulations in the foreign countries in which we offer products or conduct other activities similar to those described above. See “Business — International Regulation.”
 
Changes in Tax Laws, Tax Regulations, or Interpretations of Such Laws or Regulations Could Increase Our Corporate Taxes; Changes in Tax Laws Could Make Some of Our Products Less Attractive to Consumers
 
Changes in tax laws, Treasury and other regulations promulgated thereunder, or interpretations of such laws or regulations could increase our corporate taxes. The Obama Administration has proposed corporate tax changes. Changes in corporate tax rates could affect the value of deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities. Furthermore, the value of deferred tax assets could be impacted by future earnings levels.
 
Changes in tax laws could make some of our products less attractive to consumers. A shift away from life insurance and annuity contracts and other tax-deferred products would reduce our income from sales of these products, as well as the assets upon which we earn investment income. The Obama Administration has proposed certain changes to individual income tax rates and rules applicable to certain policies.
 
We cannot predict whether any tax legislation impacting corporate taxes or insurance products will be enacted, what the specific terms of any such legislation will be or whether, if at all, any legislation would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Changes to Regulations Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 Could Adversely Affect Our Distribution Model by Restricting Our Ability to Provide Customers With Advice
 
The prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code generally restrict the provision of investment advice to ERISA plans and participants and Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”) if the investment recommendation results in fees paid to the individual advisor, his or her firm or their affiliates that vary according to the investment recommendation chosen. In March 2010, the DOL issued proposed regulations which provide limited relief from these investment advice restrictions. If the proposed rules are issued in final form and no additional relief is provided regarding these investment advice restrictions, the ability of our affiliated broker-dealers and their registered representatives to provide investment advice to ERISA plans and participants, and with respect to IRAs, would likely be significantly restricted. Also, the fee and revenue arrangements of certain advisory


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programs may be required to be revenue neutral, resulting in potential lost revenues for these broker-dealers and their affiliates.
 
Other proposed regulatory initiatives under ERISA also may negatively impact the current business model of our broker-dealers. In particular, the DOL issued a proposed regulation in October 2010 that would, if adopted as proposed, significantly broaden the circumstances under which a person or entity providing investment advice with respect to ERISA plans or IRAs would be deemed a fiduciary under ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code. If adopted, the proposed regulations may make it easier for the DOL in enforcement actions, and for plaintiffs’ attorneys in ERISA litigation, to attempt to extend fiduciary status to advisors who would not be deemed fiduciaries under current regulations.
 
In addition, the DOL has issued a number of regulations recently that increase the level of disclosure that must be provided to plan sponsors and participants, and may issue additional such regulations in 2011. These ERISA disclosure requirements will likely increase the regulatory and compliance burden upon MetLife, resulting in increased costs.
 
We May Be Unable to Attract and Retain Sales Representatives for Our Products
 
We must attract and retain productive sales representatives to sell our insurance, annuities and investment products. Strong competition exists among insurers for sales representatives with demonstrated ability. In addition, there is competition for representatives with other types of financial services firms, such as independent broker-dealers.
 
We compete with other insurers for sales representatives primarily on the basis of our financial position, support services and compensation and product features. We continue to undertake several initiatives to grow our career agency force while continuing to enhance the efficiency and production of our existing sales force. We cannot provide assurance that these initiatives will succeed in attracting and retaining new agents. Sales of individual insurance, annuities and investment products and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected if we are unsuccessful in attracting and retaining agents. See “Business — Competition.”
 
MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors May Control the Outcome of Stockholder Votes on Many Matters Due to the Voting Provisions of the MetLife Policyholder Trust
 
Under the Plan, we established the MetLife Policyholder Trust (the “Trust”) to hold the shares of MetLife, Inc. common stock allocated to eligible policyholders not receiving cash or policy credits under the plan. As of February 18, 2011, the Trust held 220,255,199 shares, or 22.3%, of the outstanding shares of MetLife, Inc. common stock. Because of the number of shares held in the Trust and the voting provisions of the Trust, the Trust may affect the outcome of matters brought to a stockholder vote.
 
Except on votes regarding certain fundamental corporate actions described below, the trustee will vote all of the shares of common stock held in the Trust in accordance with the recommendations given by MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors to its stockholders or, if the Board gives no such recommendations, as directed by the Board. As a result of the voting provisions of the Trust, the Board of Directors may be able to control votes on matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, excluding those fundamental corporate actions, so long as the Trust holds a substantial number of shares of common stock.
 
If the vote relates to fundamental corporate actions specified in the Trust, the trustee will solicit instructions from the Trust beneficiaries and vote all shares held in the Trust in proportion to the instructions it receives. These actions include:
 
  •  an election or removal of directors in which a stockholder has properly nominated one or more candidates in opposition to a nominee or nominees of MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors or a vote on a stockholder’s proposal to oppose a Board nominee for director, remove a director for cause or fill a vacancy caused by the removal of a director by stockholders, subject to certain conditions;


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  •  a merger or consolidation, a sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all of the assets, or a recapitalization or dissolution, of MetLife, Inc., in each case requiring a vote of stockholders under applicable Delaware law;
 
  •  any transaction that would result in an exchange or conversion of shares of common stock held by the Trust for cash, securities or other property; and
 
  •  any proposal requiring MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors to amend or redeem the rights under MetLife, Inc.’s stockholder rights plan, other than a proposal with respect to which we have received advice of nationally-recognized legal counsel to the effect that the proposal is not a proper subject for stockholder action under Delaware law. MetLife, Inc. does not currently have a stockholder rights plan.
 
If a vote concerns any of these fundamental corporate actions, the trustee will vote all of the shares of common stock held by the Trust in proportion to the instructions it received, which will give disproportionate weight to the instructions actually given by Trust beneficiaries.
 
ALICO Holdings has agreed to vote all shares of MetLife, Inc. common stock acquired by it in connection with the Acquisition in proportion to the votes cast by all other stockholders of MetLife, Inc., including the Trust.
 
State Laws, Federal Laws, Our Certificate of Incorporation and Our By-Laws May Delay, Deter or Prevent Takeovers and Business Combinations that Stockholders Might Consider in Their Best Interests
 
State laws and our certificate of incorporation and by-laws may delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt that stockholders might consider in their best interests. For instance, they may prevent stockholders from receiving the benefit from any premium over the market price of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock offered by a bidder in a takeover context. Even in the absence of a takeover attempt, the existence of these provisions may adversely affect the prevailing market price of MetLife, Inc.’s common stock if they are viewed as discouraging takeover attempts in the future.
 
Any person seeking to acquire a controlling interest in us would face various regulatory obstacles which may delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt that stockholders of MetLife, Inc. might consider in their best interests. First, the insurance laws and regulations of the various states in which MetLife, Inc.’s insurance subsidiaries are organized may delay or impede a business combination involving us. State insurance laws prohibit an entity from acquiring control of an insurance company without the prior approval of the domestic insurance regulator. Under most states’ statutes, an entity is presumed to have control of an insurance company if it owns, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting stock of that insurance company or its parent company. We are also subject to banking regulations, and may in the future become subject to additional regulations. Dodd-Frank contains provisions that could restrict or impede consolidation, mergers and acquisitions by systemically significant firms and/or large bank holding companies. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Financial Holding Company Regulation — Change of Control and Restrictions on Mergers and Acquisitions.” In addition, the Investment Company Act would require approval by the contract owners of our variable contracts in order to effectuate a change of control of any affiliated investment adviser to a mutual fund underlying our variable contracts. Finally, FINRA approval would be necessary for a change of control of any FINRA registered broker-dealer that is a direct or indirect subsidiary of MetLife, Inc.
 
In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may affect the ability of an “interested stockholder” to engage in certain business combinations, including mergers, consolidations or acquisitions of additional shares, for a period of three years following the time that the stockholder becomes an “interested stockholder.” An “interested stockholder” is defined to include persons owning, directly or indirectly, 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of a corporation.
 
MetLife, Inc.’s certificate of incorporation and by-laws also contain provisions that may delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt that stockholders might consider in their best interests. These provisions may adversely affect prevailing market prices for MetLife, Inc.’s common stock and include: classification of MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors into three classes; a prohibition on the calling of special meetings by stockholders; advance notice procedures for the nomination of candidates to the Board of Directors and stockholder proposals to be considered at stockholder meetings; and supermajority voting requirements for the amendment of certain provisions of the certificate of incorporation and by-laws.


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The Continued Threat of Terrorism and Ongoing Military Actions May Adversely Affect the Level of Claim Losses We Incur and the Value of Our Investment Portfolio
 
The continued threat of terrorism, both within the U.S. and abroad, ongoing military and other actions and heightened security measures in response to these types of threats may cause significant volatility in global financial markets and result in loss of life, property damage, additional disruptions to commerce and reduced economic activity. Some of the assets in our investment portfolio may be adversely affected by declines in the credit and equity markets and reduced economic activity caused by the continued threat of terrorism. We cannot predict whether, and the extent to which, companies in which we maintain investments may suffer losses as a result of financial, commercial or economic disruptions, or how any such disruptions might affect the ability of those companies to pay interest or principal on their securities or mortgage loans. The continued threat of terrorism also could result in increased reinsurance prices and reduced insurance coverage and potentially cause us to retain more risk than we otherwise would retain if we were able to obtain reinsurance at lower prices. Terrorist actions also could disrupt our operations centers in the U.S. or abroad. In addition, the occurrence of terrorist actions could result in higher claims under our insurance policies than anticipated. See “— Difficult Conditions in the Global Capital Markets and the Economy Generally May Materially Adversely Affect Our Business and Results of Operations and These Conditions May Not Improve in the Near Future.”
 
The Occurrence of Events Unanticipated in Our Disaster Recovery Systems and Management Continuity Planning Could Impair Our Ability to Conduct Business Effectively
 
In the event of a disaster such as a natural catastrophe, an epidemic, an industrial accident, a blackout, a computer virus, a terrorist attack or war, unanticipated problems with our disaster recovery systems could have a material adverse impact on our ability to conduct business and on our results of operations and financial position, particularly if those problems affect our computer-based data processing, transmission, storage and retrieval systems and destroy valuable data. We depend heavily upon computer systems to provide reliable service. Despite our implementation of a variety of security measures, our computer systems could be subject to physical and electronic break-ins, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering. In addition, in the event that a significant number of our managers were unavailable in the event of a disaster, our ability to effectively conduct business could be severely compromised. These interruptions also may interfere with our suppliers’ ability to provide goods and services and our employees’ ability to perform their job responsibilities.
 
Our Associates May Take Excessive Risks Which Could Negatively Affect Our Financial Condition and Business
 
As an insurance enterprise, we are in the business of being paid to accept certain risks. The associates who conduct our business, including executive officers and other members of management, sales managers, investment professionals, product managers, sales agents, and other associates, do so in part by making decisions and choices that involve exposing us to risk. These include decisions such as setting underwriting guidelines and standards, product design and pricing, determining what assets to purchase for investment and when to sell them, which business opportunities to pursue, and other decisions. Although we endeavor, in the design and implementation of our compensation programs and practices, to avoid giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks, associates may take such risks regardless of the structure of our compensation programs and practices. Similarly, although we employ controls and procedures designed to monitor associates’ business decisions and prevent us from taking excessive risks, there can be no assurance that these controls and procedures are or may be effective. If our associates take excessive risks, the impact of those risks could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or business operations.
 
Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments
 
MetLife has no unresolved comments from the SEC staff regarding its periodic or current reports under the Exchange Act.


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Item 2.   Properties
 
In 2006, we signed a lease for approximately 410,000 rentable square feet on 12 floors in an office building in Manhattan, New York. The term of that lease commenced during 2008 and continues for 21 years. In August 2009, we subleased 32,000 rentable square feet of that space to a subtenant, which has met our standards of review with respect to creditworthiness, and we currently have approximately 34,000 rentable square feet of space available for sublease. We moved certain operations from our Long Island City, Queens facility, to the Manhattan space in late 2008, but continue to maintain an on-going presence in Long Island City. Our lease in Long Island City covers 686,000 rentable square feet under a long-term lease arrangement that commenced during 2003 and continues for 20 years. In connection with the move of certain operations to Manhattan, in late 2008, we subleased 330,000 rentable square feet to four subtenants, each of which has met our standards of review with respect to creditworthiness. To date, with our occupancy and the four subtenants we have secured, we are fully subscribed at the Long Island City location.
 
In connection with the 2005 sale of the 200 Park Avenue property, we have retained rights to existing signage and are leasing space for associates in the property for 20 years with optional renewal periods through 2205.
 
We continue to own 15 other buildings in the U.S. that we use in the operation of our business. These buildings contain approximately four million rentable square feet and are located in the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Our computer center in Rensselaer, New York is not owned in fee but rather is occupied pursuant to a long-term ground lease. We lease space in approximately 700 other locations throughout the U.S., and these leased facilities consist of 8.9 million rentable square feet. Approximately 50% of these leases are occupied as sales offices for the U.S. Business operations. The balance of space is utilized for MetLife Bank and other corporate functions supporting business activities. We also own over 70 properties outside the U.S., comprised of 10 significant properties and the balance of condominium units. We lease approximately 1,200 sites in various locations outside the U.S. Of the aforementioned international locations, approximately 70 owned sites and approximately 700 leased sites were acquired recently in connection with the Acquisition. We believe that these properties are suitable and adequate for our current and anticipated business operations.
 
We arrange for property and casualty coverage on our properties, taking into consideration our risk exposures and the cost and availability of commercial coverages, including deductible loss levels. In connection with the renewal of those coverages, we have arranged $700 million of property insurance, including coverage for terrorism, on our real estate portfolio through May 15, 2011, its renewal date.
 
Item 3.   Legal Proceedings
 
See Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Item 4.   (Removed and Reserved)


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Part II
 
Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Issuer Common Equity
 
MetLife, Inc.’s common stock, par value $0.01 per share, began trading on the NYSE under the symbol “MET” on April 5, 2000.
 
The following table presents high and low closing prices for the common stock on the NYSE for the periods indicated:
 
                                 
    2010
    1st Quarter   2nd Quarter   3rd Quarter   4th Quarter
 
Common Stock Price
                               
High
  $ 43.34     $ 47.10     $ 42.73     $ 44.92  
Low
  $ 33.64     $ 37.76     $ 36.49     $ 37.74  
 
                                 
    2009
    1st Quarter   2nd Quarter   3rd Quarter   4th Quarter
 
Common Stock Price
                               
High
  $ 35.97     $ 35.50     $ 40.83     $ 38.35  
Low
  $ 12.10     $ 23.43     $ 26.90     $ 33.22  
 
At February 18, 2011, there were 90,250 stockholders of record of common stock.
 
The table below presents dividend declaration, record and payment dates, as well as per share and aggregate dividend amounts, for the common stock:
 
                             
            Dividend
Declaration Date   Record Date   Payment Date   Per Share   Aggregate
            (In millions,
            except per share data)
 
October 26, 2010
  November 9, 2010     December 14, 2010     $ 0.74     $ 784  (1)
October 29, 2009
  November 9, 2009     December 14, 2009     $ 0.74     $ 610  
 
 
(1) Includes dividends paid on Series B Contingent Convertible Junior Participating Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock (the “Convertible Preferred Stock”).
 
Future common stock dividend decisions will be determined by the Company’s Board of Directors after taking into consideration factors such as our current earnings, expected medium-term and long-term earnings, financial condition, regulatory capital position, and applicable governmental regulations and policies. Furthermore, the payment of dividends and other distributions to the Company by its insurance subsidiaries is regulated by insurance laws and regulations. See “Business — U.S. Regulation — Insurance Regulation,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Holding Company — Liquidity and Capital Sources — Dividends from Subsidiaries” and Note 18 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.


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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Purchases of common stock made by or on behalf of the Company or its affiliates during the quarter ended December 31, 2010 are set forth below:
 
                                 
            (c) Total Number
  (d) Maximum Number
            of Shares
  (or Approximate
            Purchased as Part
  Dollar Value) of
    (a) Total Number
      of Publicly
  Shares that May Yet
    of Shares
  (b) Average Price
  Announced Plans
  Be Purchased Under the
Period   Purchased (1)   Paid per Share   or Programs   Plans or Programs (2)
 
October 1- October 31, 2010
    1,241     $ 38.92           $ 1,260,735,127  
November 1- November 30, 2010
    160     $ 42.90           $ 1,260,735,127  
December 1- December 31, 2010
    987     $ 43.90           $ 1,260,735,127  
 
 
(1) During the periods October 1 through October 31, 2010, November 1 through November 30, 2010 and December 1 through December 31, 2010, separate account affiliates of the Company purchased 1,241 shares, 160 shares and 987 shares, respectively, of common stock on the open market in nondiscretionary transactions to rebalance index funds. Except as disclosed above, no shares of common stock were repurchased by the Company.
 
(2) At December 31, 2010, the Company had $1,261 million remaining under its common stock repurchase program authorizations. In April 2008, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized an additional $1.0 billion common stock repurchase program, which will begin after the completion of the January 2008 $1.0 billion common stock repurchase program, of which $261 million remained outstanding at December 31, 2010. Under these authorizations, the Company may purchase its common stock from the MetLife Policyholder Trust, in the open market (including pursuant to the terms of a pre-set trading plan meeting the requirements of Rule 10b5-1 under the Exchange Act) and in privately negotiated transactions. Whether or not to purchase any common stock and the size and timing of any such purchases will be determined in the Company’s complete discretion.
 
See also “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Liquidity and Capital Uses — Share Repurchases” for further information relating to common stock repurchases.


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Item 6.   Selected Financial Data
 
The following selected financial data has been derived from the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements. The statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, and the balance sheet data at December 31, 2010 and 2009 have been derived from the Company’s audited financial statements included elsewhere herein. The statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, and the balance sheet data at December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006 have been derived from the Company’s audited financial statements not included herein. The selected financial data set forth below should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere herein.
 
                                         
    Years Ended December 31,  
    2010     2009     2008     2007     2006  
    (In millions)  
 
Statement of Operations Data (1)
                                       
Revenues:
                                       
Premiums
  $ 27,394     $ 26,460     $ 25,914     $ 22,970     $ 22,052  
Universal life and investment-type product policy fees
    6,037       5,203       5,381       5,238       4,711  
Net investment income
    17,615       14,837       16,289       18,055       16,239  
Other revenues
    2,328       2,329       1,586       1,465       1,301  
Net investment gains (losses)
    (392 )     (2,906 )     (2,098 )     (318 )     (1,174 )
Net derivative gains (losses)
    (265 )     (4,866 )     3,910       (260 )     (208 )
                                         
Total revenues
    52,717       41,057       50,982       47,150       42,921  
                                         
Expenses:
                                       
Policyholder benefits and claims
    29,545       28,336       27,437       23,783       22,869  
Interest credited to policyholder account balances
    4,925       4,849       4,788       5,461       4,899  
Policyholder dividends
    1,486       1,650       1,751       1,723       1,698  
Other expenses
    12,803       10,556       11,947       10,405       9,514  
                                         
Total expenses
    48,759       45,391       45,923       41,372       38,980  
                                         
Income (loss) from continuing operations before provision for income tax
    3,958       (4,334 )     5,059       5,778       3,941  
Provision for income tax expense (benefit)
    1,181       (2,015 )     1,580       1,675       1,027  
                                         
Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax
    2,777       (2,319 )     3,479       4,103       2,914  
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of income tax
    9       41       (201 )     362       3,526  
                                         
Net income (loss)
    2,786       (2,278 )     3,278       4,465       6,440  
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests
    (4 )     (32 )     69       148       147  
                                         
Net income (loss) attributable to MetLife, Inc. 
    2,790       (2,246 )     3,209       4,317       6,293  
Less: Preferred stock dividends
    122       122       125       137       134  
                                         
Net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders
  $ 2,668     $ (2,368 )   $ 3,084     $ 4,180     $ 6,159  
                                         
 


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    December 31,  
    2010     2009     2008     2007     2006  
    (In millions)  
 
Balance Sheet Data (1)
                                       
Assets:
                                       
General account assets (2)
  $ 547,569     $ 390,273     $ 380,839     $ 399,007     $ 383,758  
Separate account assets
    183,337       149,041       120,839       160,142       144,349  
                                         
Total assets
  $ 730,906     $ 539,314     $ 501,678     $ 559,149     $ 528,107  
                                         
Liabilities:
                                       
Policyholder liabilities and other policy-related balances (3)
  $ 401,905     $ 283,759     $ 282,261     $ 261,442     $ 252,099  
Payables for collateral under securities loaned and other transactions
    27,272       24,196       31,059       44,136       45,846  
Bank deposits
    10,316       10,211       6,884       4,534       4,638  
Short-term debt
    306       912       2,659       667       1,449  
Long-term debt (2)
    27,586       13,220       9,667       9,100       8,822  
Collateral financing arrangements
    5,297       5,297       5,192       4,882        
Junior subordinated debt securities
    3,191       3,191       3,758       4,075       3,381  
Other (2)
    22,583       15,989       15,374       33,186       32,277  
Separate account liabilities
    183,337       149,041       120,839       160,142       144,349  
                                         
Total liabilities
    681,793       505,816       477,693       522,164       492,861  
                                         
Redeemable noncontrolling interests in partially owned consolidated securities
    117                          
                                         
Equity:
                                       
MetLife, Inc.’s stockholders’ equity:
                                       
Preferred stock, at par value
    1       1       1       1       1  
Convertible preferred stock, at par value
                             
Common stock, at par value
    10       8       8       8       8  
Additional paid-in capital
    26,423       16,859       15,811       17,098       17,454  
Retained earnings
    21,363       19,501       22,403       19,884       16,574  
Treasury stock, at cost
    (172 )     (190 )     (236 )     (2,890 )     (1,357 )
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)
    1,000       (3,058 )     (14,253 )     1,078       1,118  
                                         
Total MetLife, Inc.’s stockholders’ equity
    48,625       33,121       23,734       35,179       33,798  
Noncontrolling interests
    371       377       251       1,806       1,448  
                                         
Total equity
    48,996       33,498       23,985       36,985       35,246  
                                         
Total liabilities and equity
  $ 730,906     $ 539,314     $ 501,678     $ 559,149     $ 528,107  
                                         
 

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    Years Ended December 31,
    2010   2009   2008   2007   2006
    (In millions, except per share data)
 
Other Data (1), (4)
                             
Net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders
  $ 2,668   $ (2,368)   $ 3,084   $ 4,180   $ 6,159
Return on MetLife, Inc.’s common equity
    6.9%     (9.0)%     11.2%     12.9%     20.9%
Return on MetLife, Inc.’s common equity, excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)
    7.0%     (6.8)%     9.1%     13.3%     22.1%
EPS Data (1), (5)
                             
Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Available to MetLife, Inc.’s Common Shareholders Per Common Share:
                             
Basic
  $ 3.01   $ (2.94)   $ 4.60   $ 5.32   $ 3.64
Diluted
  $ 2.99   $ (2.94)   $ 4.54   $ 5.19   $ 3.59
Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations Per Common Share:
                             
Basic
  $ 0.01   $ 0.05   $ (0.41)   $ 0.30   $ 4.45
Diluted
  $ 0.01   $ 0.05   $ (0.40)   $ 0.29   $ 4.40
Net Income (Loss) Available to MetLife, Inc.’s Common Shareholders Per Common Share:
                             
Basic
  $ 3.02   $ (2.89)   $ 4.19   $ 5.62   $ 8.09
Diluted
  $ 3.00   $ (2.89)   $ 4.14   $ 5.48   $ 7.99
Cash Dividends Declared Per Common Share
  $ 0.74   $ 0.74   $ 0.74   $ 0.74   $ 0.59
 
 
(1) On November 1, 2010, the Holding Company acquired ALICO. The results of the Acquisition are reflected in the 2010 selected financial data. See Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
(2) At December 31, 2010, general account assets, long-term debt and other liabilities include amounts relating to variable interest entities of $11,080 million, $6,902 million and $93 million, respectively.
 
(3) Policyholder liabilities and other policy-related balances include future policy benefits, policyholder account balances, other policy-related balances, policyholder dividends payable and the policyholder dividend obligation.
 
(4) Return on MetLife, Inc.’s common equity is defined as net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders divided by MetLife, Inc.’s average common stockholders’ equity.
 
(5) For the year ended December 31, 2009, shares related to the assumed exercise or issuance of stock-based awards have been excluded from the calculation of diluted earnings per common share as these assumed shares are anti-dilutive.
 
Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
For purposes of this discussion, “MetLife,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to MetLife, Inc., a Delaware corporation incorporated in 1999 (the “Holding Company”), its subsidiaries and affiliates. Following this summary is a discussion addressing the consolidated results of operations and financial condition of the Company for the periods indicated. This discussion should be read in conjunction with “Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors,” “Selected Financial Data” and the Company’s consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.
 
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance

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or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. See “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
 
The following discussion includes references to our performance measures operating earnings and operating earnings available to common shareholders, that are not based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). Operating earnings is the measure of segment profit or loss we use to evaluate segment performance and allocate resources and, consistent with GAAP accounting guidance for segment reporting, is our measure of segment performance. Operating earnings is also a measure by which our senior management’s and many other employees’ performance is evaluated for the purposes of determining their compensation under applicable compensation plans. Operating earnings is defined as operating revenues less operating expenses, net of income tax. Operating earnings available to common shareholders, which is used to evaluate the performance of Banking, Corporate & Other, as well as MetLife, is defined as operating earnings less preferred stock dividends.
 
Operating revenues is defined as GAAP revenues (i) less net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses); (ii) less amortization of unearned revenue related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses); (iii) plus scheduled periodic settlement payments on derivatives that are hedges of investments but do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment; (iv) plus income from discontinued real estate operations; (v) less net investment income related to contractholder-directed unit-linked investments; and (vi) plus, for operating joint ventures reported under the equity method of accounting, the aforementioned adjustments, those identified in the definition of operating expenses and changes in the fair value of hedges of operating joint venture liabilities, all net of income tax.
 
Operating expenses is defined as GAAP expenses (i) less changes in policyholder benefits associated with asset value fluctuations related to experience-rated contractholder liabilities and certain inflation-indexed liabilities; (ii) less costs related to business combinations (since January 1, 2009) and noncontrolling interests; (iii) less amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs (“DAC”) and value of business acquired (“VOBA”) and changes in the policyholder dividend obligation related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses); (iv) less interest credited to policyholder account balances (“PABs”) related to contractholder-directed unit-linked investments; and (v) plus scheduled periodic settlement payments on derivatives that are hedges of PABs but do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment.
 
In addition, operating revenues and operating expenses do not reflect the consolidation of certain securitization entities that are variable interest entities (“VIEs”) as required under GAAP.
 
We believe the presentation of operating earnings and operating earnings available to common shareholders as we measure it for management purposes enhances the understanding of our performance by highlighting the results of operations and the underlying profitability drivers of our businesses. Operating earnings and operating earnings available to common shareholders should not be viewed as substitutes for GAAP income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax. Reconciliations of operating earnings and operating earnings available to common shareholders to GAAP income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, are included in “— Results of Operations.”
 
In this discussion, we sometimes refer to sales activity for various products. These sales statistics do not correspond to revenues under GAAP, but are used as relevant measures of business activity.
 
Executive Summary
 
MetLife is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs throughout the United States (“U.S.”), Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife offers life insurance, annuities, auto and homeowners insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. MetLife is organized into five segments: Insurance Products, Retirement Products, Corporate Benefit Funding and Auto & Home (collectively, “U.S. Business”) and International. The assets and liabilities of American Life Insurance Company (“American Life”) and Delaware American Life Insurance Company (“DelAm,” together with American Life, collectively, “ALICO”) as of November 30, 2010 and


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the operating results of ALICO from November 1, 2010 (the “Acquisition Date”) through November 30, 2010 are included in the International segment. In addition, the Company reports certain of its results of operations in Banking, Corporate & Other, which is comprised of MetLife Bank, National Association (“MetLife Bank”) and other business activities. For reporting periods beginning in 2011, our non-U.S. Business results will be presented within two separate segments: Japan and Other International Regions.
 
On the Acquisition Date, the Holding Company completed the acquisition of American Life from ALICO Holdings LLC (“ALICO Holdings”), a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”), and DelAm from AIG, (the “Acquisition”) for a total purchase price of $16.4 billion. The business acquired in the Acquisition provides consumers and businesses with life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and wealth management solutions. This transaction delivers on our global growth strategies, adding significant scale and reach to MetLife’s international footprint, furthering our diversification in geographic mix and product offerings, as well as increasing our distribution strength. See Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
As the U.S. and global financial markets continue to recover, we have experienced a significant improvement in net investment income and favorable changes in net investment and net derivative gains (losses). We also continue to experience an increase in market share and sales in some of our businesses, in part, from a flight to quality in the industry. These positive factors were somewhat dampened by the negative impact of general economic conditions, including high levels of unemployment, on the demand for certain of our products.
 
                         
    Years Ended December 31,  
    2010     2009     2008  
    (In millions)  
 
Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax
  $ 2,777     $ (2,319 )   $ 3,479  
Less: Net investment gains (losses)
    (392 )     (2,906 )     (2,098 )
Less: Net derivative gains (losses)
    (265 )     (4,866 )     3,910  
Less: Adjustments to continuing operations (1)
    (981 )     283       (664 )
Less: Provision for income tax (expense) benefit
    401       2,683       (488 )
                         
Operating earnings
    4,014       2,487       2,819  
Less: Preferred stock dividends
    122       122       125  
                         
Operating earnings available to common shareholders
  $ 3,892     $ 2,365     $ 2,694  
                         
 
 
(1) See definitions of operating revenues and operating expenses for the components of such adjustments.
 
Year Ended December 31, 2010 compared with the Year Ended December 31, 2009
 
Unless otherwise stated, all amounts discussed below are net of income tax.
 
During the year ended December 31, 2010, MetLife’s income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax increased $5.1 billion to a gain of $2.8 billion from a loss of $2.3 billion in 2009, of which $2 million in losses is from the inclusion of ALICO results for one month in 2010 and the impact of financing costs for the Acquisition. The change was predominantly due to a $4.6 billion favorable change in net derivative gains (losses), before income tax, and a $2.5 billion favorable change in net investment gains (losses), before income tax. Offsetting these favorable variances were unfavorable changes in adjustments related to continuing operations of $1.3 billion, before income tax, and $2.2 billion of income tax, resulting in a total favorable variance of $3.6 billion. In addition, operating earnings available to common shareholders increased $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion in the current year from $2.4 billion in the prior year.
 
The favorable change in net derivative gains (losses) of $3.0 billion was primarily driven by net gains on freestanding derivatives in the current year compared to net losses in the prior year, partially offset by an unfavorable change in embedded derivatives from gains in the prior year to losses in the current year. The favorable change in freestanding derivatives was primarily attributable to market factors, including falling long-term and mid-term interest rates, a stronger recovery in equity markets in the prior year than the current year, equity volatility, which decreased more in the prior year as compared to the current year, a strengthening U.S. dollar and widening corporate credit spreads in the financial services sector. The favorable change in net investment gains (losses) of


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$1.6 billion was primarily driven by a decrease in impairments and a decrease in the provision for credit losses on mortgage loans. These favorable changes in net derivative and net investment gains (losses) were partially offset by an unfavorable change of $514 million in related adjustments.
 
The improvement in the financial markets, which began in the second quarter of 2009 and continued into 2010, was a key driver of the $1.5 billion increase in operating earnings available to common shareholders. Such market improvement was most evident in higher net investment income and policy fees, as well as a decrease in variable annuity guarantee benefit costs. These increases were partially offset by an increase in amortization of DAC, VOBA and deferred sales inducements (“DSI”) as a result of an increase in average separate account balances and higher current year gross margins in the closed block driven by increased investment yields and the impact of dividend scale reductions. The 2010 period also includes one month of ALICO results, contributing $114 million to the increase in operating earnings. The favorable impact of a reduction in discretionary spending associated with our enterprise-wide cost reduction and revenue enhancement initiative was more than offset by an increase in other expenses related to our International business. This increase primarily stemmed from the impact of a benefit recorded in the prior year related to the pesification in Argentina, as well as current year business growth in the segment.
 
Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared with the Year Ended December 31, 2008
 
Unless otherwise stated, all amounts discussed below are net of income tax.
 
During the year ended December 31, 2009, MetLife’s income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, decreased $5.8 billion to a loss of $2.3 billion from income of $3.5 billion in the comparable 2008 period. The year over year change is predominantly due to an $8.8 billion unfavorable change in net derivative gains (losses), before income tax, to losses of $4.9 billion in 2009 from gains of $3.9 billion in 2008. In addition, there was an $808 million unfavorable change in net investment gains (losses), before income tax. Offsetting these variances were favorable changes in adjustments related to continuing operations of $947 million, before income tax, and $3.2 billion of income tax, resulting in a total unfavorable variance of $5.5 billion. In addition, operating earnings available to common shareholders decreased by $329 million to $2.4 billion in 2009 from $2.7 billion in 2008.
 
The unfavorable change in net derivative gains (losses) of $8.8 billion was primarily driven by losses on freestanding derivatives, partially offset by gains on embedded derivatives, most of which were associated with variable annuity minimum benefit guarantees, and lower losses on fixed maturity securities. The unfavorable change in net investment gains (losses) of $808 million was primarily driven by an increase in impairments. These unfavorable changes in gains (losses) were partially offset by a favorable change of $947 million in related adjustments.
 
The positive impact of business growth and favorable mortality in several of our businesses was more than offset by a decline in net investment income, resulting in a decrease in operating earnings of $329 million. The decrease in net investment income caused significant declines in the operating earnings of many of our businesses, especially the interest spread businesses. Also contributing to the decline in operating earnings was an increase in net guaranteed annuity benefit costs and a charge related to our closed block of business, a specific group of participating life policies that were segregated in connection with the demutualization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MLIC”). The favorable impact of our enterprise-wide cost reduction and revenue enhancement initiative, was more than offset by higher pension and postretirement benefit costs, driving the increase in other expenses. The declines in operating earnings were partially offset by a change in amortization related to DAC, DSI and unearned revenue.
 
Consolidated Company Outlook
 
As a result of the Acquisition, operations outside the U.S. are expected to contribute approximately 30% of the premiums, fees and other revenues and approximately 40% of MetLife’s operating earnings in 2011.


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In 2010, general economic conditions improved and interest rates remained low throughout the year. In 2011, we expect a significant improvement in the operating earnings of the Company, driven primarily by the following:
 
  •  Premiums, fees and other revenues growth in 2011 of approximately 30%, of which 27% is directly attributable to the Acquisition. The remaining 3% increase is driven by:
 
  •  Increases in our non-U.S. businesses from continuing organic growth throughout our various geographic regions;
 
  •  Higher fees earned on separate accounts, as the equity markets continue to improve, thereby increasing the value of those separate accounts. In addition, net flows of variable annuities are expected to continue to be strong in 2011, which also increases the account values upon which these fees are earned;
 
  •  Increased sales in the pension closeout business, both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom (“U.K.”), as we expect the demand for these products to return to a more normal level in 2011.
 
  •  Focus on disciplined underwriting. We see no significant changes to the underlying trends that drive underwriting results and anticipate solid results in 2011.
 
  •  Focus on expense management. We continue to focus on expense control throughout the Company, specifically managing the costs associated with the integration of ALICO. We also expect to begin realizing cost synergies later in 2011.
 
  •  Returns on investment portfolio. Although the market environment remains challenging, we expect the returns on our investment portfolio in 2011, with respect to both income and realized gains and losses, will be in line with the results achieved in 2010.
 
More difficult to predict is the impact of potential changes in fair value of freestanding and embedded derivatives as even relatively small movements in market variables, including interest rates, equity levels and volatility, can have a large impact on the fair value of derivatives and net derivative gains (losses). Additionally, changes in fair value of embedded derivatives within certain insurance liabilities may have a material impact on net derivative gains (losses) related to the inclusion of an adjustment for nonperformance risk.
 
Industry Trends
 
Despite improvement in general economic conditions in 2010, we continue to be impacted by the unstable global financial and economic environment that has been affecting the industry.
 
Financial and Economic Environment.  Our business and results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the global capital markets and the economy, generally, both in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. The global economy and markets are now recovering from a period of significant stress that began in the second half of 2007 and substantially increased through the first quarter of 2009. This disruption adversely affected the financial services industry, in particular. The U.S. economy entered a recession in late 2007. This recession ended in mid-2009, but the recovery from the recession has been below historic averages and the unemployment rate is expected to remain high for some time. In addition, inflation has fallen over the last several years and is expected to remain at low levels for some time. Some economists believe that some level of disinflation and deflation risk remains in the economy.
 
Throughout 2008 and continuing in 2009, Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the U.S. Treasury and other agencies of the Federal government took a number of increasingly aggressive actions (in addition to continuing a series of interest rate reductions that began in the second half of 2007) intended to provide liquidity to financial institutions and markets, to avert a loss of investor confidence in particular troubled institutions, to prevent or contain the spread of the financial crisis and to spur economic growth. Most of these programs have run their course or have been discontinued. The monetary policy by the Federal Reserve Board and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), which was signed by President Obama in July 2010, are more likely to be relevant to MetLife, Inc. and will significantly change financial regulation in the U.S. See “— Regulatory Changes.” In addition, the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision announced in December 2010 increased capital and liquidity requirements (commonly referred


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to as “Basel III”) for bank holding companies, such as MetLife, Inc. Assuming these requirements are endorsed and adopted by the U.S., they are to be phased in beginning January 1, 2013. It is possible that even more stringent capital and liquidity requirements could be imposed under Dodd-Frank and Basel III.
 
It is not certain what effect the enactment of Dodd-Frank or Basel III will have on the financial markets, the availability of credit, asset prices and MetLife’s operations. We cannot predict whether the funds made available by the U.S. Federal government and its agencies will be enough to continue stabilizing or to further revive the financial markets or, if additional amounts are necessary, whether Congress will be willing to make the necessary appropriations, what the public’s sentiment would be towards any such appropriations, or what additional requirements or conditions might be imposed on the use of any such additional funds.
 
The imposition of additional regulation on large financial institutions may have, over time, the effect of supporting some aspects of the financial services industry more than others. This could adversely affect our competitive position.
 
Although the disruption in the global financial markets has moderated, not all such markets are functioning normally, and some remain reliant upon government intervention and liquidity. The global recession and disruption of the financial markets has also led to concerns over capital markets access and the solvency of certain European Union member states, including Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. In response, on May 10, 2010, the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund announced a rescue package of up to €750 billion, or approximately $1 trillion, for European nations in the Eurozone. This rescue package is intended to stabilize these economies. The Japanese economy, to which we face increased exposure as a result of the Acquisition, continues to experience low nominal growth, a deflationary environment, and weak consumer spending.
 
Recent global economic conditions have had and could continue to have an adverse effect on the financial results of companies in the financial services industry, including MetLife. Such global economic conditions, as well as the global financial markets, continue to impact our net investment income, our net investment and net derivative gains (losses), and the demand for and the cost and profitability of certain of our products, including variable annuities and guarantee benefits. See ‘‘— Results of Operations” and “— Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
 
Competitive Pressures.  The life insurance industry remains highly competitive. The product development and product life-cycles have shortened in many product segments, leading to more intense competition with respect to product features. Larger companies have the ability to invest in brand equity, product development, technology and risk management, which are among the fundamentals for sustained profitable growth in the life insurance industry. In addition, several of the industry’s products can be quite homogeneous and subject to intense price competition. Sufficient scale, financial strength and financial flexibility are becoming prerequisites for sustainable growth in the life insurance industry. Larger market participants tend to have the capacity to invest in additional distribution capability and the information technology needed to offer the superior customer service demanded by an increasingly sophisticated industry client base. We believe that the turbulence in financial markets that began in the second half of 2007, its impact on the capital position of many competitors, and subsequent actions by regulators and rating agencies have highlighted financial strength as a significant differentiator from the perspective of customers and certain distributors. In addition, the financial market turbulence and the economic recession have led many companies in our industry to re-examine the pricing and features of the products they offer and may lead to consolidation in the life insurance industry.
 
Regulatory Changes.  The U.S. life insurance industry is regulated at the state level, with some products and services also subject to Federal regulation. As life insurers introduce new and often more complex products, regulators refine capital requirements and introduce new reserving standards for the life insurance industry. Regulations recently adopted or currently under review can potentially impact the statutory reserve and capital requirements of the industry. In addition, regulators have undertaken market and sales practices reviews of several markets or products, including equity-indexed annuities, variable annuities and group products. The regulation of the financial services industry in the U.S. and internationally has received renewed scrutiny as a result of the disruptions in the financial markets in 2008 and 2009. Significant regulatory reforms have been proposed and these or other reforms could be implemented. See “Business — U.S. Regulation” and “Business — International Regulation.” We cannot predict whether any such reforms will be adopted, the form they will take or their effect upon us. We also cannot predict how the various government responses to the recent financial and economic difficulties will affect the financial services and insurance industries or the standing of particular companies, including us, within those industries. See “Business — Governmental


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Responses to Extraordinary Market Conditions,” “Risk Factors — Our Insurance, Brokerage and Banking Businesses Are Heavily Regulated, and Changes in Regulation May Reduce Our Profitability and Limit Our Growth” and “Risk Factors — Changes in U.S. Federal and State Securities Laws and Regulations, and State Insurance Regulations Regarding Suitability of Annuity Product Sales, May Affect Our Operations and Our Profitability.” Until various studies are completed and final regulations are promulgated pursuant to Dodd-Frank, the full impact of Dodd-Frank on the investments, investment activities and insurance and annuity products of the Company remain unclear. See “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.” Under Dodd-Frank, as a large, interconnected bank holding company with assets of $50 billion or more, or possibly as an otherwise systemically important financial company, MetLife, Inc. will be subject to enhanced prudential standards imposed on systemically significant financial companies. Enhanced standards will be applied to Tier 1 and total risk-based capital (“RBC”), liquidity, leverage (unless another, similar standard is appropriate for the Company), resolution plan and credit exposure reporting, concentration limits, and risk management. The so-called “Volcker Rule” provisions of Dodd-Frank restrict the ability of affiliates of insured depository institutions (such as MetLife Bank) to engage in proprietary trading or sponsor or invest in hedge funds or private equity funds. See “Risk Factors — Various Aspects of Dodd-Frank Could Impact Our Business Operations, Capital Requirements and Profitability and Limit Our Growth.”
 
Mortgage and Foreclosure-Related Exposures.  In 2008 MetLife Bank acquired certain assets to enter the forward and reverse residential mortgage origination and servicing business, including rights to service residential mortgage loans. At various times since then, including most recently in the third quarter of 2010, MetLife Bank has acquired additional residential mortgage loan servicing rights. As an originator and servicer of mortgage loans, which are usually sold to an investor shortly after origination, MetLife Bank has obligations to repurchase loans upon demand by the investor due to (i) a determination that material representations made in connection with the sale of the loans (relating, for example, to the underwriting and origination of the loans) are incorrect or (ii) defects in servicing of the loan. MetLife Bank is indemnified by the sellers of the acquired assets, for various periods depending on the transaction and the nature of the claim, for origination and servicing deficiencies that occurred prior to MetLife Bank’s acquisition, including indemnification for any repurchase claims made from investors who purchased mortgage loans from the sellers. Substantially all mortgage servicing rights (“MSRs”) that were acquired by MetLife Bank relate to loans sold to Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”). Since the 2008 acquisitions, MetLife Bank has originated and sold mortgages primarily to FNMA, FHLMC and Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) (collectively, the “Agency Investors”) and, to a limited extent, a small number of private investors. Currently 99% of MetLife Bank’s $83 billion servicing portfolio is comprised of products sold to Agency Investors. Other than repurchase obligations which are subject to indemnification by sellers of acquired assets as described above, MetLife Bank’s exposure to repurchase obligations and losses related to origination deficiencies is limited to the approximately $52 billion of loans originated by MetLife Bank (all of which have been originated since August 2008) and to servicing deficiencies after the date of acquisition, and management is satisfied that adequate provision has been made in the Company’s consolidated financial statements for all probable and reasonably estimable repurchase obligations and losses.
 
In light of recent events concerning foreclosure proceedings within the industry, MetLife Bank has undertaken a close review of its procedures. MetLife Bank verifies the accuracy of borrower information included in affidavits filed in foreclosure proceedings. We do not believe that MetLife Bank has material exposure to potential losses arising from challenges to its foreclosure procedures. Like other mortgage servicers, MetLife Bank has been the subject of recent inquiries and investigations from state attorneys general and banking regulators. See Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates
 
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to adopt accounting policies and make estimates and assumptions that affect amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements. The most critical estimates include those used in determining:
 
  (i)  the estimated fair value of investments in the absence of quoted market values;
 
  (ii)  investment impairments;


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  (iii)  the recognition of income on certain investment entities and the application of the consolidation rules to certain investments;
 
  (iv)  the estimated fair value of and accounting for freestanding derivatives and the existence and estimated fair value of embedded derivatives requiring bifurcation;
 
  (v)  the capitalization and amortization of DAC and the establishment and amortization of VOBA;
 
  (vi)  the measurement of goodwill and related impairment, if any;
 
  (vii)  the liability for future policyholder benefits and the accounting for reinsurance contracts;
 
  (viii)  accounting for income taxes and the valuation of deferred tax assets;
 
  (ix)  accounting for employee benefit plans; and
 
  (x)  the liability for litigation and regulatory matters.
 
The application of purchase accounting requires the use of estimation techniques in determining the estimated fair values of assets acquired and liabilities assumed — the most significant of which relate to aforementioned critical accounting estimates. In applying the Company’s accounting policies, we make subjective and complex judgments that frequently require estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain. Many of these policies, estimates and related judgments are common in the insurance and financial services industries; others are specific to the Company’s businesses and operations. Actual results could differ from these estimates.
 
Fair Value
 
The Company defines fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measurement date. In many cases, the exit price and the transaction (or entry) price will be the same at initial recognition. However, in certain cases, the transaction price may not represent fair value. The fair value of a liability is based on the amount that would be paid to transfer a liability to a third party with the same credit standing. It requires that fair value be a market-based measurement in which the fair value is determined based on a hypothetical transaction at the measurement date, considered from the perspective of a market participant. When quoted prices are not used to determine fair value of an asset, the Company considers three broad valuation techniques: (i) the market approach, (ii) the income approach, and (iii) the cost approach. The Company determines the most appropriate valuation technique to use, given what is being measured and the availability of sufficient inputs. The Company prioritizes the inputs to fair valuation techniques and allows for the use of unobservable inputs to the extent that observable inputs are not available. The Company categorizes its assets and liabilities measured at estimated fair value into a three-level hierarchy, based on the priority of the inputs to the respective valuation technique. The fair value hierarchy gives the highest priority to quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3). An asset or liability’s classification within the fair value hierarchy is based on the lowest level of input to its valuation. The input levels are as follows:
 
  Level 1   Unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. The Company defines active markets based on average trading volume for equity securities. The size of the bid/ask spread is used as an indicator of market activity for fixed maturity securities.
 
  Level 2   Quoted prices in markets that are not active or inputs that are observable either directly or indirectly. Level 2 inputs include quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities other than quoted prices in Level 1; quoted prices in markets that are not active; or other significant inputs that are observable or can be derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.
 
  Level 3   Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and are significant to the estimated fair value of the assets or liabilities. Unobservable inputs reflect the reporting entity’s own assumptions about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. Level 3 assets and liabilities include financial instruments whose values are determined using pricing models, discounted cash flow methodologies, or similar techniques, as well as


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  instruments for which the determination of estimated fair value requires significant management judgment or estimation.
 
Prior to January 1, 2009, the measurement and disclosures of fair value based on exit price excluded certain items such as nonfinancial assets and nonfinancial liabilities initially measured at estimated fair value in a business combination, reporting units measured at estimated fair value in the first step of a goodwill impairment test and indefinite-lived intangible assets measured at estimated fair value for impairment assessment.
 
In addition, the Company elected the fair value option (“FVO”) for certain of its financial instruments to better match measurement of assets and liabilities in the consolidated statements of operations.
 
Estimated Fair Value of Investments
 
The Company’s investments in fixed maturity and equity securities, investments in trading and other securities, certain short-term investments, most mortgage loans held-for-sale, and MSRs are reported at their estimated fair value. In determining the estimated fair value of these investments, various methodologies, assumptions and inputs are utilized, as described further below.
 
When available, the estimated fair value of securities is based on quoted prices in active markets that are readily and regularly obtainable. Generally, these are the most liquid of the Company’s securities holdings and valuation of these securities does not involve management judgment.
 
When quoted prices in active markets are not available, the determination of estimated fair value is based on market standard valuation methodologies. The market standard valuation methodologies utilized include: discounted cash flow methodologies, matrix pricing or other similar techniques. The inputs to these market standard valuation methodologies include, but are not limited to: interest rates, credit standing of the issuer or counterparty, industry sector of the issuer, coupon rate, call provisions, sinking fund requirements, maturity, estimated duration and management’s assumptions regarding liquidity and estimated future cash flows. Accordingly, the estimated fair values are based on available market information and management’s judgments about financial instruments.
 
The significant inputs to the market standard valuation methodologies for certain types of securities with reasonable levels of price transparency are inputs that are observable in the market or can be derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data. Such observable inputs include benchmarking prices for similar assets in active, liquid markets, quoted prices in markets that are not active and observable yields and spreads in the market.
 
When observable inputs are not available, the market standard valuation methodologies for determining the estimated fair value of certain types of securities that trade infrequently, and therefore have little or no price transparency, rely on inputs that are significant to the estimated fair value that are not observable in the market or cannot be derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data. These unobservable inputs can be based in large part on management judgment or estimation, and cannot be supported by reference to market activity. Even though unobservable, these inputs are based on assumptions deemed appropriate given the circumstances and consistent with what other market participants would use when pricing such securities.
 
The estimated fair value of residential mortgage loans held-for-sale is determined based on observable pricing of residential mortgage loans held-for-sale with similar characteristics, or observable pricing for securities backed by similar types of loans, adjusted to convert the securities prices to loan prices. Generally, quoted market prices are not available. When observable pricing for similar loans or securities that are backed by similar loans are not available, the estimated fair values of residential mortgage loans held-for-sale are determined using independent broker quotations, which is intended to approximate the amounts that would be received from third parties. Certain other mortgage loans have also been designated as held-for-sale which are recorded at the lower of amortized cost or estimated fair value less expected disposition costs determined on an individual loan basis. For these loans, estimated fair value is determined using independent broker quotations or, when the loan is in foreclosure or otherwise determined to be collateral dependent, the estimated fair value of the underlying collateral estimated using internal models.


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MSRs, which are recorded in other invested assets, are measured at estimated fair value and are either acquired or are generated from the sale of originated residential mortgage loans where the servicing rights are retained by the Company. The estimated fair value of MSRs is principally determined through the use of internal discounted cash flow models which utilize various assumptions. Valuation inputs and assumptions include generally observable items such as type and age of loan, loan interest rates, current market interest rates, and certain unobservable inputs, including assumptions regarding estimates of discount rates, loan prepayments and servicing costs, all of which are sensitive to changing markets conditions. The use of different valuation assumptions and inputs, as well as assumptions relating to the collection of expected cash flows, may have a material effect on the estimated fair values of MSRs.
 
Financial markets are susceptible to severe events evidenced by rapid depreciation in asset values accompanied by a reduction in asset liquidity. The Company’s ability to sell securities, or the price ultimately realized for these securities, depends upon the demand and liquidity in the market and increases the use of judgment in determining the estimated fair value of certain securities.
 
Investment Impairments
 
One of the significant estimates related to available-for-sale securities is the evaluation of investments for impairments. The assessment of whether impairments have occurred is based on our case-by-case evaluation of the underlying reasons for the decline in estimated fair value. The Company’s review of its fixed maturity and equity securities for impairments includes an analysis of the total gross unrealized losses by three categories of severity and/or age of the gross unrealized loss, as described more fully in Note 3 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. An extended and severe unrealized loss position on a fixed maturity security may not have any impact on the ability of the issuer to service all scheduled interest and principal payments and the Company’s evaluation of recoverability of all contractual cash flows or the ability to recover an amount at least equal to its amortized cost based on the present value of the expected future cash flows to be collected. In contrast, for certain equity securities, greater weight and consideration are given by the Company to a decline in estimated fair value and the likelihood such estimated fair value decline will recover.
 
Additionally, we consider a wide range of factors about the security issuer and use our best judgment in evaluating the cause of the decline in the estimated fair value of the security and in assessing the prospects for near-term recovery. Inherent in our evaluation of the security are assumptions and estimates about the operations of the issuer and its future earnings potential. Considerations used by the Company in the impairment evaluation process include, but are not limited to:
 
  (i)  the length of time and the extent to which the estimated fair value has been below cost or amortized cost;
 
  (ii)  the potential for impairments of securities when the issuer is experiencing significant financial difficulties;
 
  (iii)  the potential for impairments in an entire industry sector or sub-sector;
 
  (iv)  the potential for impairments in certain economically depressed geographic locations;
 
  (v)  the potential for impairments of securities where the issuer, series of issuers or industry has suffered a catastrophic type of loss or has exhausted natural resources;
 
  (vi)  with respect to fixed maturity securities, whether the Company has the intent to sell or will more likely than not be required to sell a particular security before recovery of the decline in estimated fair value below cost or amortized cost;
 
  (vii)  with respect to equity securities, whether the Company’s ability and intent to hold the security for a period of time sufficient to allow for the recovery of its value to an amount equal to or greater than cost;
 
  (viii)  unfavorable changes in projected cash flows on mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities (“ABS”); and
 
  (ix)  other subjective factors, including concentrations and information obtained from regulators and rating agencies.


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The cost of fixed maturity and equity securities is adjusted for the credit loss component of Other-Than-Temporary Impairment (“OTTI”) in the period in which the determination is made. When an OTTI of a fixed maturity security has occurred, the amount of the OTTI recognized in earnings depends on whether the Company intends to sell the security or more likely than not will be required to sell the security before recovery of the decline in estimated fair value below amortized cost. If the fixed maturity security meets either of these two criteria, the OTTI recognized in earnings is equal to the entire difference between the security’s amortized cost and its estimated fair value at the impairment measurement date. For OTTI of fixed maturity securities that do not meet either of these two criteria, the net amount recognized in earnings is equal to the difference between the amortized cost of the fixed maturity security and the present value of projected future cash flows expected to be collected from this security (“credit loss”). If the estimated fair value is less than the present value of projected future cash flows expected to be collected, this portion of OTTI related to other than credit factors (“noncredit loss”) is recorded as other comprehensive income (loss). For equity securities, the carrying value of the equity security is impaired to its estimated fair value, with a corresponding charge to earnings. The Company does not make any adjustments for subsequent recoveries in value.
 
The determination of the amount of allowances and impairments on other invested asset classes is highly subjective and is based upon the Company’s periodic evaluation and assessment of known and inherent risks associated with the respective asset class. Such evaluations and assessments are revised as conditions change and new information becomes available.
 
Recognition of Income on Certain Investment Entities
 
The recognition of income on certain investments (e.g. loan-backed securities, including mortgage-backed and ABS, certain structured investment transactions, trading and other securities) is dependent upon market conditions, which could result in prepayments and changes in amounts to be earned.
 
Application of the Consolidation Rules to Certain Investments
 
The Company has invested in certain structured transactions that are VIEs. These structured transactions include reinsurance trusts, asset-backed securitizations, hybrid securities, real estate joint ventures, other limited partnership interests and limited liability companies. The Company is required to consolidate those VIEs for which it is deemed to be the primary beneficiary. The accounting rules for the determination of when an entity is a VIE and when to consolidate a VIE are complex. The determination of the VIE’s primary beneficiary requires an evaluation of the contractual and implied rights and obligations associated with each party’s relationship with or involvement in the entity, an estimate of the entity’s expected losses and expected residual returns and the allocation of such estimates to each party involved in the entity. The Company generally uses a qualitative approach to determine whether it is the primary beneficiary.
 
For most VIEs, the entity that has both the ability to direct the most significant activities of the VIE and the obligation to absorb losses or receive benefits that could be significant to the VIE is considered the primary beneficiary. However, for VIEs that are investment companies or apply measurement principles consistent with those utilized by investment companies, the primary beneficiary is based on a risks and rewards model and is defined as the entity that will absorb a majority of a VIE’s expected losses, receive a majority of a VIE’s expected residual returns if no single entity absorbs a majority of expected losses, or both. The Company reassesses its involvement with VIEs on a quarterly basis. The use of different methodologies, assumptions and inputs in the determination of the primary beneficiary could have a material effect on the amounts presented within the consolidated financial statements.
 
Derivative Financial Instruments
 
The Company enters into freestanding derivative transactions including swaps, forwards, futures and option contracts to manage various risks relating to its ongoing business operations. To a lesser extent, the Company uses credit derivatives, such as credit default swaps, to synthetically replicate investment risks and returns which are not readily available in the cash market.


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The estimated fair value of derivatives is determined through the use of quoted market prices for exchange-traded derivatives and interest forwards to sell certain to-be-announced securities or through the use of pricing models for over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives. The determination of estimated fair value, when quoted market values are not available, is based on market standard valuation methodologies and inputs that are assumed to be consistent with what other market participants would use when pricing the instruments. Derivative valuations can be affected by changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, financial indices, credit spreads, default risk (including the counterparties to the contract), volatility, liquidity and changes in estimates and assumptions used in the pricing models. See Note 5 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional details on significant inputs into the OTC derivative pricing models and credit risk adjustment.
 
The accounting for derivatives is complex and interpretations of the primary accounting guidance continue to evolve in practice. Judgment is applied in determining the availability and application of hedge accounting designations and the appropriate accounting treatment under such accounting guidance. If it was determined that hedge accounting designations were not appropriately applied, reported net income could be materially affected. Differences in judgment as to the availability and application of hedge accounting designations and the appropriate accounting treatment may result in a differing impact on the consolidated financial statements of the Company from that previously reported. Assessments of hedge effectiveness and measurements of ineffectiveness of hedging relationships are also subject to interpretations and estimations and different interpretations or estimates may have a material effect on the amount reported in net income.
 
Embedded Derivatives
 
The Company issues certain variable annuity products with guaranteed minimum benefits. These include guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (“GMWB”), guaranteed minimum accumulation benefits (“GMAB”), and certain guaranteed minimum income benefits (“GMIB”). GMWB, GMAB and certain GMIB are embedded derivatives, which are measured at estimated fair value separately from the host variable annuity product, with changes in estimated fair value reported in net derivative gains (losses).
 
The estimated fair values of these embedded derivatives are determined based on the present value of projected future benefits minus the present value of projected future fees. The projections of future benefits and future fees require capital market and actuarial assumptions including expectations concerning policyholder behavior. A risk neutral valuation methodology is used under which the cash flows from the guarantees are projected under multiple capital market scenarios using observable risk free rates. The valuation of these embedded derivatives also includes an adjustment for the Company’s nonperformance risk and risk margins for non-capital market inputs. The nonperformance risk adjustment is determined by taking into consideration publicly available information relating to spreads in the secondary market for the Holding Company’s debt, including related credit default swaps. These observable spreads are then adjusted, as necessary, to reflect the priority of these liabilities and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance subsidiaries compared to the Holding Company. Risk margins are established to capture the non-capital market risks of the instrument which represent the additional compensation a market participant would require to assume the risks related to the uncertainties of such actuarial assumptions as annuitization, premium persistency, partial withdrawal and surrenders. The establishment of risk margins requires the use of significant management judgment.
 
The accounting for embedded derivatives is complex and interpretations of the primary accounting standards continue to evolve in practice. If interpretations change, there is a risk that features previously not bifurcated may require bifurcation and reporting at estimated fair value in the consolidated financial statements and respective changes in estimated fair value could materially affect net income.
 
These guaranteed minimum benefits may be more costly than expected in volatile or declining equity markets. Market conditions including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates, equity indices, market volatility and foreign currency exchange rates, changes in the Company’s nonperformance risk, variations in actuarial assumptions regarding policyholder behavior, mortality and risk margins related to non-capital market inputs may result in significant fluctuations in the estimated fair value of the guarantees that could materially affect net income.


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The Company ceded the risk associated with certain of the GMIB and GMAB described in the preceding paragraphs. The value of the embedded derivatives on the ceded risk is determined using a methodology consistent with that described previously for the guarantees directly written by the Company.
 
As part of its regular review of critical accounting estimates, the Company periodically assesses inputs for estimating nonperformance risk in fair value measurements. During the second quarter of 2010, the Company completed a study that aggregated and evaluated data, including historical recovery rates of insurance companies as well as policyholder behavior observed over the past two years as the recent financial crisis evolved. As a result, at the end of the second quarter of 2010, the Company refined the manner in which its insurance subsidiaries incorporate expected recovery rates into the nonperformance risk adjustment for purposes of estimating the fair value of investment-type contracts and embedded derivatives within insurance contracts. The refinement impacted the Company’s income from continuing operations, net of income tax, with no effect on operating earnings.
 
As described above, the valuation of variable annuity guarantees accounted for as embedded derivatives includes an adjustment for the Company’s nonperformance risk, which is subject to variability. The table below illustrates the impact that a range of reasonably likely variances in credit spreads would have on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet, excluding the effect of income tax. Changes in the carrying values of PABs would be reported in net investment gains (losses) and changes in the carrying value of DAC and VOBA would be reported in other expenses. However, these estimated effects do not take into account potential changes in other variables, such as equity price levels and market volatility, that can also contribute significantly to changes in carrying values. Therefore, the table does not necessarily reflect the ultimate impact on the consolidated financial statements under the credit spread variance scenarios presented below.
 
In determining the ranges, the Company has considered current market conditions as well as the market level of spreads that can reasonably be anticipated over the near term. The ranges do not reflect extreme market conditions experienced during the 2008 and 2009 economic crisis as the Company does not consider those to be reasonably likely events in the near future.
 
                 
    Carrying Value
 
    At December 31, 2010  
          DAC and
 
    PABs     VOBA  
    (In millions)  
 
100% increase in the Company’s credit spread
  $ 1,551     $ 79  
As reported
  $ 2,357     $ 110  
50% decrease in the Company’s credit spread
  $ 2,852     $ 130  
 
The estimated fair value of the embedded equity and bond indexed derivatives contained in certain funding agreements is determined using market standard swap valuation models and observable market inputs, including an adjustment for the Company’s nonperformance risk that takes into consideration publicly available information relating to the Company’s debt, as well as its claims paying ability. Changes in equity and bond indices, interest rates and the Company’s credit standing may result in significant fluctuations in estimated the fair value of these embedded derivatives that could materially affect net income.
 
Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs and Value of Business Acquired
 
The Company incurs significant costs in connection with acquiring new and renewal insurance business. Costs that vary with and relate to the production of new business are deferred as DAC. Such costs consist principally of commissions and agency and policy issuance expenses. VOBA is an intangible asset that represents the excess of book value over the estimated fair value of acquired insurance, annuity, and investment-type contracts in-force at the acquisition date. The estimated fair value of the acquired liabilities is based on actuarially determined projections, by each block of business, of future policy and contract charges, premiums, mortality and morbidity, separate account performance, surrenders, operating expenses, investment returns, nonperformance risk adjustment and other factors. Actual experience on the purchased business may vary from these projections. The recovery of DAC and VOBA is dependent upon the future profitability of the related business. DAC and VOBA are aggregated in the consolidated financial statements for reporting purposes.


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Note 1 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements describes the Company’s accounting policy relating to DAC and VOBA amortization for various types of contracts.
 
Separate account rates of return on variable universal life contracts and variable deferred annuity contracts affect in-force account balances on such contracts each reporting period which can result in significant fluctuations in amortization of DAC and VOBA. The Company’s practice to determine the impact of gross profits resulting from returns on separate accounts assumes that long-term appreciation in equity markets is not changed by short-term market fluctuations, but is only changed when sustained interim deviations are expected. The Company monitors these events and only changes the assumption when its long-term expectation changes. The effect of an increase/(decrease) by 100 basis points in the assumed future rate of return is reasonably likely to result in a decrease/(increase) in the DAC and VOBA amortization of approximately $128 million with an offset to the Company’s unearned revenue liability of approximately $19 million for this factor.
 
The Company also periodically reviews other long-term assumptions underlying the projections of estimated gross margins and profits. These include investment returns, policyholder dividend scales, interest crediting rates, mortality, persistency, and expenses to administer business. We annually update assumptions used in the calculation of estimated gross margins and profits which may have significantly changed. If the update of assumptions causes expected future gross margins and profits to increase, DAC and VOBA amortization will decrease, resulting in a current period increase to earnings. The opposite result occurs when the assumption update causes expected future gross margins and profits to decrease.
 
The Company’s most significant assumption updates resulting in a change to expected future gross margins and profits and the amortization of DAC and VOBA were due to revisions to expected future investment returns, expenses, in-force or persistency assumptions and policyholder dividends on contracts included within the Insurance Products and Retirement Products segments. The Company expects these assumptions to be the ones most reasonably likely to cause significant changes in the future. Changes in these assumptions can be offsetting and the Company is unable to predict their movement or offsetting impact over time.
 
Note 6 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements provides a rollforward of DAC and VOBA for the Company for each of the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, as well as a breakdown of DAC and VOBA by segment and reporting unit at December 31, 2010 and 2009.
 
At December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, DAC and VOBA for the Company was $27.3 billion, $19.3 billion and $20.1 million, respectively. The DAC and VOBA balance increased significantly as a result of the Acquisition, which contributed $8.9 billion to the balance at December 31, 2010. Approximately 55%, of the Company’s DAC and VOBA was associated with the Insurance Products and Retirement Products segments at December 31, 2010. At December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, DAC and VOBA for these segments was $14.9 billion, $16.1 billion and $17.4 billion, respectively. Amortization of DAC and VOBA associated with the variable and universal life and the annuities contracts within the Insurance Products and Retirement Products segments is significantly impacted by movements in equity markets. The following chart illustrates the effect on DAC and VOBA within the Company’s U.S. Business of changing each of the respective assumptions, as well as updating estimated gross margins or profits with actual gross margins or profits during the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008. Increases (decreases) in DAC and VOBA balances, as presented below, resulted in a corresponding decrease (increase) in amortization.
 
                         
    Years Ended December 31,  
    2010      2009      2008  
    (In millions)  
 
Investment return
  $ 3     $ 141     $ 70  
Separate account balances
    21       (32 )     (708 )
Net investment gain (loss)
    (124 )     712       (521 )
Expense
    89       60       61  
In-force/Persistency
    17       (87 )     (159 )
Policyholder dividends and other
    (192 )     174       (30 )
                         
Total
  $ (186 )   $ 968     $ (1,287 )
                         


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The following represents significant items contributing to the changes to DAC and VOBA amortization in 2010:
 
  •  Changes in net investment gains (losses) resulted in the following changes in DAC and VOBA amortization:
 
  –  Actual gross profits increased as a result of a decrease in liabilities associated with guarantee obligations on variable annuities, resulting in an increase of DAC and VOBA amortization of $197 million, excluding the impact from the Company’s nonperformance risk and risk margins, which are described below. This increase in actual gross profits was partially offset by freestanding derivative losses associated with the hedging of such guarantee obligations, which resulted in a decrease in DAC and VOBA amortization of $88 million.
 
  –  The narrowing of the Company’s nonperformance risk adjustment increased the valuation of guarantee liabilities, decreased actual gross profits and decreased DAC and VOBA amortization by $96 million. In addition, higher risk margins which increased the guarantee liability valuations, decreased actual gross profits and decreased DAC and VOBA amortization by $18 million.
 
  –  The remainder of the impact of net investment gains (losses), which increased DAC amortization by $129 million, was primarily attributable to current period investment activities.
 
  •  Included in policyholder dividends and other was an increase in DAC and VOBA amortization of $42 million as a result of changes to long-term assumptions. In addition, amortization increased by $39 million as a result of favorable gross margin variances. The remainder of the increase was due to various immaterial items.
 
The following represents significant items contributing to the changes to DAC and VOBA amortization in 2009:
 
  •  Actual gross profits decreased as a result of increased investment losses from the portfolios associated with the hedging of guaranteed insurance obligations on variable annuities, resulting in a decrease of DAC and VOBA amortization of $141 million.
 
  •  Changes in net investment gains (losses) resulted in the following changes in DAC and VOBA amortization:
 
  –  Actual gross profits increased as a result of a decrease in liabilities associated with guarantee obligations on variable annuities, resulting in an increase of DAC and VOBA amortization of $995 million, excluding the impact from the Company’s nonperformance risk and risk margins, which are described below. This increase in actual gross profits was partially offset by freestanding derivative losses associated with the hedging of such guarantee obligations, which resulted in a decrease in DAC and VOBA amortization of $636 million.
 
  –  The narrowing of the Company’s nonperformance risk adjustment increased the valuation of guarantee liabilities, decreased actual gross profits and decreased DAC and VOBA amortization by $607 million. This was partially offset by lower risk margins which decreased the guarantee liability valuations, increased actual gross profits and increased DAC and VOBA amortization by $20 million.
 
  –  The remainder of the impact of net investment gains (losses), which decreased DAC amortization by $484 million, was primarily attributable to current period investment activities.
 
  •  Included in policyholder dividends and other was a decrease in DAC and VOBA amortization of $90 million as a result of changes to long-term assumptions. The remainder of the decrease was due to various immaterial items.
 
The following represents significant items contributing to the changes in DAC and VOBA amortization in 2008:
 
  •  The decrease in equity markets during the year significantly lowered separate account balances which led to a significant reduction in expected future gross profits on variable universal life contracts and variable deferred annuity contracts resulting in an increase of $708 million in DAC and VOBA amortization.


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  •  Changes in net investment gains (losses) resulted in the following changes in DAC and VOBA amortization:
 
  –  Actual gross profits decreased as a result of an increase in liabilities associated with guarantee obligations on variable annuities resulting in a reduction of DAC and VOBA amortization of $1,047 million. This decrease in actual gross profits was mitigated by freestanding derivative gains associated with the hedging of such guarantee obligations which resulted in an increase in actual gross profits and an increase in DAC and VOBA amortization of $625 million.
 
  –  The widening of the Company’s nonperformance risk adjustment decreased the valuation of guarantee liabilities, increased actual gross profits and increased DAC and VOBA amortization by $739 million. This was partially offset by higher risk margins which increased the guarantee liability valuations, decreased actual gross profits and decreased DAC and VOBA amortization by $100 million.
 
  –  Reductions in both actual and expected cumulative earnings of the closed block resulting from recent experience in the closed block combined with changes in expected dividend scales resulted in an increase in closed block DAC amortization of $195 million, $175 million of which was related to net investment gains (losses).
 
  –  The remainder of the impact of net investment gains (losses) on DAC amortization of $129 million was attributable to numerous immaterial items.
 
  •  Increases in DAC and VOBA amortization in 2008 resulting from changes in assumptions related to in-force/persistency of $159 million were driven by higher than anticipated mortality and lower than anticipated premium persistency during 2008.
 
The Company’s DAC and VOBA balance is also impacted by unrealized investment gains (losses) and the amount of amortization which would have been recognized if such gains and losses had been recognized. The increase in unrealized investment gains decreased the DAC and VOBA balance by $1.4 billion in 2010. The decrease in unrealized investment losses decreased the DAC and VOBA balance by $2.8 billion in 2009, whereas the increase in unrealized investment losses increased the DAC and VOBA balance by $3.4 billion in 2008. Notes 3 and 6 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements include the DAC and VOBA offset to unrealized investment losses.
 
Goodwill
 
Goodwill is the excess of cost over the estimated fair value of net assets acquired. Goodwill is not amortized but is tested for impairment at least annually or more frequently if events or circumstances, such as adverse changes in the business climate, indicate that there may be justification for conducting an interim test.
 
Impairment testing is performed using the fair value approach, which requires the use of estimates and judgment, at the “reporting unit” level. A reporting unit is the operating segment or a business one level below the operating segment, if discrete financial information is prepared and regularly reviewed by management at that level.
 
For purposes of goodwill impairment testing, if the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value, there might be an indication of impairment. In such instances, the implied fair value of the goodwill is determined in the same manner as the amount of goodwill that would be determined in a business acquisition. The excess of the carrying value of goodwill over the implied fair value of goodwill would be recognized as an impairment and recorded as a charge against net income.
 
The key inputs, judgments and assumptions necessary in determining estimated fair value of the reporting units include projected operating earnings, current book value (with and without accumulated other comprehensive income), the level of economic capital required to support the mix of business, long-term growth rates, comparative market multiples, the account value of in-force business, projections of new and renewal business, as well as margins on such business, the level of interest rates, credit spreads, equity market levels, and the discount rate that we believe is appropriate for the respective reporting unit. The estimated fair values of the retirement products and individual life reporting units are particularly sensitive to the equity market levels.


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We apply significant judgment when determining the estimated fair value of our reporting units and when assessing the relationship of market capitalization to the aggregate estimated fair value of our reporting units. The valuation methodologies utilized are subject to key judgments and assumptions that are sensitive to change. Estimates of fair value are inherently uncertain and represent only management’s reasonable expectation regarding future developments. These estimates and the judgments and assumptions upon which the estimates are based will, in all likelihood, differ in some respects from actual future results. Declines in the estimated fair value of our reporting units could result in goodwill impairments in future periods which could materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial position.
 
On an ongoing basis, we evaluate potential triggering events that may affect the estimated fair value of our reporting units to assess whether any goodwill impairment exists. Deteriorating or adverse market conditions for certain reporting units may have a significant impact on the estimated fair value of these reporting units and could result in future impairments of goodwill.
 
Liability for Future Policy Benefits
 
The Company establishes liabilities for amounts payable under insurance policies, including traditional life insurance, traditional annuities, certain accident and health, and non-medical health insurance. Generally, amounts are payable over an extended period of time and related liabilities are calculated as the present value of future expected benefits to be paid reduced by the present value of future expected premiums. Such liabilities are established based on methods and underlying assumptions in accordance with GAAP and applicable actuarial standards. Principal assumptions used in the establishment of liabilities for future policy benefits are mortality, morbidity, policy lapse, renewal, retirement, disability incidence, disability terminations, investment returns, inflation, expenses and other contingent events as appropriate to the respective product type and geographical area. These assumptions are established at the time the policy is issued and are intended to estimate the experience for the period the policy benefits are payable. Utilizing these assumptions, liabilities are established on a block of business basis. If experience is less favorable than assumptions, additional liabilities may be required, resulting in a charge to policyholder benefits and claims.
 
Future policy benefit liabilities for disabled lives are estimated using the present value of benefits method and experience assumptions as to claim terminations, expenses and interest.
 
Liabilities for unpaid claims and claim expenses for property and casualty insurance are included in future policyholder benefits and represent the amount estimated for claims that have been reported but not settled and claims incurred but not reported. Other policy-related balances include claims that have been reported but not settled and claims incurred but not reported on life and non-medical health insurance. Liabilities for unpaid claims are estimated based upon the Company’s historical experience and other actuarial assumptions that consider the effects of current developments, anticipated trends and risk management programs, reduced for anticipated salvage and subrogation.
 
Future policy benefit liabilities for minimum death and income benefit guarantees relating to certain annuity contracts and secondary and paid-up guarantees relating to certain life policies are based on estimates of the expected value of benefits in excess of the projected account balance and recognizing the excess ratably over the accumulation period based on total expected assessments. Liabilities for universal and variable life secondary guarantees and paid-up guarantees are determined by estimating the expected value of death benefits payable when the account balance is projected to be zero and recognizing those benefits ratably over the accumulation period based on total expected assessments. The assumptions used in estimating these liabilities are consistent with those used for amortizing DAC, and are thus subject to the same variability and risk. The assumptions of investment performance and volatility for variable products are consistent with historical experience of the appropriate underlying equity index, such as the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) 500 Index.
 
The Company periodically reviews its estimates of actuarial liabilities for future policy benefits and compares them with its actual experience. Differences between actual experience and the assumptions used in pricing of these policies and guarantees and in the establishment of the related liabilities result in variances in profit and could result in losses.


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Reinsurance
 
The Company enters into reinsurance agreements primarily as a purchaser of reinsurance for its various insurance products and also as a provider of reinsurance for some insurance products issued by third parties. Accounting for reinsurance requires extensive use of assumptions and estimates, particularly related to the future performance of the underlying business and the potential impact of counterparty credit risks. The Company periodically reviews actual and anticipated experience compared to the aforementioned assumptions used to establish assets and liabilities relating to ceded and assumed reinsurance and evaluates the financial strength of counterparties to its reinsurance agreements using criteria similar to that evaluated in the security impairment process discussed previously. Additionally, for each of its reinsurance agreements, the Company determines whether the agreement provides indemnification against loss or liability relating to insurance risk, in accordance with applicable accounting standards. The Company reviews all contractual features, particularly those that may limit the amount of insurance risk to which the reinsurer is subject or features that delay the timely reimbursement of claims. If the Company determines that a reinsurance agreement does not expose the reinsurer to a reasonable possibility of a significant loss from insurance risk, the Company records the agreement using the deposit method of accounting.
 
Income Taxes
 
Income taxes represent the net amount of income taxes that the Company expects to pay to or receive from various taxing jurisdictions in connection with its operations. The Company provides for federal, state and foreign income taxes currently payable, as well as those deferred due to temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities. The Company’s accounting for income taxes represents management’s best estimate of various events and transactions.
 
Deferred tax assets and liabilities resulting from temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities are measured at the balance sheet date using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years the temporary differences are expected to reverse.
 
For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Company anticipates making an election under the Internal Revenue Code Section 338 as it relates to the Acquisition. As such, the tax basis in the acquired assets and liabilities is adjusted as of the Acquisition Date resulting in a change to the related deferred income taxes.
 
The realization of deferred tax assets depends upon the existence of sufficient taxable income within the carryback or carryforward periods under the tax law in the applicable tax jurisdiction. Valuation allowances are established when management determines, based on available information, that it is more likely than not that deferred income tax assets will not be realized. Factors in management’s determination consider the performance of the business including the ability to generate capital gains. Significant judgment is required in determining whether valuation allowances should be established, as well as the amount of such allowances. When making such determination, consideration is given to, among other things, the following:
 
  (i)  future taxable income exclusive of reversing temporary differences and carryforwards;
 
  (ii)  future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences;
 
  (iii)  taxable income in prior carryback years; and
 
  (iv)  tax planning strategies.
 
The Company determines whether it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon examination by the appropriate taxing authorities before any part of the benefit is recorded in the financial statements. A tax position is measured at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than 50 percent likely of being realized upon settlement. The Company may be required to change its provision for income taxes when the ultimate deductibility of certain items is challenged by taxing authorities or when estimates used in determining valuation allowances on deferred tax assets significantly change, or when receipt of new information indicates the need for adjustment in valuation allowances. Additionally, future events, such as changes in tax laws, tax regulations, or interpretations of such laws or regulations, could have an impact on the provision for income tax and the effective tax rate. Any such changes could significantly affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements in the year these changes occur.


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Employee Benefit Plans
 
Certain subsidiaries of the Holding Company sponsor and/or administer pension and other postretirement benefit plans covering employees who meet specified eligibility requirements. The obligations and expenses associated with these plans require an extensive use of assumptions such as the discount rate, expected rate of return on plan assets, rate of future compensation increases, healthcare cost trend rates, as well as assumptions regarding participant demographics such as rate and age of retirements, withdrawal rates and mortality. In consultation with our external consulting actuarial firms, we determine these assumptions based upon a variety of factors such as historical performance of the plan and its assets, currently available market and industry data, and expected benefit payout streams. The assumptions used may differ materially from actual results due to, among other factors, changing market and economic conditions and changes in participant demographics. These differences may have a significant effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and liquidity.
 
Litigation Contingencies
 
The Company is a party to a number of legal actions and is involved in a number of regulatory investigations. Given the inherent unpredictability of these matters, it is difficult to estimate the impact on the Company’s financial position. Liabilities are established when it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Liabilities related to certain lawsuits, including the Company’s asbestos-related liability, are especially difficult to estimate due to the limitation of available data and uncertainty regarding numerous variables that can affect liability estimates. The data and variables that impact the assumptions used to estimate the Company’s asbestos-related liability include the number of future claims, the cost to resolve claims, the disease mix and severity of disease in pending and future claims, the impact of the number of new claims filed in a particular jurisdiction and variations in the law in the jurisdictions in which claims are filed, the possible impact of tort reform efforts, the willingness of courts to allow plaintiffs to pursue claims against the Company when exposure to asbestos took place after the dangers of asbestos exposure were well known, and the impact of any possible future adverse verdicts and their amounts. On a quarterly and annual basis, the Company reviews relevant information with respect to liabilities for litigation, regulatory investigations and litigation-related contingencies to be reflected in the Company’s consolidated financial statements. It is possible that an adverse outcome in certain of the Company’s litigation and regulatory investigations, including asbestos-related cases, or the use of different assumptions in the determination of amounts recorded could have a material effect upon the Company’s consolidated net income or cash flows in particular quarterly or annual periods.
 
Economic Capital
 
Economic capital is an internally developed risk capital model, the purpose of which is to measure the risk in the business and to provide a basis upon which capital is deployed. The economic capital model accounts for the unique and specific nature of the risks inherent in our businesses. As a part of the economic capital process, a portion of net investment income is credited to the segments based on the level of allocated equity. This is in contrast to the standardized regulatory RBC formula, which is not as refined in its risk calculations with respect to the nuances of our businesses.
 
Acquisitions and Dispositions
 
See Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Results of Operations
 
Year Ended December 31, 2010 compared with the Year Ended December 31, 2009
 
We have experienced growth and an increase in market share in several of our businesses, which, together with improved overall market conditions compared to conditions a year ago, positively impacted our results most significantly through increased net cash flows, improved yields on our investment portfolio and increased policy fee income. Sales of our domestic annuity products were up 14%, driven by an increase in variable annuity sales compared with the prior year. We benefited in 2010 from strong sales of structured settlement products. Market penetration continues in our pension closeout business in the U.K.; however, although improving, our domestic


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pension closeout business has been adversely impacted by a combination of poor equity returns and lower interest rates. High levels of unemployment continue to depress growth across our group insurance businesses due to lower covered payrolls. While we experienced growth in our group life business, sales of non-medical health and individual life products declined. Sales of new homeowner and auto policies increased 11% and 4%, respectively, as the housing and automobile markets have improved. We experienced a 30% increase in sales of retirement and savings products abroad. During 2010, mortgage refinancing activity continued to return to more moderate levels compared to the unusually high levels experienced in 2009.
 
                                 
    Years Ended December 31,              
    2010     2009     Change     % Change  
    (In millions)        
 
Revenues
                               
Premiums
  $ 27,394     $ 26,460     $ 934       3.5 %
Universal life and investment-type product policy fees
    6,037       5,203       834       16.0 %
Net investment income
    17,615       14,837       2,778       18.7 %
Other revenues
    2,328       2,329       (1 )     %
Net investment gains (losses)
    (392 )     (2,906 )     2,514       86.5 %
Net derivative gains (losses)
    (265 )     (4,866 )     4,601       94.6 %
                                 
Total revenues
    52,717       41,057       11,660       28.4 %
                                 
Expenses
                               
Policyholder benefits and claims and policyholder dividends
    31,031       29,986       1,045       3.5 %
Interest credited to policyholder account balances
    4,925       4,849       76       1.6 %
Interest credited to bank deposits
    137       163       (26 )     (16.0 )%
Capitalization of DAC
    (3,343 )     (3,019 )     (324 )     (10.7 )%
Amortization of DAC and VOBA
    2,801       1,307       1,494       114.3 %
Interest expense on debt
    1,550       1,044       506       48.5 %
Other expenses
    11,658       11,061       597       5.4 %
                                 
Total expenses
    48,759       45,391       3,368       7.4 %
                                 
Income (loss) from continuing operations before provision for income tax
    3,958       (4,334 )     8,292       191.3 %
Provision for income tax expense (benefit)
    1,181       (2,015 )     3,196       158.6 %
                                 
Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax
    2,777       (2,319 )     5,096       219.7 %
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of income tax
    9       41       (32 )     (78.0 )%
                                 
Net income (loss)
    2,786       (2,278 )     5,064       222.3 %
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests
    (4 )     (32 )     28       87.5 %
                                 
Net income (loss) attributable to MetLife, Inc. 
    2,790       (2,246 )     5,036       224.2 %
Less: Preferred stock dividends
    122       122             %
                                 
Net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders
  $ 2,668     $ (2,368 )   $ 5,036       212.7 %
                                 
 
Unless otherwise stated, all amounts discussed below are net of income tax.
 
During the year ended December 31, 2010, income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax increased $5.1 billion to a gain of $2.8 billion from a loss of $2.3 billion in 2009, of which $2 million in losses was from the inclusion of one month of ALICO results in 2010. The change was predominantly due to a $3.0 billion favorable change in net derivative gains (losses) and a $1.6 billion favorable change in net investment gains (losses). Offsetting these favorable variances totaling $4.6 billion were unfavorable changes in adjustments related to net derivative and net investment gains (losses) of $514 million, net of income tax, principally associated with DAC and


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VOBA amortization, resulting in a total favorable variance related to net derivative and net investment gains (losses), net of related adjustments and income tax, of $4.1 billion.
 
We manage our investment portfolio using disciplined Asset/Liability Management (“ALM”) principles, focusing on cash flow and duration to support our current and future liabilities. Our intent is to match the timing and amount of liability cash outflows with invested assets that have cash inflows of comparable timing and amount, while optimizing, net of income tax, risk-adjusted net investment income and risk-adjusted total return. Our investment portfolio is heavily weighted toward fixed income investments, with over 80% of our portfolio invested in fixed maturity securities and mortgage loans. These securities and loans have varying maturities and other characteristics which cause them to be generally well suited for matching the cash flow and duration of insurance liabilities. Other invested asset classes including, but not limited to, equity securities, other limited partnership interests and real estate and real estate joint ventures, provide additional diversification and opportunity for long-term yield enhancement in addition to supporting the cash flow and duration objectives of our investment portfolio. We also use derivatives as an integral part of our management of the investment portfolio to hedge certain risks, including changes in interest rates, foreign currencies, credit spreads and equity market levels. Additional considerations for our investment portfolio include current and expected market conditions and expectations for changes within our specific mix of products and business segments. In addition, the general account investment portfolio includes within trading and other securities, contractholder-directed investments supporting unit-linked variable annuity type liabilities, which do not qualify for reporting and presentation as separate account assets. The returns on these investments, which can vary significantly period to period include changes in estimated fair value subsequent to purchase, inure to contractholders and are offset in earnings by a corresponding change in policyholder account balances through interest credited to policyholder account balances.
 
The composition of the investment portfolio of each business segment is tailored to the specific characteristics of its insurance liabilities, causing certain portfolios to be shorter in duration and others to be longer in duration. Accordingly, certain portfolios are more heavily weighted in longer duration, higher yielding fixed maturity securities, or certain sub-sectors of fixed maturity securities, than other portfolios.
 
Investments are purchased to support our insurance liabilities and not to generate net investment gains and losses. However, net investment gains and losses are generated and can change significantly from period to period, due to changes in external influences, including movements in interest rates, foreign currencies, credit spreads and equity markets, counterparty specific factors such as financial performance, credit rating and collateral valuation, and internal factors such as portfolio rebalancing, that can generate gains and losses. As an investor in the fixed income, equity security, mortgage loan and certain other invested asset classes, we are exposed to the above stated risks, which can lead to both impairments and credit-related losses.
 
Freestanding derivatives are used to hedge certain investments and liabilities. For those hedges not designated as accounting hedges, changes in these market risks can lead to the recognition of fair value changes in net derivative gains (losses) without an offsetting gain or loss recognized in earnings for the item being hedged even though these are effective economic hedges. Additionally, we issue liabilities and purchase assets that contain embedded derivatives whose changes in estimated fair value are sensitive to changes in market risks and are also recognized in net derivative gains (losses).
 
The favorable variance in net derivative gains (losses) of $3.0 billion, from losses of $3.2 billion in 2009 to losses of $172 million in 2010 was primarily driven by a favorable change in freestanding derivatives of $4.4 billion, comprised of a $4.5 billion favorable change from losses in the prior year of $4.3 billion to gains in the current year of $203 million and $123 million in ALICO freestanding derivative losses. This favorable variance was partially offset by an unfavorable change in embedded derivatives primarily associated with variable annuity minimum benefit guarantees of $1.4 billion from gains in the prior year of $1.1 billion to losses in the current year of $257 million, net of $5 million in ALICO embedded derivative gains.
 
We use freestanding interest rate, currency, credit and equity derivatives to provide economic hedges of certain invested assets and insurance liabilities, including embedded derivatives, within certain of our variable annuity minimum benefit guarantees. The $4.5 billion favorable variance in freestanding derivatives was primarily attributable to market factors, including falling long-term and mid-term interest rates, a stronger recovery in equity markets in the prior year than the current year, a greater decrease in equity volatility in the prior year as


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compared to the current year, a strengthening U.S. dollar and widening corporate credit spreads in the financial services sector. Falling long-term and mid-term interest rates in the current year compared to rising long-term and mid-term interest rates in the prior year had a positive impact of $2.6 billion on our interest rate derivatives, $931 million of which is attributable to hedges of variable annuity minimum benefit guarantee liabilities, which are accounted for as embedded derivatives. In addition, stronger equity market recovery and lower equity market volatility in the prior year as compared to the current year had a positive impact of $1.1 billion on our equity derivatives, which we use to hedge variable annuity minimum benefit guarantees. U.S. dollar strengthening had a positive impact of $554 million on certain of our foreign currency derivatives, which are used to hedge foreign-denominated asset and liability exposures. Finally, widening corporate credit spreads in the financial services sector had a positive impact of $221 million on our purchased protection credit derivatives.
 
Certain variable annuity products with minimum benefit guarantees contain embedded derivatives that are measured at estimated fair value separately from the host variable annuity contract, with changes in estimated fair value reported in net derivative gains (losses). These embedded derivatives also include an adjustment for nonperformance risk of the related liabilities carried at estimated fair value. The $1.4 billion unfavorable change in embedded derivatives was primarily attributable to the impact of market factors, including falling long-term and mid-term interest rates, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, equity volatility and equity market movements. Falling long-term and mid-term interest rates in the current year compared to rising long-term and mid-term interest rates in the prior year had a negative impact of $1.4 billion. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates had a negative impact of $468 million. Equity volatility decreased more in the prior year than in the current year causing a negative impact of $284 million, and a stronger recovery in the equity markets in the prior year than in the current year had a negative impact of $228 million. The unfavorable impact from these hedged risks was partially offset by a favorable change related to the adjustment for nonperformance risk of $1.2 billion, from losses of $1.3 billion in 2009 to losses of $62 million in 2010. This $62 million loss was net of a $621 million loss related to a refinement in estimating the spreads used in the adjustment for nonperformance risk made in the second quarter of 2010. Gains on the freestanding derivatives that hedged these embedded derivative risks largely offset the change in liabilities attributable to market factors, excluding the adjustment for nonperformance risk, which does not have an economic impact on the Company.
 
Improved or stabilizing market conditions across several invested asset classes and sectors as compared to the prior year resulted in decreases in impairments and in net realized losses from sales and disposals of investments in most components of our investment portfolio. These decreases, coupled with a decrease in the provision for credit losses on mortgage loans due to improved market conditions, resulted in a $1.6 billion improvement in net investment gains (losses).
 
Income from continuing operations, net of income tax for 2010 includes $138 million of expenses related to the acquisition and integration of ALICO. These expenses, which primarily consisted of investment banking and legal fees, are recorded in Banking, Corporate & Other and are not a component of operating earnings.
 
As more fully described in the discussion of performance measures above, we use operating earnings, which does not equate to income (loss) from continuing operations as determined in accordance with GAAP, to analyze our performance, evaluate segment performance, and allocate resources. Operating earnings is also a measure by which senior management’s and many other employees’ performance is evaluated for the purpose of determining their compensation under applicable compensation plans. We believe that the presentation of operating earnings, as we measure it for management purposes, enhances the understanding of our performance by highlighting the results of operations and the underlying profitability drivers of the business. Operating earnings should not be viewed as a substitute for GAAP income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax. Operating earnings available to common shareholders increased by $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion in 2010 from $2.4 billion in 2009.


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Reconciliation of income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, to operating earnings available to common shareholders
 
Year Ended December 31, 2010
 
                                                         
                Corporate
                Banking,
       
    Insurance
    Retirement
    Benefit
    Auto &
          Corporate
       
    Products     Products     Funding     Home     International     & Other     Total  
                (In millions)                    
 
Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax
  $ 1,371     $ 813     $ 1,002     $ 295     $ (131 )   $ (573 )   $ 2,777  
Less: Net investment gains (losses)
    103       139       176       (7 )     (273 )     (530 )     (392 )
Less: Net derivative gains (losses)
    215       266       (193 )     (1 )     (491 )     (61 )     (265 )
Less: Adjustments to continuing operations (1)
    (237 )     (282 )     143             (427 )     (178 )     (981 )
Less: Provision for income tax (expense) benefit
    (31 )     (49 )     (44 )     3       268       254       401  
                                                         
Operating earnings
  $ 1,321     $ 739     $ 920     $ 300     $ 792       (58 )     4,014  
                                                         
Less: Preferred stock dividends
                                            122       122  
                                                         
Operating earnings available to common shareholders
                                          $ (180 )   $ 3,892  
                                                         
 
Year Ended December 31, 2009
 
                                                         
                Corporate
                Banking,
       
    Insurance
    Retirement
    Benefit
    Auto &
          Corporate
       
    Products     Products     Funding     Home     International     & Other     Total  
                (In millions)                    
 
Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax
  $ (418 )   $ (628 )   $ (581 )   $ 321     $ (280 )   $ (733 )   $ (2,319 )
Less: Net investment gains (losses)
    (472 )     (533 )     (1,486 )     (41 )     (105 )     (269 )     (2,906 )
Less: Net derivative gains (losses)
    (1,786 )     (1,426 )     (421 )     39       (798 )     (474 )     (4,866 )
Less: Adjustments to continuing operations (1)
    (139 )     519       125             (206 )     (16 )     283  
Less: Provision for income tax (expense) benefit
    837       504       621       1       366       354       2,683  
                                                         
Operating earnings
  $ 1,142     $ 308     $ 580     $ 322     $ 463       (328 )     2,487  
                                                         
Less: Preferred stock dividends
                                            122       122  
                                                         
Operating earnings available to common shareholders
                                          $ (450 )   $ 2,365  
                                                         
 
 
(1) See definitions of operating revenues and operating expenses for the components of such adjustments.


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Reconciliation of GAAP revenues to operating revenues and GAAP expenses to operating expenses
 
Year Ended December 31, 2010
 
                                                         
                Corporate
                Banking,
       
    Insurance
    Retirement
    Benefit
    Auto &
          Corporate
       
    Products     Products     Funding     Home     International     & Other     Total  
                (In millions)                    
 
Total revenues
  $ 26,451     $ 6,881     $ 7,540     $ 3,146     $ 6,794     $ 1,905     $ 52,717  
Less: Net investment gains (losses)
    103       139       176       (7 )     (273 )     (530 )     (392 )
Less: Net derivative gains (losses)
    215       266       (193 )     (1 )     (491 )     (61 )     (265 )
Less: Adjustments related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses)
    1                                     1  
Less: Other adjustments to revenues (1)
    (144 )     (248 )     193             44       449       294  
                                                         
Total operating revenues
  $ 26,276     $ 6,724     $ 7,364     $ 3,154     $ 7,514     $ 2,047     $ 53,079  
                                                         
Total expenses
  $ 24,338     $ 5,622     $ 5,999     $ 2,781     $ 6,987     $ 3,032     $ 48,759  
Less: Adjustments related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses)
    90       35                   (7 )           118  
Less: Other adjustments to expenses (1)
    4       (1 )     50             478       627       1,158  
                                                         
Total operating expenses
  $ 24,244     $ 5,588     $ 5,949     $ 2,781     $ 6,516     $ 2,405     $ 47,483  
                                                         
 
Year Ended December 31, 2009
 
                                                         
                Corporate
                Banking,
       
    Insurance
    Retirement
    Benefit
    Auto &
          Corporate
       
    Products     Products     Funding     Home     International     & Other     Total  
                (In millions)                    
 
Total revenues
  $ 23,483     $ 3,725     $ 5,486     $ 3,113     $ 4,383     $ 867     $ 41,057  
Less: Net investment gains (losses)
    (472 )     (533 )     (1,486 )     (41 )     (105 )     (269 )     (2,906 )
Less: Net derivative gains (losses)
    (1,786 )     (1,426 )     (421 )     39       (798 )     (474 )     (4,866 )
Less: Adjustments related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses)
    (27 )                                   (27 )
Less: Other adjustments to revenues (1)
    (74 )     (219 )     188             (169 )     22       (252 )
                                                         
Total operating revenues
  $ 25,842     $ 5,903     $ 7,205     $ 3,115     $ 5,455     $ 1,588     $ 49,108  
                                                         
Total expenses
  $ 24,165     $ 4,690     $ 6,400     $ 2,697     $ 4,868     $ 2,571     $ 45,391  
Less: Adjustments related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses)
    39       (739 )                             (700 )
Less: Other adjustments to expenses (1)
    (1 )     1       63             37       38       138  
                                                         
Total operating expenses
  $ 24,127     $ 5,428     $ 6,337     $ 2,697     $ 4,831     $ 2,533     $ 45,953  
                                                         
 
 
(1) See definitions of operating revenues and operating expenses for the components of such adjustments.


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Unless otherwise stated, all amounts discussed below are net of income tax and are on a constant currency basis. The constant currency basis amounts for both periods are calculated using the average foreign currency exchange rates of 2010.
 
The improvement in the financial markets was the primary driver of the increase in operating earnings as evidenced by higher net investment income and an increase in average separate account balances, which resulted in an increase in policy fee income. Interest rate and equity market changes resulted in a decrease in variable annuity guarantee benefit costs. Partially offsetting this improvement was an increase in amortization of DAC, VOBA and DSI. The increase in operating earnings also includes the positive impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates in 2010. This improved reported operating earnings by $38 million for 2010 compared to 2009. Excluding the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates, operating earnings increased $1.5 billion from the prior period. Furthermore, the 2010 period also includes one month of ALICO results, contributing $114 million to the increase in operating earnings. The current period also benefited from the dividend scale reduction in the fourth quarter of 2009. The improvement in 2010 results compared to 2009 was partially offset by a decline in residential mortgage loan production and the prior period impact of pesification in Argentina.
 
In addition to a $133 million increase due to the inclusion of ALICO results, net investment income increased by $792 million from higher yields and $515 million from growth in average invested assets. Yields were positively impacted by the effects of stabilizing real estate markets and recovering private equity markets year over year on real estate joint ventures and other limited partnership interests, and by the effects of continued repositioning of the accumulated liquidity in our portfolio to longer duration and higher yielding investments, including investment grade corporate fixed maturity securities. Growth in our investment portfolio was primarily due to positive net cash flows from growth in our domestic individual and group life businesses, as well as certain international businesses; increased bank deposits, higher cash collateral balances received from our derivative counterparties, as well as the temporary investment of proceeds from the debt and common stock issuances in anticipation of the Acquisition. With the exception of the cash flows from such securities issuances, which were temporarily invested in lower yielding liquid investments, we continued to reposition the accumulated liquidity in our portfolio to longer duration and higher yielding investments.
 
Since many of our products are interest spread-based, higher net investment income is typically offset by higher interest credited expense. However, interest credited expense, including amounts reflected in policyholder benefits and claims, decreased $147 million, primarily in our domestic funding agreement business, which experienced lower average crediting rates combined with lower average account balances. Our fixed annuities business also experienced lower crediting rates. Certain crediting rates can move consistently with the underlying market indices, primarily the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (“LIBOR”), which were lower than the prior year. The impact from the growth in our structured settlement, long-term care and disability businesses partially offset those decreases in interest credited expense.
 
A significant increase in average separate account balances is largely attributable to favorable market performance resulting from improved market conditions since the second quarter of 2009 and positive net cash flows from the annuity business. This resulted in higher policy fees and other revenues of $471 million, most notably in our Retirement Products segment. The improvement in fees is partially offset by greater DAC, VOBA and DSI amortization of $377 million. Policy fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the average assets in the separate accounts. DAC, VOBA and DSI amortization is based on the earnings of the business, which in the retirement business are derived, in part, from fees earned on separate account balances. A portion of the increase in amortization was due to the impact of higher current year gross margins, a primary component in the determination of the amount of amortization for our Insurance Products segment, mostly in the closed block resulting from increased investment yields and the impact of dividend scale reductions.
 
There was a $59 million decrease in variable annuity guaranteed benefit costs. Costs associated with our annuity guaranteed benefit liabilities, hedge programs and reinsurance programs are impacted by equity markets and interest rate levels to varying degrees. While 2010 and 2009 both experienced equity market improvements, the improvement in 2009 was greater. Interest rate levels declined in the current year and increased in the prior year. Annuity guaranteed benefit liabilities, net of a decrease in paid claims, increased benefits by $93 million primarily from our annual unlocking of assumptions related to these liabilities. The hedge and reinsurance programs which are used to mitigate the risk associated with these guarantees produced losses in both periods, but the losses in the


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prior period were more significant due to the 2009 equity market recovery. The change in hedge and reinsurance program costs decreased by $152 million. These hedge and reinsurance programs, which are a key part of our risk management strategy, performed as anticipated.
 
The reduction in the dividend scale in the fourth quarter of 2009 resulted in a $109 million decrease in policyholder dividends in the traditional life business in the current period.
 
Claims experience varied amongst our businesses with a net unfavorable impact of $153 million to operating earnings compared to the prior year. We had unfavorable claims experience in our Auto & Home segment, primarily due to increased catastrophes. Our Insurance Products segment experienced mixed claims experience with a net unfavorable impact. We experienced less favorable mortality experience in our Corporate Benefit Funding segment despite favorable experience in our structured settlements business.
 
A $15.2 billion decline in residential mortgage loan production resulted in a $131 million decrease in operating earnings, $32 million of which is reflected in net investment income from lower investment levels with the remainder largely attributable to a reduction in fee income. The increase in the serviced residential mortgage loan portfolio improved operating earnings by $41 million, including $23 million of costs associated with investment and growth in our banking business as discussed below.
 
Interest expense increased $64 million primarily as a result of the full year impact of debt issuances in 2009 and of senior notes and debt securities issued in anticipation of the Acquisition, partially offset by the impact of lower interest rates on variable rate collateral financing arrangements.
 
In addition to a $269 million increase associated with the Acquisition, operating expenses increased due to the impact of a $95 million benefit recorded in the prior period related to the pesification in Argentina, as well as an $83 million increase related to the investment and growth in our international and banking businesses. In addition, the current period includes a $14 million increase in charitable contributions and $13 million of costs associated with the integration of ALICO. Offsetting these increases was a $76 million reduction in discretionary spending, such as consulting, rent and postemployment related costs. In addition, we experienced a $47 million decline in market driven expenses, primarily pension and post retirement benefit costs. Also contributing to the decrease was a $35 million reduction in real estate-related charges and $15 million of lower legal costs.
 
Income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2010 was $1,181 million, or 30% of income from continuing operations before provision for income tax, compared with income tax benefit of $2,015 million, or 47% of the loss from continuing operations before benefit for income tax, for the comparable 2009 period. The Company’s 2010 and 2009 effective tax rates differ from the U.S. statutory rate of 35% primarily due to the impact of certain permanent tax differences, including non-taxable investment income and tax credits for investments in low income housing, in relation to income (loss) from continuing operations before income tax, as well as certain foreign permanent tax differences.
 
The 2010 period includes $75 million of charges related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (together, the “Health Care Act”). The Federal government currently provides a Medicare Part D subsidy. The Health Care Act reduced the tax deductibility of retiree health care costs to the extent of any Medicare Part D subsidy received beginning in 2013. Because the deductibility of future retiree health care costs is reflected in our financial statements, the entire future impact of this change in law was required to be recorded as a charge in the period in which the legislation was enacted. Changes to the provision for income taxes in both periods contributed to an increase in operating earnings of $86 million for our International segment, resulting from a $34 million unfavorable impact in 2009 due to a change in assumption regarding the repatriation of earnings and a benefit of $52 million in the current year from additional permanent reinvestment of earnings, the reversal of tax provisions and favorable changes in liabilities for tax uncertainties. In addition, in 2009 we had a larger benefit of $71 million as compared to 2010 related to the utilization of tax preferenced investments which provide tax credits and deductions.


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Insurance Products
 
                                 
    Years Ended December 31,              
    2010     2009     Change     % Change  
    (In millions)        
 
OPERATING REVENUES
                               
Premiums
  $ 17,200     $ 17,168     $ 32       0.2 %
Universal life and investment-type product policy fees
    2,247       2,281       (34 )     (1.5 )%
Net investment income
    6,068       5,614       454       8.1 %
Other revenues
    761       779       (18 )     (2.3 )%
                                 
Total operating revenues
    26,276       25,842       434       1.7 %
                                 
OPERATING EXPENSES
                               
Policyholder benefits and dividends
    19,075       19,111       (36 )     (0.2 )%
Interest credited to policy