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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
or
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: 001-07434
aflaclogoa01a01a01a33.jpg
Aflac Incorporated
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Georgia58-1167100
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1932 Wynnton RoadColumbus,Georgia31999
(Address of principal executive offices)(ZIP Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: 706.323.3431
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $.10 Par ValueAFLNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:    None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    þ Yes    ¨  No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    ¨  Yes    þ  No
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.    þ  Yes  ¨  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted 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 such files).    þ  Yes  ¨  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  Yes      No
The aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2023, was $41,323,668,872.
The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding at February 15, 2024, with $.10 par value, was 577,008,328. 
Documents Incorporated By Reference
Certain information contained in the Notice and Proxy Statement for the Company’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders is incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.



Aflac Incorporated
Annual Report on Form 10-K
For the Year Ended December 31, 2023
Table of Contents
  
PART IPage
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 1C.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
PART II
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
PART III
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
PART IV
Item 15.
Item 16.
 


 


i

Item 1. Business


PART I

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. Aflac Incorporated and its subsidiaries (the Company) desire to take advantage of these provisions. This report contains cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected herein, and in any other statements made by Company officials in communications with the financial community and contained in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information and relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as the ones listed below or similar words, as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as forward-looking. The Company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.
• expect• anticipate• believe• goal• objective
• may• should• estimate• intends• projects
• will• assumes• potential• target• outlook
The Company cautions readers that the following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements:
difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy, including inflation
defaults and credit downgrades of investments
global fluctuations in interest rates and exposure to significant interest rate risk
concentration of business in Japan
limited availability of acceptable yen-denominated investments
foreign currency fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate
differing interpretations applied to investment valuations
significant valuation judgments in determination of expected credit losses recorded on the Company's investments
decreases in the Company's financial strength or debt ratings
decline in creditworthiness of other financial institutions
the Company's ability to attract and retain qualified sales associates, brokers, employees, and distribution partners
deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions
ability to continue to develop and implement improvements in information technology systems and on successful execution of revenue growth and expense management initiatives
interruption in telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems, or a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality, integrity or privacy of sensitive data residing on such systems
subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to the Parent Company
inherent limitations to risk management policies and procedures
operational risks of third-party vendors
tax rates applicable to the Company may change
failure to comply with restrictions on policyholder privacy and information security
extensive regulation and changes in law or regulation by governmental authorities
competitive environment and ability to anticipate and respond to market trends
catastrophic events, including, but not limited to, as a result of climate change, epidemics, pandemics, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, war or other military action, major public health issues, terrorism or other acts of violence, and damage incidental to such events
ability to protect the Aflac brand and the Company's reputation
ability to effectively manage key executive succession
changes in accounting standards
level and outcome of litigation or regulatory inquiries
allegations or determinations of worker misclassification in the United States


1

Item 1. Business


ITEM 1. BUSINESS

OVERVIEW

Aflac Incorporated (the Parent Company) was incorporated in 1973 under the laws of the state of Georgia. The Parent Company and its subsidiaries (collectively, the Company) provide financial protection to millions of policyholders and customers in Japan and the United States (U.S.). The Company’s principal business is supplemental health and life insurance products with the goal to provide customers the best value in supplemental insurance products in Japan and the U.S. When a policyholder or insured gets sick or hurt, the Company pays cash benefits fairly and promptly for eligible claims. Throughout its 68-year history, the Company’s supplemental insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress.

The Company has continued to develop and expand its product offerings over time. In Japan, the Company is cultivating an innovation-driven culture to meet the rapidly changing customer and societal needs. In the U.S., the Company continues to make broad-based investments in digital enhancements and innovation within the U.S. platform. In recent years, the Company invested in distribution opportunities through acquisitions and partnerships and pivoted to digital sales methods. For information on the reporting segments see the Result of Operations by Segment section of Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A).

The Company is authorized to conduct insurance business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, several U.S. territories, and Japan. The Company’s website is: www.aflac.com. Information included on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference into this filing. The Company makes available free of charge through its website, its annual report on Form 10-K, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

REVENUE-GENERATING ACTIVITIES

The Company's strategy for growth in the U.S. and Japan has remained straightforward and consistent for many years. The Company develops relevant supplemental health insurance products offering financial protection from the rising out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical events that are not covered by the insureds' primary coverage. The Company also offers a complement of other voluntary health and life insurance products to fit the needs of its customers. Additionally, the Company aims to obtain more customers by selling where the customer prefers to purchase protection, whether through an agent or broker, a distribution partner or directly from the Company. To help promote its insurance products, the Company’s marketing campaigns feature the Aflac Duck.

LONG-TERM GROWTH STRATEGY

Item 1 Graphic.jpg



2

Item 1. Business


In 1999, the Company had been running commercials for nearly a decade, but its brand awareness was hovering at about 10%. An innovative marketing campaign with something unique and memorable that would build brand awareness was needed. The Aflac Duck’s first commercial in the U.S., “Park Bench,” aired on January 1, 2000 and taught consumers how to pronounce “Aflac.” The Aflac Duck made his international debut in Japan in 2003. In the time since his U.S. debut, the Aflac Duck has become one of the most familiar advertising icons in the world, appearing in many commercials and countless print ads in both the U.S. and Japan. Today, the Aflac Duck is a helpmate who increases brand knowledge and connection.

The Company's insurance business consists of two reporting segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The primary insurance subsidiary in the Aflac Japan segment is Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd. (ALIJ). Aflac U.S. includes the insurance subsidiaries American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac); Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC), branded as Aflac Group Insurance (AGI); American Family Life Assurance Company of New York (Aflac New York); Tier One Insurance Company (TOIC); and Aflac Benefits Solutions (ABS), which provides a platform for Aflac Dental and Vision in the U.S.
For information on the Company's results of operations and financial information by segment, see Item 7. MD&A and Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

AFLAC JAPAN

Aflac Japan is the principal contributor to the Parent Company's consolidated earnings and the largest insurer in Japan in terms of cancer and medical (third sector insurance products) policies in force. For information on Aflac Japan's operating results, see the Aflac Japan Segment section of Item 7. MD&A.

Insurance Products

Aflac Japan's third sector insurance products are supplemental products designed to help consumers pay for medical and nonmedical costs that are not reimbursed under Japan's national health insurance system. Changes in Japan's economy and an aging population have put increasing pressure on Japan's national health care system. As a result, more costs have been shifted to Japanese consumers, who in turn have become increasingly interested in insurance products that help them manage those costs. Aflac Japan has responded to this consumer need by enhancing existing products and developing new products. The focus at Aflac Japan remains on maintaining leadership in third sector insurance products that are less interest rate sensitive and have strong and stable margins. At the same time, Aflac Japan complements this core business with similarly profitable first sector protection products as outlined below.

Third Sector Insurance Products

Cancer

Cancer Insurance Aflac Japan pioneered the cancer insurance market in Japan in 1974, and remains the number one provider of cancer insurance in Japan today. Aflac Japan's cancer insurance products provide a lump-sum benefit upon initial diagnosis of cancer and fixed daily benefits for subsequent hospitalization and outpatient treatments due to cancer, as well as cancer-related surgical and convalescent care benefits. In August 2022, Aflac Japan launched a new cancer insurance product, WINGS, which provides coverage for the latest cancer treatments and support for early detection. Additionally, in January 2023, Aflac Japan further strengthened its products and services by launching Aflac Yorisou Cancer Consultation Support, a new service that provides comprehensive support from the moment a policyholder suspects cancer through treatment and recovery.

Medical and Other Health

Medical Insurance Aflac Japan's medical insurance products provide benefits for hospitalization, surgeries and outpatient treatment of various illnesses, as well as lump sum benefits related to three critical illnesses: cancer, heart attack, and stroke. In September 2023, Aflac Japan launched a new medical insurance product designed to appeal to younger policyholders with basic needs and existing policyholders who desire additional or updated coverage.

Income Support Insurance Aflac Japan's Income Support Insurance provides fixed-benefit amounts in the event that a policyholder is unable to work due to significant illness or injury.



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Other

Nursing Care Insurance Aflac Japan's Nursing Care Insurance provides coverage for out-of-pocket costs incurred when receiving public nursing care services.

Work Leave Insurance Aflac Japan’s Work Leave Insurance offers benefits for relatively short-term hospitalization and home care associated with work leave of less than a year. It is a product that meets the growing need for leave benefits, especially for employees of small and medium-sized companies.

First Sector Insurance Products

Life

Protection-Type Life Insurance

Whole Life Aflac Japan launched Prepare Smart Whole-Life Insurance in 2018, a whole life insurance product with low cash surrender value, which offers non-smoking policyholders further discounted premiums, and it provides beneficiaries, typically a designated family member, with a pre-determined benefit payment upon the death of the insured.

GIFT GIFT is a term life insurance product that provides a designated family member with a fixed amount of money every month upon a breadwinner’s death or serious disability as family support.

Savings-Type Life Insurance

WAYS and Child Endowment WAYS is an insurance product which has features that allow policyholders to convert a portion of their life insurance to medical, nursing care or fixed annuity benefits at a predetermined age. Aflac Japan's child endowment insurance product offers a death benefit until a child reaches age 18. This product also pays a lump-sum at the time of the child's entry into high school, as well as an educational annuity for each of the four years during his or her college education. In November 2022, Aflac Japan refreshed its WAYS and Child Endowment products and began to actively promote sales of these products after having curtailed sales of both products beginning in 2013.

Distribution Channels

Traditional Sales Channel This distribution channel includes individual agencies, independent corporate agencies and affiliated corporate agencies. Aflac Japan was represented by approximately 7,000 sales agencies at the end of 2023, with approximately 113,000 licensed sales associates employed by those agencies, including individual agencies.

Dai-ichi Life Aflac Japan's alliance with Dai-ichi Life was launched in 2001, and approximately 37,000 Dai-ichi Life representatives offer Aflac's cancer products. Dai-ichi Life is included in Aflac Japan's affiliated corporate agencies distribution channel.

Japan Post Group Aflac Japan's alliance with Japan Post Group, which is included in Aflac Japan's affiliated corporate agencies distribution channel, was launched in 2008. After the alliance strengthened in 2013, the number of postal outlets of Japan Post Co. Ltd. (Japan Post Co.) selling Aflac Japan's cancer product increased to more than 20,000. Japan Post Insurance Co., Ltd. (Japan Post Insurance) offers Aflac Japan cancer products through its 76 directly managed offices responsible for corporate sales and 623 service departments in charge of individual sales. Additionally, in April 2022, approximately 10,000 employees of Japan Post Co. were transferred to Japan Post Insurance. Japan Post Group has informed Aflac Japan that the transferred employees' responsibilities will include sales of Japan Post Insurance products and Aflac Japan cancer products but will not include sales of other financial products. See the Aflac Japan Segment subsection of Item 7. MD&A for additional information about this alliance.

Daido Life In 2013, Aflac Japan and Daido Life Insurance entered into an agreement for Daido to sell Aflac Japan's cancer insurance products specifically to the Hojinkai market, which is an association of small businesses. Currently, Daido also sells Aflac Japan's cancer insurance products to the market in the tax payment association, which is a not-for-profit association for small businesses to support tax related matters. Daido Life is included in Aflac Japan's affiliated corporate agencies distribution channel.



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Banks Consumers in Japan rely on banks to provide not only traditional bank services, but also as one key source to provide insurance solutions and other services. At December 31, 2023, Aflac Japan had agreements with approximately 90% of the total number of banks in Japan to sell its products.

Competitive Markets

The Company competes with other insurance carriers through policyholder service, price, product design and sales efforts, as the number of insurance companies offering stand-alone cancer and medical insurance has more than doubled since the deregulation of the Japan market in 2001. However, based on Aflac Japan's size of annualized premiums in force and diversified distribution network, the Company believes it is well-positioned to continue to adapt to increased competition. Furthermore, the Company believes the continued development and maintenance of operating efficiencies will allow Aflac Japan to offer affordable products that appeal to consumers. The Company believes Aflac Japan will remain a leading provider of third sector products such as cancer and medical insurance coverage in Japan, principally due to its experience in the market, well-known brand, low-cost operations, expansive marketing system and product expertise.

Government Regulation

Financial Services Agency (FSA) The financial and business affairs of Aflac Japan are subject to examination by Japan's FSA. Aflac Japan files annual and interim reports and financial statements for the Japanese insurance operations based on a March 31 fiscal year end, prepared in accordance with Japanese regulatory accounting practices prescribed or permitted by the FSA. Japanese regulatory basis earnings are determined using accounting principles that differ materially from U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP). For additional information, see Note 13 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Two FSA regulations applicable to Aflac Japan are outlined below.

Privacy and Cybersecurity

With regard to personal information obtained from policyholders, the insured, or others, Aflac Japan is regulated in Japan by the Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI) and guidelines issued by FSA and other governmental authorities.

FSA Solvency Standard

The FSA maintains a solvency standard, the solvency margin ratio (SMR), which is used by Japanese regulators to monitor the financial strength of insurance companies. Aflac Japan's SMR is sensitive to interest rate, credit spread and foreign exchange rate changes. See the Liquidity and Capital Resources section of Item 7. MD&A for additional information on SMR, including a discussion of measures the Company has taken to mitigate the sensitivity of Aflac Japan's SMR.

Japan Companies Act Aflac Japan dividend distributions to the Parent Company are subject to permitted dividend capacity under the Japan Companies Act.

Policyholder Protection The Japanese insurance industry has a policyholder protection corporation that provides funds for the policyholders of insolvent insurers. For additional information, see the Policyholder Protection section of Item 7. MD&A.

For additional information regarding Aflac Japan's operations and regulations, see the Aflac Japan Segment subsection of Item 7. MD&A and Notes 2 and 13 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

AFLAC U.S.

The Company designs its U.S. insurance products to provide supplemental coverage for people who already have major medical or primary insurance coverage, as Aflac U.S. insurance policies pay benefits regardless of other insurance. Aflac U.S. products are distributed in the individual and group supplemental insurance markets. Aflac's individual policies are portable, meaning that individuals may retain their full insurance coverage upon separation from employment or affiliation with a group, generally at the same premium. Individual policies are typically guaranteed-renewable for the lifetime of the policyholder (to age 75 for short-term disability policies).



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Insurance Products

Accident

Accident Insurance Aflac U.S. offers accident coverage on both an individual and group basis. These policies pay cash benefits in the event of a covered injury. The accident portion of the policy includes lump-sum benefits for accidental death, dismemberment and specific injuries as well as fixed benefits for hospital confinement. Additional benefits are also available for home modifications, wellness and increased benefits for injuries related to participation in an organized sporting activity.

Disability

Disability Insurance Aflac U.S. offers short-term disability benefits on both an individual and group basis and long-term disability benefits on a group basis.

Critical Care

Cancer Insurance Aflac U.S.'s cancer insurance products provide a lump-sum benefit upon initial diagnosis of cancer and subsequent benefits for treatment received due to cancer. Aflac U.S. offers cancer insurance on an individual basis.

Critical Illness Insurance Aflac U.S. offers coverage for critical illness plans on both an individual and group basis. These policies are designed to pay cash benefits in the event of critical illnesses such as heart attack, stroke or cancer.

Hospital Indemnity

Hospital Indemnity Insurance Aflac U.S. offers hospital indemnity coverage on both an individual and group basis. Hospital indemnity products provide policyholders fixed dollar benefits triggered by hospitalization due to accident or sickness. Indemnity benefits for inpatient and outpatient surgeries, as well as various other diagnostic events, are also available.

Dental and Vision

Dental and Vision Insurance Aflac U.S. offers network dental and vision products on a group basis and fixed-benefit coverage on both an individual and group basis. Aflac Vision NowSM is an individually issued policy which provides fixed benefits for serious eye health conditions and loss of sight as well as coverage for corrective eye materials and exam benefits.

Life

Life Insurance Aflac U.S. offers term- and whole-life policies on both an individual and group basis.

Seasonality

In recent years, new annualized premium sales are generally higher in the fourth quarter for Aflac U.S. group business due to the timing of open enrollment for many employers. As a result, approximately half of total new annualized premium sales for Aflac U.S. group business are generated in the fourth quarter, which typically results in over one third of total Aflac U.S. total sales being generated in the fourth quarter.

Distribution Channels

Independent Associates/Career Agents The career agent channel in Aflac U.S. focuses on marketing Aflac to the small business market, defined as employers of between three and 99 employees. Sales associates in the U.S. are independent contractors and are paid commissions and other variable compensation based on first-year and renewal premiums from their sales of insurance products.

Brokers The broker channel of Aflac U.S. focuses on selling to the mid- and large-case market, which is comprised of employers with 100 or more employees and typically an average size of 1,000 employees or more. Brokers in the U.S. are


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independent contractors and are paid commissions based on first-year and renewal premiums from their sales of insurance products.

In 2023, the Aflac U.S. sales force included an average of approximately 6,200 U.S. agents, including brokers, who were actively producing business on a weekly basis. For additional information, see the Aflac U.S. Segment subsection of Item 7. MD&A.

Consumer Markets While Aflac U.S. primarily markets its insurance products at the worksite, Aflac U.S. is also expanding its distribution strategy to directly reach consumers outside of the traditional worksite through digital lead generation.

Competitive Markets

Aflac U.S. competes against several supplemental insurance carriers on a national and regional basis. Aflac U.S. believes its policies, premium rates, platforms, value-added services and sales commissions are competitive by product type. Moreover, Aflac U.S. believes that its products are distinct from competitive offerings given its product focus (including features, benefits and claims service model), distribution capabilities and brand awareness. 

Since Aflac products provide an additional level of financial protection for policyholders, the Company believes the increased financial exposure some employees may face creates a favorable opportunity for Aflac U.S. products. However, given the profitability erosion some major medical carriers are facing in their core lines of business, the Company has seen a more competitive landscape as these carriers seek entry into Aflac's supplemental product segments and leverage their core benefit offerings by bundling and discounting products in order to gain market share.

Government Regulation

State Insurance Regulation The Parent Company and its U.S. insurance subsidiaries, Aflac, CAIC, TOIC (Nebraska-domiciled insurance companies), Aflac New York (a New York-domiciled insurance company) and ABS (a licensed third-party administrator in most U.S. jurisdictions and a pre-paid limited health service organization in Florida) are subject to state regulations in the U.S. as an insurance holding company system. Such regulations generally provide that certain transactions between companies within the holding company system must be fair and equitable. In addition, transfers of assets among such affiliated companies, certain dividend payments from insurance subsidiaries and certain transactions between companies within the system, including management fees, loans and advances are subject to prior notice to, or approval by, state regulatory authorities. These laws generally require, among other things, the insurance holding company and each insurance company directly owned by the holding company to register with the insurance departments of their respective domiciliary states and to furnish annually financial and other information about the operations of companies within the holding company system.

Like all U.S. insurance companies, Aflac, CAIC, TOIC and Aflac New York are subject to regulation and supervision in the jurisdictions in which they do business. In general, the insurance laws of the various jurisdictions establish supervisory agencies with broad administrative powers relating to, among other things:

granting and revoking licenses to transact business
regulating trade and claims practices
licensing of insurance agents and brokers
approval of policy forms and premium rates
standards of solvency and maintenance of specified policy benefit reserves and minimum loss ratio requirements
capital requirements
limitations on dividends to shareholders
the nature of and limitations on investments
deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders
filing of financial statements prepared in accordance with statutory insurance accounting practices prescribed or permitted by regulatory authorities
periodic examinations of the market conduct, financial, and other affairs of insurance companies

The insurance laws of Nebraska that govern the Company's activities provide that the acquisition or change of “control” of a domestic insurer or of any person that controls a domestic insurer cannot be consummated without the prior approval of the Nebraska Department of Insurance (NDOI). A person seeking to acquire control, directly or indirectly, of a domestic insurance company or of any person controlling a domestic insurance company (in the case of Aflac, CAIC and TOIC, the Parent Company) must generally file with the NDOI an application for change of control containing certain information required by statute and published regulations and provide a copy to the Company. In Nebraska, control is generally


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presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, acquires 10% or more of an insurance company or of any other person or entity controlling the insurance company. The 10% presumption is not conclusive and control may be found to exist at less than 10%. Similar laws apply in New York, the domiciliary jurisdiction of Aflac's New York insurance subsidiary.

State insurance departments conduct periodic examinations of the books and records, financial reporting, policy filings and market conduct of insurance companies domiciled in their states, generally once every three to five years. Examinations are generally carried out in cooperation with the insurance departments of other states under guidelines promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In 2024, the NDOI and the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) will commence full-scope, risk-focused financial examinations on their respective state domiciled insurance entities. The examinations will cover the reporting period January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2023. In 2023, the NYSDFS commenced a routine market conduct examination on Aflac New York covering the five-year period ended on December 31, 2022 that is currently ongoing.

NAIC Risk-Based Capital The NAIC continually reviews regulatory matters, such as risk-based capital (RBC) modernization, group capital calculations and liquidity risk assessment. The NAIC uses an RBC formula relating to insurance risk, business risk, asset risk and interest rate risk to facilitate identification by insurance regulators of inadequately capitalized insurance companies based upon the types and mix of risk inherent in the insurer's operations. The formulas for determining the amount of RBC specify various weighting factors that are applied to financial balances or various levels of activity based on the perceived degree of risk. Regulatory compliance is determined by a ratio of a company's regulatory total adjusted capital to its authorized control level RBC as defined by the NAIC. Companies below specific trigger points or ratios are classified within certain levels, each of which requires specified corrective action. The levels are company action, regulatory action, authorized control, and mandatory control. See Note 13 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Liquidity and Capital Resources section of Item 7. MD&A for additional information on RBC.

Guaranty Association and Similar Arrangements Under state insurance guaranty association laws and similar laws in international jurisdictions, the Company is subject to assessments, based on the share of business the Company writes in the relevant jurisdiction, for certain obligations of insolvent insurance companies to policyholders and claimants. In the U.S., some states permit member insurers to recover assessments paid through full or partial premium tax offsets. The Company's policy is to accrue assessments when the entity for which the insolvency relates has met its state of domicile's statutory definition of insolvency, the amount of the loss is reasonably estimable and the related premium upon which the assessment is based is written. In most states, the definition is met with a declaration of financial insolvency by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Federal Regulation Federal legislation and administrative policies in several areas, including health care reform legislation, financial services reform legislation, securities regulation, pension regulation, privacy, tort reform legislation and taxation, can significantly and adversely affect insurance companies. Certain federal regulations applicable to Aflac U.S. are outlined below.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Heath Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the ACA), federal health care reform legislation, gave the U.S. federal government direct regulatory authority over the business of health insurance. The ACA, as enacted, does not require material changes in the design of the Company's insurance products. However, indirect consequences of, or changes to, the legislation and regulations could present challenges that could potentially have an impact on the Company's sales model, financial condition and results of operations. Certain provisions of the ACA have been and may continue to be subject to challenge through litigation, the ultimate effects of which on the ACA are uncertain. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for the risk factor entitled, "Extensive regulation and changes in legislation can impact profitability and growth" for additional information.

Dodd-Frank Act

Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) and regulations issued thereunder, in particular rules to require central clearing for certain types of derivatives, may have an impact on the Company's derivative activity, including activity on behalf of Aflac Japan.


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The Dodd-Frank Act also established a Federal Insurance Office (FIO) under the U.S. Department of the Treasury to monitor all aspects of the insurance industry and of lines of business other than certain health insurance, certain long-term care insurance and crop insurance.

Privacy and Cybersecurity

In the absence of a comprehensive federal privacy law, states are making a push towards privacy legislation. Personally identifiable information is used in support of many of the Company's business processes. For many years, the standard for protection and treatment of that data was benchmarked by privacy and security provisions of the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (GLBA) and in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). As consumers have grown more concerned about the protection of their data, as well as how their data is used by an organization, many jurisdictions within and outside of the U.S. have created legislation and issued regulations that apply or may in the future apply to aspects of Aflac U.S. operations and allow consumers the right to access, correct, delete and the right to opt out of sales or use of their data. Examples of these types of legislation include the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the UK Data Protection Act of 2018 (UK DPA) and most recently, effective in 2023, the Connecticut Data Privacy Act (CDPA), the Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA) and the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA).

Cybersecurity continues to be an area of evolving focus for legislation and regulatory activity. In addition to the information required by Item 1C. Cybersecurity of this report, industry regulators as well as the federal government have updated existing standards and increased their focus on enforcement. For example, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued guidelines on managing risks associated with the use of artificial intelligence, the NAIC adopted a Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published additional security guidelines related to ransomware.

The Company has a cross-functional team that tracks and monitors new and emerging legislation and regulations to ensure privacy and cybersecurity programs are evaluated and comply with regulatory requirements. This includes a robust third-party risk management and assessment program. Over the last several years, processes have developed to support the data subject request process required by CCPA, privacy impact assessments have been implemented as required by CPRA and a dedicated privacy and security center has been added to the Company website to provide consumers with information about the use of and protection of their data.

Tri-Agency Proposed Rule

In July 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a proposed joint rule that, as written, would impose significant limitations on the structure of benefits for hospital indemnity and other fixed indemnity plans, including those sold by Aflac U.S. The current benefit structure for these products allows the Company to vary the amount of benefits by the services or items received, severity of illness or injury, or any other characteristics particular to a course of treatment. If finalized in its current form, the proposed rule would eliminate Aflac U.S.’s ability to vary the amount of benefits provided by these products. The timing and substance of the final regulations, if any, is not known, and any such final rule could be the subject of litigation.

For further information concerning Aflac U.S. operations, see the Aflac U.S. Segment subsection of Item 7. MD&A and Notes 2 and 13 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

CORPORATE AND OTHER

The Company's other operations include the Parent Company, Aflac Global Ventures LLC and its subsidiaries, asset management subsidiaries, results of reinsurance activities including Aflac Re Bermuda Ltd. (Aflac Re), and a printing subsidiary.
Investments of Aflac U.S., as well as certain sub-advised assets of Aflac Japan, are managed by the Company’s U.S. asset management subsidiary, Aflac Asset Management LLC (AAM), and investments of Aflac Japan are managed pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between Aflac Japan and the Company's asset management subsidiary in Japan, Aflac Asset Management Japan Ltd. (AAMJ). AAMJ is licensed as a discretionary asset manager under the Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and is subject to rules of the Japan Investment Advisors Association, a self-


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regulatory organization with mandatory membership for Japan investment managers. AAM is registered with the SEC as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. AAM and AAMJ are reported in Corporate and other; however, the assets that they manage are reported in the respective Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. segments.
In 2022, the Company established Aflac Re, a Bermuda domiciled insurer that reinsures certain policies issued by ALIJ. Aflac Re is subject to regulation in Bermuda, where the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has broad administrative powers relating to granting and revoking licenses to transact reinsurance business, approval of specific reinsurance transactions, capital requirements and solvency standards, limitations on dividends to shareholders, the nature of and limitations on investments, and the filing of financial statements in accordance with prescribed or permitted accounting practices.

In 2020, the Company purchased newly issued common stock of Trupanion, Inc., a provider of medical insurance for pets in the United States and Canada, resulting in the Company owning approximately 9% of the outstanding common stock of Trupanion, Inc. The shares were registered for resale and, pursuant to the Shareholder Agreement, subject to certain exceptions, the Company agreed that it would not transfer its shares of Trupanion, Inc. common stock during a restricted period that ended on November 13, 2023. The Company also entered into an alliance agreement with Trupanion, Inc. to sell pet insurance in worksites in the U.S., subject to certain exceptions. In December 2023, the Company and Trupanion announced their decision not to pursue joint development of pet insurance in Japan.

For additional information on the Company's other operations, see the Corporate and other subsection of Item 7. MD&A and Note 8 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

HUMAN CAPITAL

The Company’s overarching human capital philosophy is, “If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of the business.” The Company's compensation and benefit expense totaled approximately $1.9 billion in both 2023 and 2022. The Company believes its employee relations are generally satisfactory.

The following table details the number of full-time employees as of December 31.
2023
Aflac Japan6,859 
Aflac U.S.4,968 
Corporate and other958 
Total12,785 

Talent

The Company uses internal and external resources to attract, retain and develop talent across a variety of backgrounds and demographics.

Aflac Japan seeks diverse talent through annual recruitment of new university graduates as well as mid-career recruitment of those with specialty skills or expertise. For its employees, Aflac Japan implements standard and unified training and development programs focusing on a range of business skills. For example, Aflac Japan’s Leadership Program allows select managers to participate in a comprehensive training program to learn about innovation and the global business environment. Aflac Japan implemented a human capital management system, beginning in January 2021 with managers and more senior leadership positions and in January 2022 with all other employees. Under the system, employees have access to descriptions and necessary skills for all job positions across the Company and are able to more proactively design their careers.

Aflac U.S. recruiting efforts include partnerships with colleges and universities, including historically black colleges and universities, and civic organizations to attract diverse talent. Aflac U.S. also offers a variety of internships, co-operative opportunities and transitional programs to allow emerging talent to develop. Educational opportunities are available for self-development and growth to help employees further enhance their technical and professional skills.

Compensation

The Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. Human Resources divisions operate as centralized internal compensation functions to provide oversight and input to the respective management teams with the objective of providing compensation that is


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consistent with job scope, duties and responsibilities. The compensation function evaluates new-hire job offers, promotions and compensation adjustments with the goal of consistent and equitable compensation. Defined salary structures are reviewed regularly and updated utilizing market data. Job levels and associated compensation are determined based on annually updated market data, job scope, duties and responsibilities. Employee performance reviews are conducted annually and are factored into employee bonuses and salaries.

Health and Wellness

In 2023, Aflac Japan was certified, for the sixth consecutive year, as one of the top 500 Leading Companies in Health and Productivity Management under the Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. This certification is awarded for best practices in employee health management, strategically focused work style and development of a socially appreciative work environment. Aflac Japan's current certification was in recognition of regular monitoring of key health indicators by members of Aflac Japan's management, strategic implementation of health management initiatives and disclosure of information, and efforts to promote and maintain employee health.

Aflac U.S. Health and Wellness, a training and service program works to enhance organizational health, encourage healthy lifestyles among all U.S. employees, provide diverse wellness programs to meet a wide range of personal health needs, recognize employees for participating in healthier lifestyles activities, and support a positive corporate culture that is focused on celebrating and improving the quality of life for all U.S. employees.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Company’s corporate culture reflects its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the Company. For example:

As of December 31, 2023, women account for 54% of Aflac Japan employees and 33% of those in leadership roles. Women also held 20% of senior management roles. Aflac Japan's goal is to further increase the percentage of women in line manager positions by 2025.

As of December 31, 2023, 49% of Aflac U.S. and the Parent Company employees located in the U.S. were people of color and 66% were women. Women also occupied 51% of leadership roles located in the U.S. and 37% of senior management roles. In 2023, 57% of new hires located in the U.S. were people of color and 68% were women.

Established in 2009, Aflac Heartful Services Co., Ltd. (Aflac Heartful Services), a subsidiary of Aflac Japan, promotes the hiring of employees with disabilities. Aflac Heartful Services has established a barrier-free work environment and provides, among other things, specialized training, specially-trained supervisors and development opportunities to support those with disabilities. Of Aflac Heartful Services’ 152 employees as of December 31, 2023, 120 have a disability. Aflac Heartful Services supports these employees with the assistance of advisors for long-term career support.

Both Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. have created diversity councils that include employees from various levels that meet regularly to discuss activities and initiatives. The councils are designed to create avenues in which employees can communicate and appreciate one another’s cultural differences.

Women and/or people of color comprise approximately 64% of the Parent Company’s board of directors.

Employee Engagement and Culture

The Company strives to have an engaged employee culture by developing programs including career development support and programs emphasizing work life balance. Each year, Aflac Japan conducts a human capital engagement survey in which all employees answer questions about the company and their organization to measure engagement across the company and detect organizational issues. The results of the survey are reported to Aflac Japan's Human Capital Management Committee to identify issues, formulate enhancement/improvement measures and implement them. Aflac U.S. provides an employee engagement survey every other year to employees to gather their views on company culture and satisfaction, and works with its leadership to monitor continuous improvements and enhance the employee experience.



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Information about the Company's Executive Officers
NAME
PRINCIPAL OCCUPATION(1)
AGE
Daniel P. AmosChairman, Aflac Incorporated and Aflac, since 2001; Chief Executive Officer, Aflac Incorporated and Aflac, since 1990; President, Aflac Incorporated, since 2024 and from 2018 until 2020 72 
Steven K. BeaverExecutive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Aflac Japan, since 2024; First Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Aflac Japan, from 2023 until 2024; Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Aflac U.S., from 2019 until 2023; Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, Aflac Incorporated, from 2018 until 201959 
Robin L. Blackmon
Chief Accounting Officer, Aflac Incorporated, since 2024; Senior Vice President, Financial Services, Aflac Incorporated, since 2024; Vice President, Deputy Chief Accounting Officer, Aflac Incorporated, from 2023 until 2024; Vice President, Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis, Aflac Incorporated, from 2019 until 2023; Director, Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis, Aflac Incorporated, in 2019; Director, Corporate HR and Executive Compensation, Aflac Incorporated, from 2018 until 2019
60 
Max K. Brodén
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Aflac Incorporated, since 2020; Executive Vice President, Aflac, since 2020; Treasurer, Aflac, since 2017; Treasurer, Aflac Incorporated from 2017 until 2021; Senior Vice President, Aflac Incorporated and Aflac, from 2017 until 2020
45 
Bradley E. DyslinExecutive Vice President, Global Chief Investment Officer, Aflac, since 2023; President, Aflac Asset Management LLC, since 2023; Deputy Global Chief Investment Officer, Aflac, from 2021 until 2023; Senior Managing Director, Global Head of Credit and Strategic Investment Opportunities, Aflac, from 2017 until 202158 
Masatoshi Koide
President and Representative Director, Aflac Japan, since 2018
63 
Charles D. Lake II
President, Aflac International, since 2014; Chairman and Representative Director, Aflac Japan, since 2018
62 
Virgil R. Miller
President, Aflac U.S., since 2023; Deputy President, Aflac U.S., from 2022 until 2023; Executive Vice President, President of Group and Individual Benefits Division, Aflac U.S., from 2021 until 2022; Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Aflac U.S., from 2018 until 2021
55 
Albert A. RiggieriSenior Vice President, Global Chief Risk Officer, Aflac Incorporated, since 2018; Chief Actuary, Aflac Incorporated, from 2018 until 202368 
Frederic J. SimardSenior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Aflac U.S., since 2023; Consultant, Gerson Lehrman Group, a financial services company, in 2023; Chief Financial Officer, North American Life and Health Division, General Electric Company, an industrial and financial services company, in 2022; Chief Financial Officer and Chief Actuary, Employee Benefits, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a life insurance company, from 2018 until 202255 
Audrey B. TillmanExecutive Vice President, General Counsel, Aflac Incorporated and Aflac, since 201459 
(1) Unless specifically noted, the respective executive officer has held the occupation(s) set forth in the table for at least the last five years. Each executive officer is appointed annually by the board of directors and serves until his or her successor is chosen and qualified, or until his or her death, resignation or removal.


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Item 1A. Risk Factors
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

The Company faces a wide range of risks, and its continued success depends on its ability to identify, prioritize, and appropriately manage enterprise risk exposures. Readers should carefully consider each of the following risks and all of the other information set forth in this Form 10-K. These risks and other factors may affect forward-looking statements, including those in this document or made by the Company elsewhere, such as in earnings release webcasts, investor conference presentations or press releases. The risks and uncertainties described herein may not be the only ones facing the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to the Company or that the Company currently believes to be immaterial may also adversely affect its business. If any of the following risks and uncertainties develops into actual events, there could be a material impact on the Company.

Investment and Markets Risk Factors

Difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy could have a material adverse effect on the Company's investments, capital position, revenue, profitability, and liquidity and harm the Company's business.

The Company's results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the global capital markets and the global economy generally, including in its two primary operating markets of the U.S. and Japan. High rates of inflation globally from 2022 were reduced due to monetary tightening in many countries and normalization of certain trends after COVID-19, including supply chain recovery and phasing out of extraordinary fiscal support. Although economies have proved resilient in the face of interest rate increases, tighter financial conditions for a prolonged period may result in continued weakening of economic conditions. Japan remains an exception to the major central bank tightening trend. Armed conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as political polarization in the U.S., exacerbate uncertainty. Geopolitical events have contributed to volatility in energy and other commodity prices. The failure of several large U.S. banks and UBS's acquisition of Credit Suisse in early 2023 did not trigger a wider financial crisis at the time, but sustained high interest rates and economic decline could continue pressuring the financial health of other financial institutions. Higher interest rates and softer economic conditions could impact the creditworthiness and value of the Company's existing investment portfolio, influence opportunities for new investments and have a negative impact on the Company's results of operations and financial positions.

The Company's investments are vulnerable to adverse market developments such as asset price volatility, lack of market liquidity, credit rating downgrades, payment defaults, asset restructurings, increased losses, and other risks. The Company has evaluated its holdings and identified investments in areas such as commercial real estate and highly leveraged companies as the most exposed to rising interest rates and an economic downturn. These investments are experiencing and may continue to experience higher credit losses, credit rating downgrades and/or defaults and a deterioration in the value of collateral in the case of secured investments. The Company has examined in each case whether a reduction in size of the holding is appropriate. The Company has identified assets impacted or expected to be impacted by rising interest rates and economic contraction, other investments not identified to date may also be impacted. The availability of new investments in certain private market asset classes has been and may continue to be limited. While interest rates have increased in the U.S. and other regions, interest rates in Japan remain low, and the difference between U.S. and Japan rates has increased. The Company may need to adjust its investment strategy and/or be forced to liquidate investments to pay claims. In addition, the increase in the difference between interest rates in the U.S. and Japan contributed to a weakening of the yen over 2023, which had the effect of suppressing the Company's current period results in relation to the comparable prior period. The increase in the difference between U.S. dollar and yen interest rates also contributes to increasing costs of hedging currency risk of U.S. dollar-denominated investments held by Aflac Japan. The Company is not able to predict the ultimate impact of inflation, interest rate increases, interest rate differences and other changing market conditions on the Company’s investments and hedging programs. See the risk factor below entitled, “The Company is exposed to significant interest rate risk, which may adversely affect its results of operations, financial condition and liquidity” for additional information. See the Investments and Results of Operations by Segment sections of Item 7. MD&A, for additional information.

As the Company holds a significant amount of fixed maturity securities issued by borrowers located in many different parts of the world, its financial results are directly influenced by global financial markets. Recent weakness in global capital markets could adversely affect the Company's financial condition, including its capital position and overall profitability. Market volatility and recessionary pressures could result in significant realized or unrealized losses due to severe price declines driven by increases in interest rates or credit spreads, defaults in payment of principal or interest, or credit rating downgrades.

Japan is the largest market for the Company's insurance products, and the Company owns substantial holdings in Japan Government Bonds (JGBs). Government actions to stimulate the economy affect the value of the Company's existing


13

Item 1A. Risk Factors
holdings, its reinvestment rate on new investments in JGBs or other yen-denominated assets, and consumer behavior relative to the Company's suite of insurance products. The additional government debt from fiscal stimulus actions could adversely impact the Japan sovereign credit profile, which could in turn lead to volatility in Japanese capital and currency markets.

Should investors become concerned with any of the Company's investment holdings, including the concentration in JGBs, its access to market sources of funding could be negatively impacted. It is possible that lenders or debt investors may also become concerned if the Company incurs large investment losses or if the level of the Company's business activity decreases due to a market downturn or there are further adverse economic trends in the U.S. or Japan, specifically, or generally in developed markets.

The Company needs liquidity to pay its operating expenses, dividends on its common stock, interest on its debt, and liabilities. See the Liquidity and Capital Resources section of Item 7. MD&A, for additional information. In the event the Company's current resources do not meet its needs, the Company may need to seek additional financing. The Company's access to additional financing will depend on a variety of factors such as market conditions, the general availability of credit within the financial services industry and its credit rating. See the risk factor below entitled, “Any decrease in the Company's financial strength or debt ratings may have an adverse effect on its competitive position and access to liquidity and capital” for additional information.

Broad economic factors such as consumer spending, business investment, government spending, the volatility and strength of the capital markets and inflation, as well as ongoing central bank responses to these factors, all affect the business and economic environment and, indirectly, the amount and profitability of the Company's 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 financial and insurance products could be adversely affected. This adverse effect could be particularly significant for companies such as Aflac that distribute supplemental, discretionary insurance products primarily through the worksite in the event that economic conditions result in a decrease in the number of new hires and total employees. Adverse changes in the economy could potentially lead the Company's customers to be less inclined to purchase supplemental insurance coverage or to decide to cancel or modify existing insurance coverage. Further, Aflac U.S. may experience higher rates of policy lapses during periods of increased job turnover and workforce mobility within the U.S. economy. The above factors could adversely affect the Company's net earned premiums, results of operations and financial condition. The Company is unable to predict the course of the global financial markets or the recurrence, duration or severity of disruptions in such markets.

Defaults, downgrades, widening credit spreads or other events impairing the value of the fixed maturity securities and loan receivables in the Company's investment portfolio may reduce the Company's earnings and capital position.

The Company is subject to the risk that the issuers and/or guarantors of fixed maturity securities and loan receivables the Company owns may default on principal or interest. A significant portion of the Company's portfolio represents an unsecured obligation of the issuer, including some that may be subordinated to other debt in the issuer’s capital structure. In these cases, many factors can influence the overall creditworthiness of the issuer and ultimately its ability to service and repay the Company's holdings. This can include changes in the global economy, the issuer's assets, strategy, or management, shifts in the dynamics of the industries in which the issuer competes, the issuer's access to additional funding, and the overall health of the credit markets. Factors unique to the Company's securities including contractual protections such as financial covenants or relative position in the issuer's capital structure also influence the value of the Company's holdings. In addition, for investments representing secured obligations of an issuer, such as mortgage loan receivables, the underlying value of the collateral may not be sufficient to fully recover the amount of principal and interest owed to the Company if a default occurs.

Most of the Company's investments carry a rating by one or more of the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs or rating agencies). Any change in the rating agencies' approach to evaluating credit and assigning an opinion could negatively impact the fair value of the Company's portfolio. Any expected or sustained credit deterioration of the Company's investments will negatively impact the Company's net income and capital position through credit impairment and other credit related losses. Credit related losses that are not temporary in nature would also affect the Company's solvency ratios in the U.S., Japan and Bermuda. Aflac Japan has certain regulatory accounting requirements for realizing impairments that could be triggered by credit-related losses, which may be different from U.S. GAAP and statutory requirements. These impairment losses could negatively impact Aflac Japan's earnings, and the corresponding dividends and capital deployment. The Company is also subject to the risk that any collateral providing credit enhancement to the Company's investments could deteriorate.



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Item 1A. Risk Factors
The Company is also exposed to the general movement in credit market spreads. A widening of credit spreads could reduce the value of the Company's existing portfolio, create unrealized losses on its investment portfolio, and reduce the Company's adjusted capital position and/or the dividend capacity of the Company's insurance subsidiaries. A tightening of credit spreads could reduce the net investment income available to the Company on new credit investments. Increased market volatility also makes it difficult to value certain of the Company's investment holdings. For additional information, see the Critical Accounting Estimates section of Item 7. MD&A, and the Credit Risk subsection of Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.

The Company is exposed to significant interest rate risk, which may adversely affect its results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

The Company has substantial investment portfolios that support its policy liabilities. Interest rate risk is an inherent portfolio, business and capital risk for the Company, and significant changes in interest rates could have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated results of operations, financial condition or cash flows through realized losses, impairments, changes in unrealized positions, and liquidity. Changes in interest rates could also result in the Company having to recognize gains or losses because the Company disposes of some or all of its investments prior to their maturity.

The Company's exposure to interest rate risk relates primarily to the ability to invest future cash flows to support the interest rate assumption made at the time of the establishment of the Company's product pricing and reserving. Low levels of interest rates on investments experienced in Japan and the U.S. over the last decade have also reduced the level of investment income earned by the Company. While interest rates have increased in the U.S. and other regions, interest rates in Japan remain lower than in the U.S., and the Company's overall level of investment income will continue to be negatively impacted from Japan’s low interest rates and from investments made prior to the start of recent rate increases. While the Company generally seeks to maintain a diversified portfolio of fixed-income investments that reflects the cash flow and duration characteristics of the liabilities it supports, the Company may not be able to fully mitigate the interest rate risk of its assets relative to its liabilities. Prolonged periods of low interest rates also heighten the risk associated with future increases in interest rates because an increasing proportion of the Company's investment portfolio include investments that bear lower rates of return than the embedded book yield of the investment portfolio.

A sustained decline in interest rates could hinder the Company's ability to earn the returns assumed in the pricing and the reserving for its insurance products at the time of sale and issue and may also influence the Company's ability to develop and price attractive new products and could impact its overall sales levels. The Company's first sector products are more interest rate sensitive than third sector products. As discussed in Item 1. Business, beginning in November 2022, Aflac Japan refreshed its first sector savings-type products WAYS and Child Endowment and began to actively promote sales of those products, which had been curtailed since 2013 due to persistent low interest rates in Japan. The continuing negative interest rate imposed by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) on excess bank reserves could continue to have a negative impact on the distribution and pricing of these products. Additionally, a decrease in interest rates increases the fair value of the Company’s fixed maturity investments, which could result in increases to the Company’s overall equity. However, the decrease in interest rates increases the liability for future policy benefits (LFPB), which could result in reductions to the Company’s overall equity.

Conversely and concurrently, a rise in interest rates would improve the Company's ability to earn higher rates of return on future investments, as well as floating rate investments held in its investment portfolio. A rise in interest rates also decreases the LFPB, which could result in increases to the Company's overall equity. However, rising interest rates negatively impact the fair values of the Company's fixed maturity investments which could result in reductions to the Company's overall equity. Portfolio management considerations, the availability of investments, as well as declines in fair value may constrain the ability of the Company to transition its investments to higher rate securities. Significant increases in interest rates could cause declines in the values of the Company's investment portfolio which have a secondary impact on the Company's overall evaluation of its deferred tax asset position. An increase in the differential of short-term U.S. and Japan interest rates would also increase the cost of hedging a portion of the U.S. dollar-denominated assets in the Aflac Japan segment into yen, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations or financial condition. Further, some of the insurance products that Aflac sells in the U.S. and Japan provide cash surrender values, and a rise in interest rates could trigger significant policy surrenders, which might require the Company to sell investment assets and recognize unrealized losses. Rising interest rates also negatively impact capital ratios in certain jurisdictions because unrealized losses on the available-for-sale investment portfolio fac