MetLife, Inc. announced today that its subsidiary, Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company, has entered into an agreement with Weyerhaeuser Company (Weyerhaeuser) to provide annuity benefits to nearly 5,200 retirees and beneficiaries in Weyerhaeuser’s defined benefit (DB) pension plan, representing pension obligations of approximately $765 million.
“We are pleased to have been selected to provide guaranteed lifetime income to these Weyerhaeuser retirees and beneficiaries,” says Graham Cox, executive vice president and head of Retirement & Income Solutions at MetLife. “In 2021, MetLife is celebrating its 100th year offering group annuity contracts; our expertise in managing transferred pension liabilities allows our clients to reduce the risk associated with managing their pension plan and know their participants’ benefits are protected.”
Weyerhaeuser’s group annuity contract purchase from Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company closed in December 2020. The transaction will not change the amount of the monthly pension benefit received by Weyerhaeuser’s retirees and beneficiaries. No action is needed by retirees or beneficiaries. Weyerhaeuser and MetLife will provide details to those Weyerhaeuser retired participants and beneficiaries whose ongoing payments will be made by Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company.
“This pension risk transfer agreement allows Weyerhaeuser to focus on its core mission and lessen our plan’s exposure to market volatility, while knowing that MetLife’s expertise in guaranteed lifetime income ensures a seamless transition for transferred retirees and beneficiaries,” said Russell Hagen, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Weyerhaeuser.
Plan sponsors are looking to pursue pension risk transfer transactions sooner rather than later. MetLife’s 2020 Pension Risk Transfer Poll found that among plan sponsors interested in a buyout, the majority (81%) said they would transact within five years, including 24% who said they would secure a buyout within two years.
MetLife, through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company, is a market leader in the pension risk transfer industry, managing benefit payments of approximately $3 billion a year for about 720,000 annuitants. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company issued its first group annuity contract in 1921 to fund a defined benefit plan. MetLife’s Retirement & Income Solutions Customer Solutions Center team has been recognized by J.D. Power for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" for the Live Phone Channel. MetLife's Retirement & Income Solutions (RIS) business includes U.S. Pensions, Institutional Income Annuities, and Structured Settlements in addition to other institutional products.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
About Weyerhaeuser Company
Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. The company owns or controls approximately 11 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. and manages additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. Weyerhaeuser manages these timberlands on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards, and the company is also one of the largest manufacturers of wood products in North America. Weyerhaeuser is a real estate investment trust and in 2019 generated $6.6 billion in net sales and employed approximately 9,400 people who serve customers worldwide. The company is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. Its common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WY. Learn more at www.weyerhaeuser.com.
The forward-looking statements in this news release, such as those using words that include, without limitation, “will” and other statements or phrases that directly or indirectly imply the occurrence of future or ongoing events, are forward- looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These forward-looking statements are based on current assumptions and expectations and are not guarantees that the events described or suggested in the statements will occur within the time frame indicated, or at all. The accuracy of these assumptions and expectations is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events to differ materially from those described or suggested in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, those described in the “Risk Factors” MetLife, Inc. and Weyerhaeuser each describes in their respective U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Future results could differ, and neither MetLife nor Weyerhaeuser undertakes any obligation to correct or update any of these forward-looking statements.