Leadership Message

Dear Fellow Policyowners and Customers,

In the nearly 173 years that have passed since MassMutual was founded, there have been extraordinary moments when we’ve asked: How do we build a secure tomorrow in a world that is being profoundly reshaped today?

Roger Crandall

It happened in the mid-19th century, when the transcontinental railroad connected Americans from coast to coast for the very first time. It happened in the era of mass industrialization, when we moved from creating goods largely by hand to using machines as we transformed our economy. And it happened in the aftermath of the Great Depression and two World Wars, when global commerce was realigned around American leadership.

While our history is marked by constant change, we have rarely lived through as much change as we are living through today. In the aftermath of a pandemic that turned our world upside down, our economy is perpetually volatile, our commerce is more digital, our conflicts are increasingly global, and our path ahead is highly uncertain.

Yet, as much as our world evolves, MassMutual’s foundation for building a secure tomorrow remains the same, as we recognize that we can achieve so much more together than we ever could alone. That is the basis of mutuality. We operate for the benefit of our members and participating policyowners, which means our success is inextricably tied to yours. By putting you at the center of everything we do, we help you build a more confident, connected, and secure tomorrow, in the hopes that you may live more fully today.

After all, we measure our success on what matters most: helping the people who depend on us navigate life’s biggest challenges while building stronger ties with our neighbors and communities. MassMutual’s performance in 2023 was a testament to the strength of this enduring commitment, and I couldn’t be more excited to build on it.

Strong Results, Historic Milestone in an Uncertain Economy

Fears of a recession cast a long shadow over our economic landscape in 2023, with varying views on where we would land at the year’s end. While no broad downturn materialized as many expected, the economy’s remarkable resilience was tested by new headwinds amid ongoing uncertainty.

Welcome developments, such as easing inflation, rebounding equity markets, and historically low unemployment were tempered by sharply rising interest rates, which helped to spur the first bank runs of the digital age. Geopolitics further clouded the picture, from the ongoing war in Ukraine to the horrible conflict in the Middle East that has taken yet another devastating human toll. Artificial intelligence — which drove much of the market rally — brought unlimited potential to boost innovation and productivity, while simultaneously increasing cyber risks and the threat of misinformation. All in all, there is little consensus on where our economy — and our world, for that matter — is headed.

Despite 2023’s many lingering questions, MassMutual delivered excellent results, providing a measure of security and stability. The company reported sales from its domestic insurance operations of $39 billion, reflecting strong demand for its broad portfolio of protection and accumulation solutions. Along with maintaining its position as an industry leader in whole life insurance, the company once again posted record sales of annuities, enhancing its status as one of the largest providers of lifetime income solutions in the U.S. In addition, the company saw increased demand for its wealth management solutions, with client assets growing to $245 billion. These results, along with sound operating fundamentals and improved economic and market conditions, helped grow statutory operating earnings to $2.8 billion.

The company also maintained its financial strength and flexibility, as total adjusted capital grew to a record $34.5 billion, and we maintained ratings that are among the highest of any company in any industry.See footnote 1 This enabled us to approve an estimated dividend payout of nearly $2.2 billion to our eligible participating policyowners for 2024, a new record that marks the 18th year in a row that MassMutual has paid an industry-leading dividend interest rate.See footnote 2 Most importantly, we delivered on our commitments when people needed us most, paying more than $9 billion in insurance and annuity benefits,See footnote 3 an all-time high.

The past year also proved the old saying that while history doesn’t repeat itself, sometimes, it does in fact rhyme: In 1923, MassMutual achieved a then-high-water mark of $1 billion of protection in force, representing the total amount of life insurance coverage issued to our policyowners to help protect their loved ones. In 2023, we passed $1 trillion for the first time in our history. During the century in between, we have helped generations of Americans pursue their dreams with confidence, knowing that they have a strong and secure financial foundation in place.

Helping More People Secure a Better Tomorrow

To help people build that foundation, we have long sought to connect them with the solutions they need. And while we’ve evolved our approach for doing so over time, the bedrock of our business has remained the same: MassMutual’s network of financial professionals, who have forged lifelong connections with our customers, rooted in trust, understanding, and a holistic, balanced approach to meeting their needs.

That’s why we continue to enhance our solutions that help you both protect assets and build wealth — from leaving a legacy for your loved ones, to replacing part of your income if you are too sick or hurt to work, to transferring the wealth you’ve worked hard to accumulate to the next generation of your family. What’s more, we continue to supplement the advice and products our financial professionals deliver with expanded digital capabilities, making it easier for you to work together to gain a complete, real-time view of your finances so you can make more insightful decisions for your future.

Of course, in a world that prizes personalization and convenience, we must reach more Americans where they are, on their own terms. That’s why people can also access our products through other means, including hundreds of other financial institutions and independent advisors, as well as through their employer. This broadened approach has enabled MassMutual to better meet the needs of a growing number of people seeking protection, accumulation, and retirement income solutions — and ultimately, help us move toward closing the financial preparedness gap that exists in our country.

Yet regardless of how you choose to work with MassMutual, we want to deliver the kind of experiences you’ve come to expect in today’s digital world. That’s why we expanded our suite of self-service capabilities available with a swipe or a tap — from routine tasks such as payments and policy updates, to taking the first steps toward creating a plan that builds and protects your wealth for each stage of life. And last year, we began to introduce innovative ways to improve your well-being, using data and analytics to provide insights for you to make proactive, informed decisions that can lead to a longer, healthier, and happier life.

Ultimately, we have the freedom and flexibility to invest in broadening our reach, providing better solutions, and adopting new technology, thanks in part to a key competitive differentiator: our portfolio of strategic businesses and investments. From Barings, our global institutional asset manager, to our ownership stakes in Rothesay, the largest specialist pensions insurer in the U.K., and Invesco, one of the largest asset managers in the world, our broad, diverse portfolio has consistently delivered additional earnings to benefit our policyowners year after year, regardless of economic conditions.

As a mutual company, success for us is not measured by a share price, quarterly growth, or praise from analysts, but on how much progress we make in helping every one of our policyowners build a better future. For us, success is viewed not just in years, but in decades; not just in dollars managed, but in dreams enabled for you and your family.

Caring for Communities Near and Far

Yet, as we look ahead, we know that our responsibility doesn’t end with our policyowners and other customers. It extends to all our stakeholders, beginning with our passionate, dedicated, and talented employees. After all, given their important role in helping you build a secure tomorrow, they, too, must feel supported so they can live for today and prepare for the future with the same confidence.

That’s why we continue to foster a collaborative, flexible, and inclusive work environment that enables our people to do their best work, making ongoing investments in benefits and leave programs that support their physical, emotional, and financial well-being, rewards tied to what they achieved and how they achieved it, and education programs to foster a greater sense of inclusion and belonging. All of this is geared toward ensuring our employees can prosper — so they can help you do the same.

At the same time, we also know that finding new ways to make a positive impact in our communities means forging new collaborations. In 2023, we began a 10-year partnership with another iconic Massachusetts institution, the Boston Red Sox. Along with enhancing our brand awareness, this collaboration allowed us to nurture our shared love of community by providing an immersive learning experience for students through the lens of one of America’s most storied ballparks. And in our home city of Springfield, our efforts help our home region thrive and endure, from supporting initiatives to bridge the digital divide and build out broadband access, to introducing new ways for residents to provide personalized, immediate aid for their neighbors’ daily needs.

If MassMutual’s long history has taught us something, it is that strong communities build secure tomorrows for the people and businesses that live and operate there. After all, we can realize our potential only if our communities have the full ability to realize theirs.

Looking Ahead to Our Shared Future

As I reflect on the past year, I can’t help but think about security as a virtuous cycle. When people know their future is secure, they devote their time and energy to other pursuits. They look after their family, friends, and loved ones. They strive for personal and professional enrichment. And they immerse themselves in their communities, giving back and lifting others along the way.

That’s why, in an era in which so much feels like it’s coming apart, MassMutual is working to bring neighbors together in the best way we know how: by mutually pledging to have each others’ backs. Since our founding in 1851, we’ve never met a challenge we couldn’t overcome by staying true to our purpose of helping people secure their future and protect the ones they love. We look forward to delivering on that purpose while bringing you the solutions you need, with the experiences you expect, backed by the strength you can count on.

Thank you for being part of our community and for your enduring confidence and trust in MassMutual. We look forward to working with you to build a more secure tomorrow — together.

Roger Crandall signature

Roger Crandall
Chairman, President & CEO

  1. Financial strength ratings for MassMutual and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company, are as follows: A.M. Best Company, A++ (Superior); Fitch Ratings, AA+ (Very Strong); Moody’s Investors Service, Aa3 (High Quality); and S&P Global Ratings, AA+ (Very Strong). Ratings are current as of February 1, 2024, and are subject to change.
  2. The dividend and dividend interest rate are determined annually, subject to change, and are not guaranteed.
  3. These are consolidated statutory results of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and its U.S.-domiciled life insurance subsidiaries: C.M. Life Insurance Company, MML Bay State Life Insurance Company, as well as MassMutual Ascend (included for 2021-2023 only), as of December 31, 2023.