by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
The third party financial ratings of Pacific Life Insurance Company and Pacific Life & Annuity Company were affirmed by Moody's and Standard & Poor's.
Pacific Life and Annuity Company is a structured settlement annuity issuer and one of the handful of such companies that will write business in the state of New York.
Moody's affirmed an A1 rating (5th highest out of 21 rating categories) and also revised its outlook on the ratings from negative to stable. Standard & Poor's affirmed a AA- rating (4th highest out of 21 rating categories) and maintained its negative outlook.
Fitch Ratings lowered Pacific's rating to A+ (5th highest out of 21 rating categories) and also revised its ratings outlook on both companies from negative to stable. As rating agencies reevaluate their rating methodology, downgrades have been more prevalent in the life insurance industry. For example, Fitch Ratings issued 42 downgrades last year for life insurance companies.
Pacific Life was one of the major life insurance companies whose ratings initially suffered due to exposure to guarantees on its variable annuity business when the market tanked in 2008. It is comforting to see it return to a stable outlook.