AM Best has assigned a Long-Term Issue Credit Rating (Long-Term IR) of “aa-” to the recently issued $800 million 5.077% surplus notes, due 2069, issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) (Springfield, MA). The outlook assigned to this Credit Rating (rating) is stable. All other Long-Term IRs of MassMutual and its subsidiaries are unchanged.
The notes were issued as part of MassMutual’s exercise of a Pre-capitalized Trust Securities program (PCAPS) first issued by Harborwalk Funding Trust, a Delaware trust that was not a subsidiary and was off of MassMutual’s balance sheet. The PCAPS were issued for the express purpose of providing contingent capital and liquidity to MassMutual. The PCAPS were mandatorily redeemable in 2049; they will be replaced by the surplus note issuance in full, and the trust will be extinguished as a result. This completes a partial draw down of the PCAPS facility MassMutual did in June 2020 when it first issued surplus notes to the trust in exchange for a proportional amount of the trust assets. At inception, the PCAPS facility was funded by institutional investors, and the proceeds were invested in Treasury Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (STRIPS). With the surplus note issuance, MassMutual has accessed the remaining trust assets to bring the Treasury STRIPS and issued notes onto MassMutual’s balance sheet. MassMutual’s financial leverage and interest coverage metrics are supportive of its ratings. The notes pay a fixed rate of interest until Feb. 15, 2049, and thereafter will be a floating rate based on three-month LIBOR or equivalent LIBOR substitution rate. MassMutual intends to use the proceeds of the notes for general corporate purposes.
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