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DUFF & PHELPS MASSACHUSETTS MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY CLAIMS PAYING ABILITY RATING REAFFIRMED AT 'AAA'

 CHICAGO, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Company has reaffirmed the "AAA" (Triple-A) claims paying ability rating of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). The rating considers the company's consistently strong earnings, low expense structure, the breadth and quality of insurance products offered and commitment to policyholders, excellent individual life franchise led by a skilled career distribution force, experienced management team, and strong capitalization and liquidity position.
 While the company has experienced continued deterioration in its commercial mortgage portfolio, we feel MassMutual will be able to successfully manage through the current recession in commercial real estate without significant impairment of capital. While operating earnings have been strong, surplus formation is expected to be moderate over the next several years because of sizable mortgage writedowns.
 MassMutual has a strong market position in three business segments: individual, group life and health, and group pension. MassMutual had admitted assets of $31.2 billion and adjusted surplus of $1.9 billion at yearend 1992. MassMutual reported very strong profits for the fourth straight year, driven by favorable mortality, persistency and expenses. MassMutual's statutory operating gain increased to $190 million in 1992 from $178 the previous year. Return on assets (before dividends and taxes) and return on surplus were 2.57 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.
 Adjusted surplus increased $257 million or 15 percent in 1992 to 6.2 percent of total assets. Operating earnings of $190 million, admission of non-admitted assets of $24 million, and reserve changes of $31 million were offset by realized and unrealized losses (including mortgage and real estate writedowns of $123 million and $69 million respectively). Surplus formation is expected to be at least $100 million in 1993 and 1994, after additional unrealized losses of $100 million each year on mortgages. Operating leverage fell to 12.73 times at yearend 1992 from 14.51 times the previous year, and should decline to MassMutual's pre-GIC writing level of about 12 times over the next two years.
 -0- 6/8/93
 /CONTACT: Martha M. Butler, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3191/


CO: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company ST: Massachusetts IN: INS SU: RTG

TS -- NY041 -- 6517 06/08/93 11:30 EDT
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Date:Jun 8, 1993
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