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DCR Reaffirms the 'AA-' Claims Paying Ability Rating of Security Benefit Life Insurance Company and Subsidiary First Security Benefit Life and Annuity Company of New York

CHICAGO, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) reaffirmed the claims paying ability rating of Security Benefit Life Insurance Co. (Security Benefit) and its subsidiary First Security Benefit Life and Annuity Company of New York (First Security Benefit) at `AA-` (Double-A- Minus). In addition, DCR reaffirmed the debt rating on Security Benefit's surplus notes at 'A' (Single-A).

Security Benefit's very high rating is supported by a strong market position in the variable annuity business, excellent balance sheet and continued profitable growth in operations. These positives are balanced against the company's limited product line focus, which lessens diversification of revenues, and its above-average interest rate risk from a large portfolio of mortgage-backed securities.

First Security Benefit was incorporated in 1994 to market insurance products in New York. The company's initial product offering was a flexible premium deferred annuity product issued by Security Benefit and marketed on a direct response basis by T. Rowe Price Investment Services Inc. First Security Benefit's very high claims paying ability rating reflects the support of its ultimate parent company, Security Benefit.

Total premium and deposits for the first nine months of 1996 were $549 million, surpassing 1995`s full year measure of $489 million by a
considerable margin. Security Benefit's net operating gain for the year to date Sept. 30, 1996 was $34 million, which compared favorably to a gain of $31 million for the same period in 1995. The company historically shows strong operating performance as measured by five year averages of .92 percent for pretax return on average assets and 15.7 percent for return on surplus.

Security Benefit's quality balance sheet continues to be anchored by a
significant capital position. Adjusted surplus rose considerably during the current year due to Security Benefit's $50 million surplus notes issue and continued profitable operations, reaching $339 million as of Sept. 30, 1996. The strongest indicators of Security Benefit's capital position were NAIC risk-based capital of 328 percent and operating leverage of 7.04 times, down from 9.27 times at yearend 1995.

Security Benefit's competitive advantage comes from its well-established niche position selling variable annuities to the qualified market, which is noted for its high level of persistency. Other key advantages include the company's low expense ratio, quality distribution system and a reputation for excellent customer service.

SOURCE Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co.
 -0- 11/26/96

/CONTACT: Douglas M. Pawlowski, 312-368-2054,, or Douglas L. Meyer, CFA, 312-368-2061,, both of DCR/

CO: Security Benefit Life Insurance Co.; First Security Benefit Life and

Annuity Company of New York ST: New York IN: INS SU: RTG

DC -- NYTU088 -- 6109 11/26/96 13:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 26, 1996
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