Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rate History

By February 13, 2019 March 17th, 2019 Whole Life Dividends
Updated Feb 13th, 2019

Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rate History

Whole life insurance performance is highly dependent on dividend rates. So we wanted to have an updated list of Whole Life Insurance Dividend History.

This table only refers to participating policies. 

Historical Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rates Graphic V2

Historical Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rates Graphic V2

What is participating policy? 

A participating policy is one that pays dividends to the policy holder. The most competitive participating policies are from mutual companies.

The reason is they do not have stock holders, so the only dividend they pay is to policy holders.

Why is the history of whole life dividends important?

We can take the highest dividend companies from today and just pick the best one. However we prefer to use todays rates and historical rates, because it will give us a better idea of how the dividend will perform in the future.

Even-though the past performance doesn’t indicate future performance.

We took the following Historical Whole Life Table that has incredible data, and updated the numbers:

We will keep updating it, and feel free to contact us so we add a company. 

General AmericanNA4.
John HancockN/AN/AN/A5.155.35.555.555.555.755.756.256.256.25
New England Financial4.654.654.6555555.
New York Life6.
Northwestern Mutual5.04.955.455.
Penn Mutual6.16.346.346.346.346.346.346.346.346.346.346.346.3
Ohio National5.45.45.7566666.

Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rankings for 2019

Please not that not all companies announce 2019 dividends ahead of time, but we will update as numbers come in . 

Forester NA
MassMutual 6.4
Penn Mutual 6.1
New York Life 6.0
Guardian 5.85
Ohio National 5.4
Northwestern Mutual 5.0

Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rankings for 2018

Here is a quick summary of the dividend rate from some of the largest/best companies that offer whole life insurance. 

Forester 6.58
MassMutual 6.4
Penn Mutual 6.34
New York Life 6.2
Guardian 5.85
Ohio National 5.4
Northwestern Mutual 4.9

Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rankings for 2017

Here are the ranking for 2017. We have all the numbers for all years, but this will make it much easier to read. In the following table we ranked the companies that are still popular and are still selling whole life insurance products.

In reality, you can see that these are the large mutual companies.

MassMutual 6.7
Penn Mutual 6.34
New York Life 6.2
Guardian 5.85
Ohio National 5.75
Northwestern Mutual 5

Whole Life Insurance Dividend Rates Historical Averages

It can be hard to understand all the data, so we created a simpler way for you to look at the information. We have the 10 year and the 15 year averages for the whole life dividends. 

Company Name10 yr average15 Yr Average
General American5.255.51
John Hancock5.685.89
Mass Mutual7.077.14
New England Financial5.105.40
New York Life6.156.32
Northwestern Mutual5.836.29
Penn Mutual6.346.25
Sun Life6.316.71
Ohio National6.086.30

Final Opinion

We used the previous tables, and in addition we used the dividend analysis found at InsuranceProBlog to add more validation to our results (their report).

Our rating for current whole life dividend strength:

#1 Foresters

We rank the “new” kid in town as #1 in terms of dividend strength. At 6.58% Foresters has the highest dividend for 2018 and is positioned to have good outlook in 2019.

#2 MassMutual

MassMutual has a current dividend of 6.4% which ranks #2 in 2019. Also we ran a historical analysis and found:

  • 15 year average of 7.14% which also ranks in #1
  • 10 year average of 7.07% which also ranks in #1

That is why it is our best pick for top whole life insurance dividend.

#3 Penn Mutual

Penn Mutual has a current dividend of 6.1% which ranks #2 for 2019. Also Penn has paid the same dividend of 6.34% for 10 years which shows amazing consistency. They use direct recognition on the whole life contracts.

Do you have a dividend paying whole life that you would like us to add? 

The dividend rate is not everything, so to learn a little bit more about whole life insurance you should read:

Whole Life Insurance For Dummies

Overfunding Whole Life Insurance

How Much Does Whole Life Cost?

Contact us at [email protected] and we can get you quotes for all of the previous policies.

Want To See How Dividends Affect Cash Value?

Get The Highest Dividends & Best Whole Life Quotes

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Glenn says:

    What makes me laugh about this is that Dividends do NOT define the actual policy performance. Why don’t you pull a Blease Report and see who is on top when it comes to actual Cash Value Return. Many companies show the Dividend before expenses but if we are chasing the IRR and actual Cash Value then there is only one company that continues to exceed all other by a minimum of 35%. I’ll let your team not trick the consumer into just looking at the dividend rate.

    • WholeLifeExpert says:

      Hi Glenn,
      We stand by our analysis. The last Blease Report that we are aware of is in 2013. Please see the data here Blease Report 2013
      We are working on developing our own in for 2018. Who do you believe has the best dividend?

      • Patrick says:

        What Glenn says is accurate. Focusing on the dividend rate without accounting for the costs is misleading at best.

        • WholeLifeExpert says:

          Thank you for your input. There is nothing misleading about stating historical facts. This is an article on whole life dividend history, and we wanted to highlight dividends. It isn’t intended as a guide to pick the best whole life. However, dividend performance affects whole life performance, so we wanted to give an accurate historical analysis. Every consumer should still compare actual performance, but remember that current illustrations are based on current dividends. Some companies will have a higher dividend than today, and some will have a lower dividend.

  • Richard says:

    The Blease Report is a bit of a deceiving comparison in that it contains some very important footnotes. The premiums across the comparison are very different giving the lead horse (not so coincidentally, the carrier that funded the analysis) a much higher premium and thus more emphasis on cash value. If you increased the premium on each contract to match by using paid up additions, you’d see a much different IRR on cash value that summarized in the report… It also cherry picked the starting year. Using “best class available” in a year where the lead horse (again the carrier that funded the 3rd party, Blease) was the only carrier to offer preferred classes vs. standard non-tobacco being best available for all others until the following years where preferred tiers were rolled out. Statistical analysis can be 100% accurate, but be very misleading. Follow the money and you’ll see a major conflict of interest with one carrier pointing to Blease as an independent third party while being the sole source of revenue for Blease.

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