Prudential Financial, Inc.
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (continued)
account are legally segregated and are generally not subject to claims that arise out of any other business of the Company. Investment risks associated with market value changes are borne by the customers, except to the extent of minimum guarantees made by the Company with respect to certain accounts. The investment income and gains or losses for separate accounts generally accrue to the policyholders and are not included in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Mortality, policy administration and surrender charges on the accounts are included in “Policy charges and fee income.” Asset management fees charged to the accounts are included in “Commissions and other income.”
Other Assets and Other Liabilities Other assets consist primarily of prepaid benefit costs, reinsurance recoverables, certain restricted assets, trade receivables, mortgage securitization inventory and mortgage servicing rights, property and equipment and receivables resulting from sales of securities that had not yet settled at the balance sheet date. During 2001, the Company sold $1,409 million of commercial mortgage loans and other securities in securitization transactions versus $1,874 million in 2000. In some of the commercial loan securitizations, the Company retained servicing responsibilities. The Company did not retain any material ownership interest in the financial assets that were transferred. The Company recognized pretax gains of $42 million in 2001 versus losses of $6 million in 2000 in connection with securitization and related hedging activity which are recorded in “Commissions and other income.” At December 31, 2001 and 2000, mortgage servicing assets, including both purchased and originated servicing assets, were $126 million and $111 million, respectively. Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is determined using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets which generally range from 3 to 40 years. Other liabilities consist primarily of trade payables, employee benefit liabilities, demutualization consideration not yet paid to policyholders, and payables resulting from purchases of securities that had not yet settled at the balance sheet date.
Contingencies Amounts related to contingencies are accrued if it is probable that a liability has been incurred and an amount is reasonably estimable. Management evaluates whether there are incremental legal or other costs directly associated with the ultimate resolution of the matter that are reasonably estimable and, if so, they are included in the accrual.
Policyholders’ Dividends The amount of the dividends to be paid to policyholders of Prudential Insurance is determined annually by its Board of Directors. The aggregate amount of policyholders’ dividends is based on the statutory results and past experience of Prudential Insurance, including investment income, net realized investment gains or losses over a number of years, mortality experience and other factors. See Note 9 for further discussion of the impact of policyholders’ dividends on earnings.
Insurance Revenue and Expense Recognition Premiums from life insurance policies, excluding interest-sensitive life contracts, are recognized when due. Benefits are recorded as an expense when they are incurred. A liability for future policy benefits is recorded when premiums are recognized using the net level premium method.
Premiums from non-participating group annuities with life contingencies are recognized when earned. For single premium immediate annuities and structured settlements with life contingencies, premiums are recognized when earned in a constant relationship to the amount of expected future benefit payments.
Amounts received as payment for interest-sensitive life contracts, deferred annuities, structured settlements, contracts without life contingencies and participating group annuities are reported as deposits to “Policyholders’ account balances.” Revenues from these contracts are reflected in “Policy charges and fee income” and consist primarily of fees assessed during the period against the policyholders’ account balances for mortality charges, policy administration charges and surrender charges. Benefits and expenses for these products include claims in excess of related account balances, expenses of contract administration, interest credited and amortization of DAC.
For group life and disability insurance, and property and casualty insurance, premiums are recognized over the period to which the premiums relate in proportion to the amount of insurance protection provided. Claim and claim adjustment expenses are recognized when incurred.
Prudential Financial 2001 Annual Report