Prudential Financial, Inc.
2000 levels by approximately $100 million on an annual basis in 2002, including a reduction of about $40 million below the level of 2001, and that reduced expenses resulting from these initiatives will benefit results of this business thereafter. However, under the terms of the Closed Block, expenses of the Closed Block will be based on a formula representing historical expenses attributable to the Closed Block. To the extent actual expenses of the Closed Block Business vary in the future from those established pursuant to the formula, the variance (positive or negative) will inure to the financial results of our Financial Services Businesses. These variances will be treated as adjustments in determining the earnings applicable to our Common Stock and Class B Stock. Adjusted operating income of the Closed Block Business included costs of implementing our expense reduction program amounting to $48 million in 2001 and $52 million in 2000.
Policyholder benefits and related changes in reserves, including interest credited to policyholders, increased $84 million, from $4.638 billion in 2000 to $4.722 billion for 2001. The increase in benefits and reserves resulted from death benefits, including $138 million of reserves recorded in 2001 for death and other benefits due with respect to policies for which we have not received a death claim but where death has occurred, and the aging of policies in force, as well as insurance claims relating to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, which resulted in net losses of approximately $10 million. Partially offsetting these items is a reduction in the amount of reserves established for new and renewal business, consistent with our discontinuation of sales of traditional products discussed above.
Dividends to policyholders, which excludes the portion of dividends relating to net realized investment gains as discussed under “—Consolidated Results of Operations—Realized Investment Gains” above, amounted to $2.121 billion in 2001, a decrease of $140 million, or 6%, from $2.261 billion in 2000. There was no adjustment to the dividend scale in 2001 from the scale of 2000. The decrease relates to the portion of our dividend provision related to dividends for the subsequent year and reflects dividend scale changes for 2002 based on evaluation of the experience underlying the dividend scale.
2000 to 1999 Annual Comparison. Benefits and expenses were essentially unchanged in 2000 from 1999. An $81 million increase in interest expense, from $71 million in 1999 to $152 million in 2000, relates primarily to a higher level of borrowing activity associated with the increase in investment income. Policyholder benefits and related changes in reserves and interest credited to policyholders increased $76 million, from $4.562 billion in 1999 to $4.638 billion in 2000, reflecting the continued increase in the length of time that the policies have been in force. Operating expenses, including distribution costs that we charge to expense, decreased $96 million, or 11%, from $867 million in 1999 to $771 million in 2000, as a result of our continued efforts to reduce operating cost levels which resulted in reduced employee costs.
Dividends to policyholders, which excludes the portion of dividends relating to net realized investment gains as discussed under “—Consolidated Results of Operations—Realized Investment Gains” above, amounted to $2.261 billion in 2000, relatively unchanged from $2.246 billion in 1999. There was no adjustment to the dividend scale for 2000 from the scale for 1999. Mortality experience for both 2000 and 1999 was consistent, on an overall basis, with our pricing assumptions.
Sales Results New statutory premiums from sales of traditional participating individual life insurance products amounted to $36 million for the year ended December 31, 2001, $49 million for 2000, and $61 million for 1999. The limited sales of these products reflect a continuing shift in our sales during recent years away from traditional whole life into variable life insurance products. We ceased sales of traditional participating products in connection with our demutualization.
Policy Surrender Experience The following table sets forth policy surrender experience for the Closed Block Business, measured by cash value of surrenders, for the periods indicated. These amounts do not correspond to the income statement impact of surrenders under GAAP. In managing this business, we analyze the cash value of surrenders because it is a measure of the degree to which policyholders are maintaining their in force business with us, a driver of future profitability.
Year Ended December 31,
($ in millions)
Cash value of surrenders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cash value of surrenders as a percentage of mean future policy benefit reserves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.7% 2.7% 2.9%
Prudential Financial 2001 Annual Report