Marlene Debel, CFO for MetLife, has been appointed to lead the company’s Retirement & Income Solutions business, the company said.
The move comes after MetLife in February announced it would take a pre-tax charge of $510 million related to its group annuity business to compensate for unpaid benefits to about 13,500 group annuitants going back many years.
Debel replaces Robin Lenna, who retired March 1 after leading the Retirement & Income Solutions unit for 12 years, a MetLife spokeswoman said.
MetLife declined further comment.
Debel will continue to serve on an interim basis as CFO until a successor is named, after which Debel will focus solely on the Retirement & Income Solutions business unit.
Debel joined MetLife in 2011 and spent five years as MetLife treasurer. She received an MBA in finance from Fordham University and a bachelor’s in finance from the State University of New York at Albany.
Debel also serves on the board of the Women’s Forum of New York and is a strategic advisor to the Financial Women’s Association.
MetLife surprised analysts in February with the hefty pre-tax charge, even if the charge remains a fraction of the $40 billion in reserves to cover its portfolio of about 600,000 group annuitants.
Company policy was to try reaching group annuitants twice, once when the annuitant approached normal retirement age of 65, and a second time when the annuitant approached the required minimum distribution age of 70.5.
When annuitants could not be found because they had either left their employers, or their former employers had merged or gone out of business, or because workers had died, MetLife released the reserves.
MetLife said it would improve reserve-release practices, do a better job communicating with annuitants regarding benefits, make more frequent attempts to contact annuitants and use commercial annuitant locator services.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected]
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