Form 10-Q
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

(Mark One)

[ X ]  QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2010

or

[    ]  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission File Number:    001-07434

LOGO

Aflac Incorporated

 

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Georgia   58-1167100
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)   (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, Georgia   31999
(Address of principal executive offices)   (ZIP Code)

706.323.3431

 

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

 

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.            þ  Yes  ¨  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).                                                                                                                                                        þ  Yes  ¨  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer  þ   Accelerated filer  ¨
Non-accelerated filer   ¨ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)   Smaller reporting company ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).                                                                                                                                                           ¨  Yes  þ  No

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

 

Class       October 28, 2010
Common Stock, $.10 Par Value     471,261,454 shares


Table of Contents

 

Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q

For the Quarter Ended September 30, 2010

Table of Contents

 

PART I.

   FINANCIAL INFORMATION:      Page   

Item 1.

   Financial Statements (Unaudited)   
   Review by Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm      1   
   Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm      2   
  

Consolidated Statements of Earnings

  Three Months Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009

  Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009

     3   
  

Consolidated Balance Sheets

  September 30, 2010 and December 31, 2009

     4   
  

Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity

  Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009

     6   
  

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

  Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009

     7   
  

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)

  Three Months Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009

  Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009

     9   
   Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements      10   

Item 2.

   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations      54   

Item 3.

   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk      88   

Item 4.

   Controls and Procedures      88   

PART II.

   OTHER INFORMATION:   

Item 1A.

   Risk Factors      89   

Item 2.

   Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds      91   

Item 6.

   Exhibits      92   

Items other than those listed above are omitted because they are not required or are not applicable.

 

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PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Financial Statements.

Review by Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The September 30, 2010, and 2009, consolidated financial statements included in this filing have been reviewed by KPMG LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, in accordance with established professional standards and procedures for such a review.

The report of KPMG LLP commenting upon its review is included on the following page.

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Board of Directors and Shareholders

Aflac Incorporated

We have reviewed the consolidated balance sheet of Aflac Incorporated and subsidiaries as of September 30, 2010, and the related consolidated statements of earnings and comprehensive income (loss) for the three-month and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2010 and 2009, and the consolidated statements of shareholders’ equity and cash flows for the nine-month periods ended September 30, 2010 and 2009. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management.

We conducted our reviews in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). A review of interim financial information consists principally of applying analytical procedures and making inquiries of persons responsible for financial and accounting matters. It is substantially less in scope than an audit conducted in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the objective of which is the expression of an opinion regarding the financial statements taken as a whole. Accordingly, we do not express such an opinion.

Based on our reviews, we are not aware of any material modifications that should be made to the consolidated financial statements referred to above for them to be in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We have previously audited, in accordance with standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the consolidated balance sheet of Aflac Incorporated and subsidiaries as of December 31, 2009, and the related consolidated statements of earnings, shareholders’ equity, cash flows and comprehensive income for the year then ended (not presented herein); and in our report dated February 26, 2010, we expressed an unqualified opinion on those consolidated financial statements. In our opinion, the information set forth in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2009, is fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the consolidated balance sheet from which it has been derived.

 

LOGO
Atlanta, Georgia
November 5, 2010

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Earnings

(In millions, except for share and per-share amounts -

Unaudited)

  Three Months Ended
September 30,
    Nine Months Ended         
September 30,          
 
  2010     2009     2010     2009            

Revenues:

       

Premiums, principally supplemental health insurance

    $    4,607           $    4,165           $    13,288           $    12,274            

Net investment income

    765           692           2,218           2,048            

Realized investment gains (losses):

       

Other-than-temporary impairment losses:

       

Total other-than-temporary impairment losses

    (13)          (376)          (55)          (1,002)           

Other-than-temporary impairment losses recognized in other comprehensive income

    0           8           0           15            

Other-than-temporary impairment losses realized

    (13)          (368)          (55)          (987)           

Sales and redemptions

    8           21           0           248            

Derivative gains (losses)

    14           0           (72)          0            

Total realized investment gains (losses)

    9           (347)          (127)          (739)           

Other income

    13           16           59           74            

Total revenues

    5,394           4,526           15,438           13,657            

Benefits and expenses:

       

Benefits and claims

    3,102           2,817           8,843           8,351            

Acquisition and operating expenses:

       

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

    243           216           752           692            

Insurance commissions

    412           388           1,213           1,158            

Insurance expenses

    505           487           1,493           1,405            

Interest expense

    39           25           105           46            

Other operating expenses

    38           44           114           112            

Total acquisition and operating expenses

    1,237           1,160           3,677           3,413            

Total benefits and expenses

    4,339           3,977           12,520           11,764            

Earnings before income taxes

    1,055           549           2,918           1,893            

Income taxes

    365           186           1,011           648            

Net earnings

    $       690           $     363           $     1,907           $      1,245            
                                 

Net earnings per share:

       

Basic

    $      1.47           $      .78           $      4.07           $        2.67            

Diluted

    1.46           .77           4.03           2.66            
                                 
Weighted-average outstanding common shares used in computing earnings per share (In thousands):        

Basic

    469,868           466,586           468,880           466,362            

Diluted

    473,569           469,714           472,859           468,378            
                                 

Cash dividends per share

    $        .28           $        .28           $        .84           $          .84            
                                 

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In millions)    September 30,
2010
(Unaudited)
   

    December 31,
2009

 

Assets:

    

Investments and cash:

    

Securities available for sale, at fair value:

    

Fixed maturities (amortized cost $41,287 in 2010 and $37,633 in 2009)

   $     41,928       $     36,781  (1)            

Fixed maturities - consolidated variable interest entities (amortized cost $4,626 in 2010)

     5,060         0 (1)            

Perpetual securities (amortized cost $6,161 in 2010 and $7,554 in 2009)

     6,006         7,263 (1)            

Perpetual securities - consolidated variable interest entities (amortized cost $1,576 in 2010)

     1,446         0 (1)            

Equity securities (cost $23 in 2010 and $22 in 2009)

     24         24               

Securities held to maturity, at amortized cost:

    

Fixed maturities (fair value $27,459 in 2010 and $25,828 in 2009)

     27,965         26,687 (1)           

Fixed maturities - consolidated variable interest entities (fair value $537 in 2010)

     597         0 (1)           

Other investments

     125         114               

Cash and cash equivalents

     2,434         2,323               

Total investments and cash

     85,585         73,192               

Receivables

     640         764               

Accrued investment income

     709         649               

Deferred policy acquisition costs

     9,418         8,533               

Property and equipment, at cost less accumulated depreciation

     610         593               

Other

     881  (2)       375               

Total assets

   $     97,843       $ 84,106               
   

 

(1)

Due to the prospective application of accounting guidance adopted in 2010, consolidated fixed-maturity and perpetual-security variable interest entities (VIEs) are only disclosed separately in 2010.

(2)

Includes $383 of derivatives from consolidated VIEs.

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(continued)

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Balance Sheets (continued)

(In millions, except for share and per-share amounts)    September 30,
2010
(Unaudited)
        December 31,
2009
 

Liabilities and shareholders’ equity:

    

Liabilities:

    

Policy liabilities:

    

Future policy benefits

     $    69,329         $    61,501        

Unpaid policy claims

     3,662         3,270        

Unearned premiums

     1,118         926        

Other policyholders’ funds

     4,804         3,548        

Total policy liabilities

     78,913         69,245        

Notes payable

     3,008         2,599        

Income taxes

     2,146         1,653        

Payables for return of cash collateral on loaned securities

     147         483        

Other

     2,496  (3)      1,709        

Commitments and contingent liabilities (Note 10)

                

Total liabilities

     86,710         75,689        

Shareholders’ equity:

    

Common stock of $.10 par value. In thousands: authorized 1,900,000 shares in 2010 and 2009; issued 662,111 shares in 2010 and 661,209 shares in 2009

     66         66        

Additional paid-in capital

     1,289         1,228        

Retained earnings

     13,758         12,410        

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss):

    

Unrealized foreign currency translation gains

     809         776        

Unrealized gains (losses) on investment securities:

    

Unrealized gains (losses) on securities not other-than-temporarily impaired

     595         (622)       

Unrealized gains (losses) on other-than-temporarily impaired securities

     (1)        (16)       

Unrealized gains (losses) on derivatives

     (2)        (2)       

Pension liability adjustment

     (107)        (107)       

Treasury stock, at average cost

     (5,274)        (5,316)       

Total shareholders’ equity

     11,133         8,417        

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

     $    97,843         $    84,106        
   

 

(3)

Includes $683 of derivatives from consolidated VIEs

 

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity

      Nine Months Ended September 30,  
(In millions - Unaudited)        2010        2009           

Common stock:

     

Balance, beginning of period

     $       66            $        66            

Balance, end of period

     66            66            

Additional paid-in capital:

     

Balance, beginning of period

     1,228            1,184            

Exercise of stock options

     39            6            

Share-based compensation

     27            26            

Gain (loss) on treasury stock reissued

     (5)           0            

Balance, end of period

     1,289            1,216            

Retained earnings:

     

Balance, beginning of period

     12,410            11,306            

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of income taxes

     (25)           0            

Net earnings

     1,907            1,245            

Dividends to shareholders

     (534)           (261)           

Balance, end of period

     13,758            12,290            

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss):

     

Balance, beginning of period

     29            (582)           

Unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) during period, net of income taxes:

     

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of income taxes

     (320)           0            

Change in unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) during period, net of income taxes

     353            112            

Unrealized gains (losses) on investment securities during period, net of income taxes and reclassification adjustments:

     

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net of income taxes

     180            0            

Change in unrealized gains (losses) on investment securities not other-than-temporarily impaired, net of income taxes

     1,037            108            

Change in unrealized gains (losses) on other-than-temporarily impaired investment securities, net of income taxes

     15            (9)           

Pension liability adjustment during period, net of income taxes

     0            3            

Balance, end of period

     1,294            (368)           

Treasury stock:

     

Balance, beginning of period

     (5,316)           (5,335)           

Purchases of treasury stock

     (5)           (4)           

Cost of shares issued

     47            17            

Balance, end of period

     (5,274)           (5,322)           

Total shareholders’ equity

     $11,133            $   7,882            
   

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

      Nine Months Ended September 30,  
(In millions - Unaudited)        2010      2009  

Cash flows from operating activities:

     

Net earnings

     $    1,907            $      1,245            

Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by operating activities:

     

      Change in receivables and advance premiums

     719            228            

      Increase in deferred policy acquisition costs

     (291)           (254)           

      Increase in policy liabilities

     2,463            2,219            

      Change in income tax liabilities

     0            106            

      Realized investment (gains) losses

     127            739            

      Other, net

     (56)           120            

Net cash provided (used) by operating activities

     4,869            4,403            

Cash flows from investing activities:

     

Proceeds from investments sold or matured:

     

      Securities available for sale:

     

        Fixed maturities sold

     1,637            4,061            

        Fixed maturities matured or called

     729            1,905            

        Perpetual securities sold

     700            102            

        Equity securities sold

     328            0            

      Securities held to maturity:

     

        Fixed maturities matured or called

     8            210            

    Costs of investments acquired:

     

      Securities available for sale:

     

        Fixed maturities acquired

     (6,663)           (5,434)           

        Equity securities acquired

     (330)           0            

      Securities held to maturity:

     

        Fixed maturities acquired

     (1,122)           (3,127)           

    Cash received as collateral on loaned securities, net

     (349)           (1,563)           

    Other, net

     (18)           (41)           

        Net cash provided (used) by investing activities

     $  (5,080)           $    (3,887)           

 

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(continued)

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (continued)

 

        Nine Months Ended September 30,          
(In millions - Unaudited)      2010       2009                    

Cash flows from financing activities:

       

Purchases of treasury stock

       $         (5)           $      (4)           

Proceeds from borrowings

       748            1,004            

Principal payments under debt obligations

       (456)           (544)           

Dividends paid to shareholders

       (395)           (393)           

Change in investment-type contracts, net

       299            274            

Treasury stock reissued

       39            6            

Other, net

       36            3            

Net cash provided (used) by financing activities

       266            346            

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

       56            1            

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

       111            863            

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period

       2,323            941            

Cash and cash equivalents, end of period

       $    2,434            $1,804            
                     

Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information:

       

Income taxes paid

       $       926            $   550            

Interest paid

       77            22            

Impairment losses included in realized investment losses

       55            987            

Noncash financing activities:

       

Capitalized lease obligations

       1            1            

Treasury stock issued for:

       

Associate stock bonus

       0            7            

Share-based compensation grants

       3            4            
                     
                     

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)

 

      Three Months Ended    
September 30,    
     Nine Months Ended    
September 30,    
 
(In millions - Unaudited)      2010            2009          2010      2009      

Net earnings

   $ 690         $ 363         $ 1,907         $ 1,245         

Other comprehensive income (loss) before income taxes:

           

Unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) during period

     59           162           102           111         

Unrealized gains (losses) on investment securities:

           

Unrealized holding gains (losses) on investment securities during period

     712           1,228           1,590           (590)        

Reclassification adjustment for realized (gains) losses on investment securities included in net earnings

     6           349           55           745         

Unrealized gains (losses) on derivatives during period

     2           0           0           0         

Pension liability adjustment during period

     (1)          (1)          1           5         

Total other comprehensive income (loss) before income taxes

     778           1,738           1,748           271         

Income tax expense (benefit) related to items of other comprehensive income (loss)

     112           454           343           57         

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of income taxes

     666           1,284           1,405           214         

Total comprehensive income (loss)

   $ 1,356         $ 1,647         $ 3,312         $ 1,459         
                                     

See the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

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Aflac Incorporated and Subsidiaries

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

(Interim period data – Unaudited)

1. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Description of Business

Aflac Incorporated (the Parent Company) and its subsidiaries (collectively, the Company) primarily sell supplemental health and life insurance in the United States and Japan. The Company’s insurance business is marketed and administered through American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), which operates in the United States (Aflac U.S.) and as a branch in Japan (Aflac Japan). Most of Aflac’s policies are individually underwritten and marketed through independent agents. Aflac U.S. markets and administers group products through Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC). Our insurance operations in the United States and our branch in Japan service the two markets for our insurance business. Aflac Japan’s revenues, including realized gains and losses on its investment portfolio, accounted for 75% and 78% of the Company’s total revenues in the nine-month periods ended September 30, 2010, and 2009, respectively. The percentage of the Company’s total assets attributable to Aflac Japan was 85% at both September 30, 2010, and December 31, 2009.

Basis of Presentation

We prepare our financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). These principles are established primarily by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). In these Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, references to GAAP issued by the FASB are derived from the FASB Accounting Standards CodificationTM (ASC). The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires us to make estimates when recording transactions resulting from business operations based on currently available information. The most significant items on our balance sheet that involve a greater degree of accounting estimates and actuarial determinations subject to changes in the future are the valuation of investments, deferred policy acquisition costs, liabilities for future policy benefits and unpaid policy claims, and income taxes. These accounting estimates and actuarial determinations are sensitive to market conditions, investment yields, mortality, morbidity, commission and other acquisition expenses, and terminations by policyholders. As additional information becomes available, or actual amounts are determinable, the recorded estimates will be revised and reflected in operating results. Although some variability is inherent in these estimates, we believe the amounts provided are adequate.

The unaudited consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Parent Company, its subsidiaries and those entities required to be consolidated under applicable accounting standards. All material intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.

In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements of the Company contain all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring accruals, which are necessary to fairly present the consolidated balance sheets as of September 30, 2010, and December 31, 2009, the consolidated statements of earnings and comprehensive income (loss) for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2010, and 2009, and the consolidated statements of shareholders’ equity and cash flows for the nine-month periods ended September 30, 2010, and 2009. Results of operations for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of results for the entire year. As a result, these financial statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto included in our annual report to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2009.

Significant Accounting Policies

As a result of accounting guidance adopted subsequent to December 31, 2009, we have updated our accounting policy for investments and derivatives and hedging. All other categories of significant accounting policies remain unchanged from our annual report to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2009.

 

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Investments: Our debt securities consist of fixed-maturity securities, which are classified as either held to maturity or available for sale. Securities classified as held to maturity are securities that we have the ability and intent to hold to maturity or redemption and are carried at amortized cost. All other fixed-maturity debt securities, our perpetual securities and our equity securities are classified as available for sale and are carried at fair value. If the fair value is higher than the amortized cost for debt and perpetual securities, or the purchase cost for equity securities, the excess is an unrealized gain, and if lower than cost, the difference is an unrealized loss.

The net unrealized gains and losses on securities available for sale, plus the unamortized unrealized gains and losses on debt securities transferred to the held-to-maturity portfolio, less related deferred income taxes, are recorded through other comprehensive income and included in accumulated other comprehensive income.

Amortized cost of debt and perpetual securities is based on our purchase price adjusted for accrual of discount, or amortization of premium and recognition of impairment charges, if any. The amortized cost of debt and perpetual securities we purchase at a discount or premium will equal the face or par value at maturity or the call date, if applicable. Interest is reported as income when earned and is adjusted for amortization of any premium or discount.

We have investments in variable interest entities (VIEs) and qualified special purpose entities (QSPEs). In periods prior to 2010, VIEs were evaluated for consolidation based on the variable interest created by a VIE, and QSPEs were exempt from consolidation. Our investments in VIEs and QSPEs were accounted for as fixed-maturity or perpetual securities. The majority of our investments in VIEs and QSPEs were held in our available-for-sale portfolio.

Subsequent to the adoption of updated accounting guidance on VIEs and QSPEs on January 1, 2010, our accounting treatment for these investments changed. The concept of QSPEs was eliminated, and therefore, the former QSPEs are treated as normal VIEs and are evaluated for consolidation. We adopted the new criteria for evaluating VIEs for consolidation, which, instead of focusing on a quantitative approach, focuses on identifying which enterprise has the power to direct the activities of a variable interest entity that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance and (1) the obligation to absorb losses of the entity or (2) the right to receive benefits from the entity. As a result of the application of this new guidance, we are the primary beneficiary of certain VIEs. While the VIEs generally operate within a defined set of documents, there are certain powers that are retained by us that are considered significant in our conclusion that we are the primary beneficiary. These powers vary by structure but generally include the initial selection of the underlying collateral or, for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), the reference credits to include in the structure; the ability to obtain the underlying collateral in the event of default; and the ability to appoint or dismiss key parties in the structure. In particular, our powers surrounding the underlying collateral were the most significant powers since those most significantly impact the economics of the VIE. We have no obligation to provide any continuing financial support to any of the entities in which we are the primary beneficiary. Our maximum loss is limited to our original investment. Neither we nor any of our creditors have the ability to obtain the underlying collateral. Nor do we have control over the instruments in the VIEs, unless there is an event of default. This collateral is reported separately under the captions fixed maturities- and perpetual securities- consolidated variable interest entities on our balance sheet.

For those entities where we are the primary beneficiary, the assets consolidated are fixed-maturity securities, perpetual securities and derivative instruments. The calculation method of the yields on these investments did not change as a result of adoption of the new accounting guidance.

For the collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) held in our fixed-maturity securities portfolio, we recognize income using a constant effective yield, which is based on anticipated prepayments and the estimated economic life of the securities. When estimates of prepayments change, the effective yield is recalculated to reflect actual payments to date and anticipated future payments. The net investment in CMO securities is adjusted to the amount that would have existed had the new effective yield been applied at the time of acquisition. This adjustment is reflected in net investment income.

 

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We use the specific identification method to determine the gain or loss from securities transactions and report the realized gain or loss in the consolidated statements of earnings.

Our credit analysts/research personnel routinely monitor and evaluate the difference between the amortized cost and fair value of our investments. Additionally, credit analysis and/or credit rating issues related to specific investments may trigger more intensive monitoring to determine if a decline in fair value is other than temporary. For investments with a fair value below amortized cost, the process includes evaluating, among other factors, the length of time and the extent to which amortized cost exceeds fair value, the financial condition, operations, credit and liquidity posture, and future prospects of the issuer as well as our intent or need to dispose of the security prior to a recovery of its fair value to amortized cost. This process is not exact and requires consideration of risks such as credit risk, which to a certain extent can be controlled, and interest rate risk, which cannot be controlled. Therefore, if an investment’s amortized cost exceeds its fair value solely due to changes in interest rates, impairment may not be appropriate.

In periods prior to 2009, if, after monitoring and analyses, management believed that a decline in fair value was other than temporary, we adjusted the amortized cost of the security to fair value and reported a realized loss in the consolidated statements of earnings. Subsequent to the adoption of updated accounting guidance on impairments in 2009, our accounting policy changed. If, after monitoring and analyses, management believes that fair value will not recover to amortized cost prior to the disposal of the security, we recognize an other-than-temporary impairment of the security. Once a security is considered to be other-than-temporarily impaired, the impairment loss is separated into two separate components: the portion of the impairment related to credit and the portion of the impairment related to factors other than credit. We automatically recognize a charge to earnings for the credit-related portion of other-than-temporary impairments. Impairments related to factors other than credit are charged to earnings in the event we intend to sell the security prior to the recovery of its amortized cost or if it is more likely than not that we would be required to dispose of the security prior to recovery of its amortized cost; otherwise, non-credit-related other-than-temporary impairments are charged to other comprehensive income.

We lend fixed-maturity securities to financial institutions in short-term security lending transactions. These securities continue to be carried as investment assets on our balance sheet during the terms of the loans and are not reported as sales. We receive cash or other securities as collateral for such loans. For loans involving unrestricted cash collateral, the collateral is reported as an asset with a corresponding liability for the return of the collateral. For loans collateralized by securities, the collateral is not reported as an asset or liability.

For further information regarding our investments, see Note 3.

Derivatives and Hedging: We do not use derivatives for trading purposes, nor do we engage in leveraged derivative transactions.

Freestanding derivative instruments are reported in the consolidated balance sheet at fair value and are reported in other assets and other liabilities, with changes in value reported in earnings and/or other comprehensive income. These freestanding derivatives are interest rate swaps, credit default swaps (CDSs) and/or foreign currency swaps. Interest rate and foreign currency swaps are used within VIEs to hedge the risk arising from interest rate and currency exchange risk, while the CDSs are used to increase the yield and improve the diversification of the portfolio.

From time to time, we purchase certain investments that contain an embedded derivative. We assess whether this embedded derivative is clearly and closely related to the asset that serves as its host contract. If we deem that the embedded derivative’s terms are not clearly and closely related to the host contract, and a separate instrument with the same terms would qualify as a derivative instrument, the derivative is separated from that contract, held at fair value and reported with the host instrument in the consolidated balance sheet, with changes in fair value reported in earnings.

For those relationships where we seek hedge accounting, we contemporaneously document all relationships between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as our risk-management objectives for undertaking various hedge transactions. This process includes linking derivatives and nonderivatives that are designated as hedges to specific assets or liabilities on the balance sheet. We also assess, both at inception and on an ongoing basis,

 

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whether the derivatives and nonderivatives used in hedging activities are highly effective in offsetting changes in fair values or cash flows of the hedged items. The assessment of hedge effectiveness determines the accounting treatment of noncash changes in fair value.

We have designated certain interest rate swaps as a hedge of the variability of the interest cash flows associated with our variable rate Uridashi notes. Changes in the fair value of these and any of our other derivatives that are designated and qualify as cash flow hedges are recorded in other comprehensive income as long as they are deemed effective. Any hedge ineffectiveness is recorded immediately in current period earnings as a net realized investment gain or loss. Periodic derivative net coupon settlements are recorded in the line item of the consolidated statements of earnings in which the cash flows of the hedged item are recorded. We include the fair value of these derivatives in either other assets or other liabilities on the balance sheet.

We have designated our yen-denominated Samurai and Uridashi notes and yen-denominated loans (see Note 6) as nonderivative hedges of the foreign currency exposure to our investment in Aflac Japan. At the beginning of each quarter, we make our net investment hedge designation. If the total of our designated yen-denominated liabilities is equal to or less than our net investment in Aflac Japan, the hedge is deemed to be effective and the related exchange effect is reported in the unrealized foreign currency component of other comprehensive income. Should these designated yen-denominated liabilities exceed our investment in Aflac Japan, the foreign exchange effect on the portion of the liabilities that exceeds our investment in Aflac Japan would be recognized in net earnings (other income). Until their expiration in April 2009, we designated our cross-currency swaps as a hedge of the foreign currency exposure of our investment in Aflac Japan. We included the fair value of the cross-currency swaps in either other assets or other liabilities on the balance sheet. We reported the changes in fair value of the foreign currency portion of our cross-currency swaps in other comprehensive income. Changes in the fair value of the interest rate component were reflected in other income in the consolidated statements of earnings.

For further information regarding derivatives and hedging, see Note 4.

Reclassifications: Certain reclassifications have been made to prior-year amounts to conform to current-year reporting classifications. These reclassifications had no impact on net earnings or total shareholders’ equity.

New Accounting Pronouncements

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

Accounting for embedded credit derivatives: In March 2010, the FASB issued accounting guidance on embedded credit derivatives. This guidance clarifies the type of embedded credit derivative that is exempt from embedded derivative bifurcation requirements. We adopted this guidance as of July 1, 2010. The adoption did not have a significant impact on our financial position or results of operations.

Fair value measurements and disclosures: In January 2010, the FASB issued amended accounting guidance on fair value disclosures. This guidance requires new disclosures about transfers in and out of fair value hierarchy Levels 1 and 2. We adopted this guidance as of January 1, 2010. The adoption did not have an impact on our financial position or results of operations.

Accounting for variable interest entities and transfers of financial assets: In June 2009, the FASB issued amended guidance on accounting for VIEs and transfers of financial assets. As discussed above, this guidance defines new criteria for determining the primary beneficiary of a VIE; increases the frequency of required reassessments to determine whether a company is the primary beneficiary of a VIE; eliminates the exemption for the consolidation of QSPEs; establishes conditions for reporting a transfer of a portion of a financial asset as a sale; modifies the financial asset derecognition criteria; and requires additional disclosures. We adopted the provisions of this guidance on January 1, 2010, prospectively. As a result, we were required to consolidate certain of the VIEs with which we are currently involved. We were not required to deconsolidate any VIEs on January 1, 2010.

 

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Upon the initial consolidation of the VIEs on January 1, 2010, the assets, liabilities, and noncontrolling interests of the VIEs were recorded at their carrying values, which is the amounts at which the assets, liabilities, and noncontrolling interests would have been carried in the consolidated financial statements when we first met the conditions to be the primary beneficiary. For any of the VIEs that were required to be consolidated, we also considered whether any of the derivatives in these structures qualified on January 1, 2010, as a cash flow hedge of the changes in cash flows attributable to foreign currency and/or interest rate risk. Certain of the swaps did not qualify for hedge accounting since the swap had a fair value on January 1, 2010. Other swaps did not qualify for hedge accounting since they increased, rather than reduced, cash flow risk. See Note 4 for further discussion.

The impact of consolidating these VIEs as of January 1, 2010, includes three primary components. The first component is the valuation differences associated with the underlying securities and derivatives included in the VIE structures. Prior to the consolidation of these VIEs, we utilized a pricing model to value our beneficial interests and did not separately consider the fair value of the financial instruments included within the structures. The cumulative impact of these valuation adjustments was recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income or retained earnings depending on whether the valuation adjustment was associated with the underlying debt securities and whether the derivative qualified as a cash flow hedge.

Another portion of the impact of consolidation was related to the currency translation adjustments that were previously recognized for our beneficial interests in the VIEs that were yen-denominated. Since some of the underlying assets in the VIEs are dollar-denominated, the previously recognized currency translation adjustment was reversed.

The final portion primarily relates to the fair value of CDSs included in the CDOs that had been designated as held to maturity. Under U.S. GAAP, these credit default swaps were recorded at fair value as a cumulative effect adjustment through retained earnings. The CDSs are not eligible for hedge accounting.

The following table summarizes the cumulative after-tax consolidation impact of adopting this new accounting guidance on January 1, 2010:

 

 
(In millions)    Accumulated Other
Comprehensive
Income (Loss)
   Retained Earnings    Total
Shareholders’ Equity  
 

Cumulative valuation adjustments

   $     180     $         0       $     180   

Currency translation adjustments

         (320)              0           (320) 

Swaps

             0          (26)          (26)

Other

             0             1            1
 

Total

   $    (140)    $     (25)     $    (165)  
 

For additional information concerning our investments in VIEs and derivatives, see Notes 3 and 4, respectively.

Accounting Pronouncements Pending Adoption

Accounting for costs associated with acquiring or renewing insurance contracts: In October 2010, the FASB issued amended accounting guidance on accounting for costs associated with acquiring or renewing insurance contracts. Only incremental direct costs associated with the successful acquisition of a new or renewal contract may be capitalized. The amendment also prohibits capitalizing direct-response advertising costs unless they meet certain criteria. This guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2011. We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting this guidance on our financial position and results of operations.

 

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Fair value measurements and disclosures: In January 2010, the FASB issued amended accounting guidance on fair value disclosures. This guidance requires the activity in fair value hierarchy Level 3 for purchases, sales, issuances, and settlements to be reported on a gross, rather than net, basis. This guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2010. We do not expect the adoption of this guidance to have any impact on our financial position or results of operations.

Recent accounting guidance not discussed above is not applicable or did not have an impact to our business.

For additional information on new accounting pronouncements and their impact, if any, on our financial position or results of operations, see Note 1 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in our annual report to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2009.

 

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2. BUSINESS SEGMENT INFORMATION

The Company consists of two reportable insurance business segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S., both of which sell supplemental health and life insurance.

Operating business segments that are not individually reportable are included in the “Other business segments” category. We do not allocate corporate overhead expenses to business segments. We evaluate and manage our business segments using a financial performance measure called pretax operating earnings. Our definition of operating earnings excludes the following items from net earnings on an after-tax basis: realized investment gains/losses, the impact from ASC 815 (“Derivatives and Hedging”), and nonrecurring items. We then exclude income taxes related to operations to arrive at pretax operating earnings. Information regarding operations by segment follows:

 

      Three Months Ended
September 30,
             Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
(In millions)        2010              2009                      2010              2009       

Revenues:

              

  Aflac Japan:

              

Earned premiums

   $ 3,456        $ 3,054           $ 9,849        $ 8,967    

Net investment income

     624          568             1,810          1,673    

Other income

                              31          30    

  Total Aflac Japan

     4,085          3,630                   11,690          10,670    

  Aflac U.S.:

              

Earned premiums

     1,150          1,110             3,438          3,307    

Net investment income

     138          123             404          375    

Other income

                                        

  Total Aflac U.S.

     1,290          1,236                   3,851          3,689    

Other business segments

     12          13                   35          38    

  Total business segment revenues

     5,387          4,879             15,576          14,397    

Realized investment gains (losses)

             (347)            (127)         (739)   

Corporate

     58          40             159          108    

Intercompany eliminations

     (60)         (46)                  (170)         (109)   

  Total revenues

   $ 5,394        $ 4,526           $ 15,438        $ 13,657    
   

 

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      Three Months Ended
September 30,
             Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
(In millions)        2010              2009                      2010              2009      

Pretax earnings:

              

  Aflac Japan

   $ 866        $ 725           $ 2,485        $ 2,086    

  Aflac U.S.

     228          216             699          617    

  Other business segments

                              (3)           

Total business segment pretax earnings

     1,094          942             3,181          2,704    

  Interest expense, noninsurance operations

     (37)         (24)            (99)         (48)   

  Corporate and eliminations

     (11)         (22)                  (37)         (36)   

Pretax operating earnings

     1,046          896             3,045          2,620    

  Realized investment gains (losses)

             (347)            (127)         (739)   

  Impact from ASC 815

                                (5)   

  Gain on extinguishment of debt

                                      17    

Total earnings before income taxes

   $ 1,055        $ 549           $ 2,918        $ 1,893    
   

  Income taxes applicable to pretax operating earnings

   $ 362        $ 307           $ 1,055        $ 901    

  Effect of foreign currency translation on operating earnings

     32          42             65          107    
   

Assets were as follows:

 

(In millions)    September 30,
    2010         
             December 31,
    2009         
 

Assets:

        

  Aflac Japan

   $ 83,302           $ 71,639    

  Aflac U.S.

     13,422             11,779    

  Other business segments

     158                   142    

Total business segment assets

     96,882             83,560    

  Corporate

     14,248             11,261    

  Intercompany eliminations

     (13,287)                  (10,715)   

Total assets

   $ 97,843           $ 84,106    
   

 

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3. INVESTMENTS

Investment Holdings

The amortized cost for our investments in debt and perpetual securities, the cost for equity securities and the fair values of these investments are shown in the following tables.

 

      September 30, 2010  
(In millions)    Cost or
Amortized
Cost
     Gross
Unrealized
Gains
     Gross
Unrealized
Losses
       Fair
  Value
 

Securities available for sale,

  carried at fair value:

           

  Fixed maturities:

           

Yen-denominated:

           

Japan government and agencies

     $    15,346                 $       916               $            0               $    16,262       

Mortgage- and asset-backed

  securities

     1,206                 44               6               1,244       

Public utilities

     2,500                 127               110               2,517       

Sovereign and supranational

     750                 31               17               764       

Banks/financial institutions

     6,047                 177               1,338               4,886       

Other corporate

     5,815                 125               582               5,358       

  Total yen-denominated

     31,664                 1,420               2,053               31,031       

Dollar-denominated:

           

U.S. government and agencies

     47                 5               0               52       

Municipalities

     838                 46               12               872       

Mortgage- and asset-backed

  securities(1)

     536                 101               17               620       

Collateralized debt obligations

     5                 0               0               5       

Public utilities

     2,263                 382               8               2,637       

Sovereign and supranational

     396                 83               0               479       

Banks/financial institutions

     3,445                 249               77               3,617       

Other corporate

     6,719                 998               42               7,675       

  Total dollar-denominated

     14,249                 1,864               156               15,957       

  Total fixed maturities

     45,913                 3,284               2,209               46,988       

Perpetual securities:

           

Yen-denominated:

           

Banks/financial institutions

     6,998                 180               526               6,652       

Other corporate

     320                 11               1               330       

Dollar-denominated:

           

Banks/financial institutions

     419                 76               25               470       

  Total perpetual securities

     7,737                 267               552               7,452       

  Equity securities

     23                 3               2               24       

  Total securities available for sale

     $    53,673                 $    3,554               $        2,763               $    54,464       
   

 

(1)

Includes $2 of other-than-temporary non-credit-related losses

 

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      September 30, 2010  
(In millions)    Cost or
Amortized
Cost
     Gross
Unrealized
Gains
     Gross
Unrealized
Losses
    

Fair  

Value  

 

Securities held to maturity,

  carried at amortized cost:

           

  Fixed maturities:

           

Yen-denominated:

           

Japan government and agencies

     $        390               $    35              $         0             $      425        

Municipalities

     395               28              5             418        

Mortgage- and asset-backed securities

     148               6              0             154        

Public utilities

     6,165               185              197             6,153        

Sovereign and supranational

     4,517               160              150             4,527        

Banks/financial institutions

     12,054               164              806             11,412        

Other corporate

     4,893               165              151             4,907        

  Total yen-denominated

     28,562               743              1,309             27,996        

  Total securities held to maturity

     $  28,562               $  743              $  1,309             $  27,996        
                                     

 

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      December 31, 2009  
(In millions)    Cost or
Amortized
Cost
     Gross
Unrealized
Gains
     Gross
Unrealized
Losses
       Fair
  Value
 

Securities available for sale,

  carried at fair value:

           

  Fixed maturities:

           

Yen-denominated:

           

Japan government and agencies

     $  11,710                 $    405               $    174               $  11,941       

Mortgage- and asset-backed

  securities

     549                 13               0               562       

Public utilities

     2,284                 145               79               2,350       

Collateralized debt obligations

     165                 97               24               238       

Sovereign and supranational

     833                 28               96               765       

Banks/financial institutions

     5,248                 144               784               4,608       

Other corporate

     6,401                 112               714               5,799       

  Total yen-denominated

     27,190                 944               1,871               26,263       

Dollar-denominated:

           

U.S. government and agencies

     221                 3               7               217       

Municipalities

     519                 4               28               495       

Mortgage- and asset-backed

  securities(1)

     586                 9               78               517       

Collateralized debt obligations

     24                 7               2               29       

Public utilities

     1,587                 123               42               1,668       

Sovereign and supranational

     353                 48               9               392       

Banks/financial institutions

     2,668                 75               259               2,484       

Other corporate

     4,485                 339               108               4,716       

  Total dollar-denominated

     10,443                 608               533               10,518       

  Total fixed maturities

     37,633                 1,552               2,404               36,781       

  Perpetual securities:

           

Yen-denominated:

           

Banks/financial institutions

     6,964                 311               604               6,671       

Other corporate

     291                 28               0               319       

Dollar-denominated:

           

Banks/financial institutions

     299                 30               56               273       

  Total perpetual securities

     7,554                 369               660               7,263       

  Equity securities

     22                 4               2               24       

  Total securities available for sale

     $  45,209                 $  1,925               $  3,066               $  44,068       
                                     

(1) Includes $25 of other-than-temporary non-credit-related losses

 

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      December 31, 2009  
(In millions)    Cost or
Amortized
Cost
     Gross
Unrealized
Gains
     Gross
Unrealized
Losses
    

Fair

Value

 

Securities held to maturity,

  carried at amortized cost:

           

  Fixed maturities:

           

Yen-denominated:

           

Japan government and agencies

     $      217               $      6              $         0             $      223        

Municipalities

     281               1              4             278        

Mortgage- and asset-backed securities

     167               2              6             163        

Collateralized debt obligations

     109               0              14             95        

Public utilities

     5,235               180              138             5,277        

Sovereign and supranational

     4,248               161              143             4,266        

Banks/financial institutions

     11,775               140              984             10,931        

Other corporate

     4,455               142              104             4,493        

  Total yen-denominated

     26,487               632              1,393             25,726        

Dollar-denominated:

           

Collateralized debt obligations

     200               0              98             102        

  Total dollar-denominated

     200               0              98             102        

  Total securities held to maturity

     $  26,687               $  632              $  1,491             $  25,828        
                                     

The methods of determining the fair values of our investments in debt securities, perpetual securities and equity securities are described in Note 5.

As discussed in Note 1, we adopted new accounting guidance for VIEs on January 1, 2010, that resulted in the consolidation of most of our investments in CDOs. As a result, these investments are no longer reported as a single investment. In addition, in conjunction with this change in accounting for VIEs, certain VIEs, totaling $309 million at amortized cost as of January 1, 2010, are no longer classified as held to maturity. The underlying collateral for these VIEs is classified as available for sale as of January 1, 2010.

During the third quarter of 2010, we reclassified two investments from the held-to-maturity portfolio to the available-for-sale portfolio as a result of downgrades of the issuers’ credit rating. At the time of transfer, these investments had an aggregate amortized cost of $267 million and an aggregate unrealized loss of $165 million. During the second quarter of 2010, we reclassified four investments from the held-to-maturity portfolio to the available-for-sale portfolio as a result of downgrades of the issuers’ credit rating. Three of these were investments in Greek financial institutions that, at the time of transfer, had an aggregate amortized cost of $998 million and an aggregate unrealized loss of $599 million. The fourth investment was in Greek sovereign debt and had an amortized cost of $178 million and an unrealized loss of $66 million at the time of transfer. This investment was sold at a pretax realized loss of $59 million prior to the end of the second quarter of 2010. We did not reclassify any investments from the held-to-maturity portfolio to the available-for-sale portfolio during the first quarter of 2010.

We did not reclassify any investments from the held-to-maturity portfolio to the available-for-sale portfolio during the third quarter of 2009. During the second quarter of 2009, we reclassified five investments from the held-to-maturity portfolio to the available-for-sale portfolio as a result of a significant decline in the issuers’ credit worthiness. At the time of transfer, the securities had an aggregate amortized cost of $660 million and an aggregate unrealized loss of $326 million. During the first quarter of 2009, we reclassified six investments from the held-to-maturity portfolio to the available-for-sale portfolio as a result of a significant decline in the issuers’ credit worthiness. At the time of transfer, the securities had an aggregate amortized cost of $497 million and an aggregate unrealized loss of $200 million.

 

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Contractual and Economic Maturities

The contractual maturities of our investments in fixed maturities at September 30, 2010, were as follows:

 

      Aflac Japan      Aflac U.S.  
(In millions)    Amortized
Cost
     Fair
Value
     Amortized
Cost
     Fair  
Value  
 

Available for sale:

           

Due in one year or less

   $ 2,036       $ 2,107       $ 69       $ 73     

Due after one year through five years

     4,450         4,706         269         305     

Due after five years through 10 years

     2,693         2,997         904         1,084     

Due after 10 years

     27,145         26,577         6,488         7,147     

Mortgage- and asset-backed securities

     1,362         1,483         380         381     

Total fixed maturities available for sale

   $ 37,686       $ 37,870       $     8,110       $     8,990     
                                     

Held to maturity:

           

Due in one year or less

   $ 665       $ 675       $ 0       $ 0     

Due after one year through five years

     1,076         1,126         0         0     

Due after five years through 10 years

     3,285         3,635         0         0     

Due after 10 years

     23,388         22,406         0         0     

Mortgage- and asset-backed securities

     148         154         0         0     

Total fixed maturities held to maturity

   $     28,562       $     27,996       $ 0       $ 0     
                                     

At September 30, 2010, the Parent Company had a portfolio of investment-grade available-for-sale fixed-maturity securities totaling $117 million at amortized cost and $128 million at fair value, which is not included in the table above.

Expected maturities may differ from contractual maturities because some issuers have the right to call or prepay obligations with or without call or prepayment penalties.

The majority of our perpetual securities are subordinated to other debt obligations of the issuer, but rank higher than the issuer’s equity securities. Perpetual securities have characteristics of both debt and equity investments, along with unique features that create economic maturity dates for the securities. Although perpetual securities have no contractual maturity date, they have stated interest coupons that were fixed at their issuance and subsequently change to a floating short-term interest rate of 125 to more than 300 basis points above an appropriate market index, generally by the 25th year after issuance, thereby creating an economic maturity date. The economic maturities of our investments in perpetual securities, which were all reported as available for sale at September 30, 2010, were as follows:

 

      Aflac Japan      Aflac U.S.  
(In millions)    Amortized
Cost
     Fair
Value
     Amortized
Cost
     Fair  
Value  
 

Due in one year or less

   $ 179       $ 176       $ 0       $ 0     

Due after one year through five years

     1,306         1,380         5         5     

Due after five years through 10 years

     1,455         1,478         0         0     

Due after 10 years

     4,558         4,123         234         290     

Total perpetual securities available for sale

   $       7,498       $       7,157       $        239       $        295     
                                     

 

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Investment Concentrations

Our investment discipline begins with a top-down approach for each investment opportunity we consider. Consistent with that approach, we first approve each country in which we invest. In our approach to sovereign analysis, we consider the political, legal and financial context of the sovereign entity in which an issuer is domiciled and operates. Next we approve the issuer’s industry sector, including such factors as the stability of results and the importance of the sector to the overall economy. Specific credit names within approved countries and industry sectors are evaluated for their market position and specific strengths and potential weaknesses. Structures in which we invest are chosen for specific portfolio management purposes, including asset/liability management, portfolio diversification and net investment income.

Our largest investment industry sector concentration is banks and financial institutions. Within the countries we approve for investment opportunities, we primarily invest in financial institutions that are strategically crucial to each approved country’s economy. The bank and financial institution sector is a highly regulated industry and plays a strategic role in the global economy. We achieve some degree of diversification in the bank and financial institution sector through a geographically diverse universe of credit exposures. Within this sector, the more significant concentration of our credit risk by geographic region or country of issuer at September 30, 2010, based on amortized cost, was: Europe, excluding the United Kingdom (47%); United States (20%); United Kingdom (8%); Japan (8%); and other (17%).

As a result of the consolidation of additional VIEs as disclosed in Note 1, $120 million in additional perpetual securities in the bank and financial institution sector were recognized effective January 1, 2010, since the securities were included in the former QSPE structures.

Our total investments in the bank and financial institution sector, including those classified as perpetual securities, were as follows:

 

      September 30, 2010     December 31, 2009  
      Total Investments in
Banks and Financial
Institutions Sector
(in millions)
     Percentage of
Total Investment
Portfolio
    Total Investments in
Banks and Financial
Institutions Sector
(in millions)
     Percentage of
Total Investment    
Portfolio
 

Debt Securities:

          

Amortized cost

     $        21,546                        26  %        $        19,691                   28  %       

Fair value

     19,915                        24             18,023                   26            

Perpetual Securities:

          

Upper Tier II:

          

Amortized cost

     $          4,937                         6  %        $          4,909                       7  %          

Fair value

     4,750                       6           4,938                    7            

Tier I:

          

Amortized cost

     2,480                        3             2,354                    3            

Fair value

     2,372                        3             2,006                    3            

Total:

          

Amortized cost

     $        28,963                       35  %        $        26,954                   38  %       

Fair value

     27,037                        33              24,967                    36             
                                    

 

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As of September 30, 2010, our investment exposure to sovereign debt and financial institutions in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain consisted of the following:

Investments in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain

      September 30, 2010  
(In millions)    Amortized
Cost
    Fair   
Value   
 

Sovereign and supranational:

    

Italy

       $ 298       $ 290     

Spain

     453         443     

Total sovereign and supranational

       $ 751       $ 733     
                  
                  

Banks and financial institutions:

    

Greece

       $   1,120       $ 416     

Ireland

     970         717     

Italy

     179         173     

Portugal

     835         749     

Spain

     514         489     

Total banks and financial institutions

        $ 3,618  (1)    $ 2,544     
                  
                  
(1)

Represents 12% of total investments in the banks and financial institutions sector and 4% of total investments in debt and perpetual securities

As of September 30, 2010, two securities issued by Irish financial institutions with amortized costs and fair values totaling $463 million and $261 million, respectively, were rated below investment grade. During the second quarter of 2010, the Greek financial institutions, which comprise Lower Tier II investments, were downgraded to below investment grade. As a result of the downgrades, we reclassified these investments from held to maturity to available for sale. While these financial institutions have significant investments in Greek Government Bonds (GGBs), we believe that these institutions will be solvent even if there were a future restructuring of GGBs. As a result, we believe that we will collect all cash flows under the terms of their obligations to us. All other securities included in the table above were rated investment grade as of September 30, 2010.

During the second quarter of 2010, the creditworthiness of the Greek sovereign debt deteriorated, and we expected further deterioration in the performance of Greek debt as a result of the stressed economic environment. As a result, in June 2010 we sold our entire holdings of Greek sovereign debt and recognized an after-tax investment loss of $67 million.

 

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Realized Investment Gains and Losses

Information regarding pretax realized gains and losses from investments is as follows:

 

      Three Months Ended
September 30,
     Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
(In millions)        2010              2009              2010              2009      

Realized investment gains (losses) on securities:

           

Debt securities:

           

Available for sale:

           

Gross gains from sales

   $ 25        $ 19        $ 75        $ 244     

Gross losses from sales

     (17)                 (207)         (2)    

Net gains (losses) from redemptions

                             2     

Other-than-temporary impairment losses

     (12)         (40)         (12)         (450)    

Total debt securities

     (4)         (21)         (143)         (206)    

Perpetual securities:

           

Available for sale:

           

Gross gains from sales

                     133          0     

Other-than-temporary impairment losses

             (326)         (41)         (535)    

Total perpetual securities

             (326)         92          (535)    

Equity securities:

           

Gross losses from sales

                     (2)         0     

Other-than-temporary impairment losses

     (1)         (2)         (2)         (2)    

Total equity securities

     (1)         (2)         (4)         (2)    

Other assets:

           

Derivative gains (losses)

     14                  (72)         0     

Other long-term assets

                             4     

Total other assets

     14                  (72)         4     

Total realized investment gains (losses)

   $       $ (347)       $ (127)       $ (739)    
                                     

During the three-month period ended September 30, 2010, we realized pretax investment gains, net of losses, of $14 million ($9 million after-tax) from valuing foreign currency, interest rate and credit default swaps related to certain VIEs that were required to be consolidated following the adoption of new accounting guidance effective January 1, 2010. During the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010, we realized pretax investment losses, net of gains, of $72 million ($46 million after-tax) from valuing these swaps.

Other-than-temporary Impairment

The fair value of our debt and perpetual security investments fluctuates based on changes in credit spreads in the global financial markets. Credit spreads are most impacted by market rates of interest, the general and specific credit environment and global market liquidity. We believe that fluctuations in the fair value of our investment securities related to changes in credit spreads have little bearing on whether our investment is ultimately recoverable. Therefore, we consider such declines in fair value to be temporary even in situations where an investment remains in an unrealized loss position for a year or more.

However, in the course of our credit review process, we may determine that it is unlikely that we will recover our investment in an issuer due to factors specific to an individual issuer, as opposed to general changes in global credit spreads. In this event, we consider such a decline in the investment’s fair value, to the extent below the investment’s cost or amortized cost, to be an other-than-temporary impairment of the investment and write the investment down to its fair value. The determination of whether an impairment is other than temporary is subjective and involves the consideration of various factors and circumstances, which includes but is not limited to the following:

 

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issuer financial condition, including profitability and cash flows

 

   

credit status of the issuer

 

   

the issuer’s specific and general competitive environment

 

   

published reports

 

   

general economic environment

 

   

regulatory, legislative and political environment

 

   

the severity of the decline in fair value

 

   

the length of time the fair value is below cost

 

   

other factors as may become available from time to time

In addition to the usual investment risk associated with a debt instrument, our perpetual security holdings may be subject to the risk of nationalization of their issuers in connection with capital injections from an issuer’s sovereign government. We cannot be assured that such capital support will extend to all levels of an issuer’s capital structure. In addition, certain governments or regulators may consider imposing interest and principal payment restrictions on issuers of hybrid securities to preserve cash and build capital. In addition to the cash flow impact that additional deferrals would have on our portfolio, such deferrals could result in ratings downgrades of the affected securities, which in turn could impair the fair value of the securities and increase our regulatory capital requirements. We take factors such as these into account in our credit review process.

Another factor we consider in determining whether an impairment is other than temporary is an evaluation of our intent, need, or both to sell the security prior to its anticipated recovery in value. We perform ongoing analyses of our liquidity needs, which includes cash flow testing of our policy liabilities, debt maturities, projected dividend payments and other cash flow and liquidity needs. Our cash flow testing includes extensive duration matching of our investment portfolio and policy liabilities. Based on our analyses, we have concluded that we have sufficient excess cash flows to meet our liquidity needs without liquidating any of our investments prior to their maturity. In addition, provided that our credit review process results in a conclusion that we will collect all of our cash flows and recover our investment in an issuer, we generally do not sell investments prior to their maturity.

The majority of our investments are evaluated for other-than-temporary impairment using our debt impairment model. Our debt impairment model focuses on the ultimate collection of the cash flows from our investments. Our investments in perpetual securities that are rated below investment grade are evaluated for other-than-temporary impairment under our equity impairment model. Our equity impairment model focuses on the severity of a security’s decline in fair value coupled with the length of time the fair value of the security has been below amortized cost.

 

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The following table details our pretax other-than-temporary impairment losses by investment category.

 

      Three Months Ended
September 30,
             Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
(In millions)        2010                  2009                      2010                  2009      

Perpetual securities

   $ 0       $ 326          $ 41         $ 535     

Corporate bonds

     0         0            0           288     

Collateralized debt obligations

     0         35            0           148     

Mortgage- and asset-backed securities

     12         5            12           14     

Equity securities

     1         2            2           2     

Total other-than-temporary impairment losses

   $ 13       $ 368                $ 55         $ 987     
   

We apply the debt security impairment model to our perpetual securities provided there has been no evidence of deterioration in credit of the issuer, such as a downgrade of the rating of a perpetual security to below investment grade. During the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010, the perpetual securities of two issuers we own were downgraded to below investment grade. As a result of these downgrades, we were required to evaluate these securities for other-than-temporary impairment using the equity security impairment model rather than the debt security impairment model. Use of the equity security model limits the forecasted recovery period that can be used in the impairment evaluation and, accordingly, affects both the recognition and measurement of other-than-temporary impairment losses. As a result of market conditions and the extent of changes in ratings on our perpetual securities, we recognized other-than-temporary impairment losses for perpetual securities being evaluated under our equity impairment model of $41 million ($27 million after-tax) during the three-month period ended March 31, 2010, and no additional impairment losses were recognized in the six-month period ended September 30, 2010. We recognized other-than-temporary impairment losses for perpetual securities being evaluated under our equity impairment model of $326 million ($212 million after-tax) during the three-month period ended September 30, 2009, and $535 million ($348 million after-tax) during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2009.

Impairments on mortgage- and asset-backed securities during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010, were credit-related. During our review of certain mortgage- and asset-backed securities during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2009, we determined that a portion of the other-than-temporary impairment of the securities was credit-related. However, we concluded that a portion of the reduction in fair value below amortized cost was due to non-credit factors, which we believe we will recover. As a result, we recognized an impairment charge in earnings for credit-related declines in value of $5 million ($3 million after-tax) during the three-month period and $14 million ($9 million after-tax) during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2009. We recorded an unrealized loss in other comprehensive income of $8 million ($5 million after-tax) during the three-month period and $15 million ($10 million after-tax) during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2009, for the portion of the other-than-temporary impairment of these securities resulting from non-credit factors.

The other-than-temporary impairment losses recognized in the first nine months of 2009, of which a portion was transferred to other comprehensive income, related only to the other-than-temporary impairment of certain of our investments in CMOs. The other-than-temporary impairment charges related to credit and all other factors other than credit were determined using statistical modeling techniques. The model projects expected cash flows from the underlying mortgage pools assuming various economic recession scenarios including, more significantly, geographical and regional home data, housing valuations, prepayment speeds, and economic recession statistics. The following table summarizes cumulative credit-related impairment losses on securities still held at the end of the reporting period, for which other-than-temporary losses have been recognized and only the amount related to credit loss was recognized in earnings.

 

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      Three Months Ended
September 30,
     Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
(In millions)        2010              2009              2010              2009      

Cumulative credit loss impairments, beginning of period

   $ 13         $ 9       $ 24         $ 0     

Credit losses for which an other-than-temporary impairment was not previously recognized

     0           5         0           13     

Credit losses for which an other-than-temporary impairment was previously recognized

     1           0         1           1     

Securities sold during period

     (1)          0         (12)          0     

Cumulative credit loss impairments, end of period

   $ 13         $ 14       $ 13         $ 14     
                                     

Unrealized Investment Gains and Losses

Effect on Shareholders’ Equity

The net effect on shareholders’ equity of unrealized gains and losses from investment securities was as follows:

 

(In millions)      September 30,         
2010       
       December 31,  
2009
 

Net unrealized gains (losses) on securities available for sale

   $ 791                $ (1,141)           

Unamortized unrealized gains on securities transferred to held to maturity

     138                  148            

Deferred income taxes

     (335)                 356            

Other

     0                  (1)           

Shareholders’ equity, net unrealized gains (losses) on investment securities

   $ 594                $ (638)           
                   
                   

Gross Unrealized Loss Aging

The following tables show the fair value and gross unrealized losses, including the portion of other-than-temporary impairment recognized in accumulated other comprehensive income, of our available-for-sale and held-to-maturity investments, aggregated by investment category and length of time that individual securities have been in a continuous unrealized loss position.

 

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      September 30, 2010  
      Total      Less than 12 months      12 months or longer  
(In millions)    Fair
    Value    
     Unrealized
Losses
     Fair
    Value    
     Unrealized
Losses
     Fair
    Value    
     Unrealized  
Losses  
 

Fixed maturities:

                 

Municipalities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

   $ 83       $ 12       $ 30       $ 1       $ 53       $ 11     

Yen-denominated

     55         5         0         0         55         5     

Mortgage- and asset- backed securities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     103         17         5         0         98         17     

Yen-denominated

     393         6         393         6         0         0     

Public utilities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     136         8         30         0         106         8     

Yen-denominated

     4,428         307         1,612         106         2,816         201     

Sovereign and supranational:

                 

Yen-denominated

     2,016         167         605         26         1,411         141     

Banks/financial institutions:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     825         77         87         4         738         73     

Yen-denominated

     11,078         2,144         2,143         76         8,935         2,068     

Other corporate:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     546         42         248         20         298         22     

Yen-denominated

     5,096         733         1,280         99         3,816         634     

Total fixed maturities

     24,759         3,518         6,433         338         18,326         3,180     

Perpetual securities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     153         25         34         14         119         11     

Yen-denominated

     4,862         527         2,542         132         2,320         395     

Total perpetual securities

     5,015         552         2,576         146         2,439         406     

Equity securities

     14         2         12         1         2         1     

Total

   $ 29,788       $ 4,072       $ 9,021       $ 485       $ 20,767       $ 3,587     
                                                       

 

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      December 31, 2009  
      Total      Less than 12 months      12 months or longer  
(In millions)    Fair
    Value    
     Unrealized
Losses
     Fair
    Value    
     Unrealized
Losses
     Fair
    Value    
     Unrealized  
Losses  
 

Fixed maturities:

                 

U.S. government and agencies:

                 

Dollar-denominated

   $ 175       $ 7       $ 112       $ 3       $ 63       $ 4            

Japan government and agencies:

                 

Yen-denominated

     5,760         174         5,456         153         304         21            

Municipalities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     378         28         322         11         56         17            

Yen-denominated

     223         4         223         4         0         0            

Mortgage- and asset- backed securities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     338         78         78         3         260         75            

Yen-denominated

     54         6         35         0         19         6            

Collateralized debt obligations:(1)

                 

Dollar-denominated

     117         100         0         0         117         100            

Yen-denominated

     181         38         0         0         181         38            

Public utilities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     465         42         200         10         265         32            

Yen-denominated

     3,290         217         592         37         2,698         180            

Sovereign and supranational:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     92         9         43         3         49         6            

Yen-denominated

     2,331         239         948         31         1,383         208            

Banks/financial institutions:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     1,325         259         305         14         1,020         245            

Yen-denominated

     10,306         1,768         807         313         9,499         1,455            

Other corporate:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     1,393         108         535         13         858         95            

Yen-denominated

     6,084         818         1,643         93         4,441         725            

Total fixed maturities

     32,512         3,895         11,299         688         21,213         3,207            

Perpetual securities:

                 

Dollar-denominated

     181         56         0         0         181         56            

Yen-denominated

     3,117         604         373         28         2,744         576            

Total perpetual securities

     3,298         660         373         28         2,925         632            

Equity securities

     6         2         3         1         3         1            

Total

   $ 35,816       $ 4,557       $ 11,675       $ 717       $ 24,141       $ 3,840            
   

(1) Beginning January 1, 2010, these investments are consolidated and are no longer reported as a single investment.

 

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Analysis of Securities in Unrealized Loss Positions

The unrealized losses on our investments have been primarily related to changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates or the widening of credit spreads rather than specific issuer credit-related events. In addition, because we do not intend to sell and do not believe it is likely that we will be required to sell these investments before a recovery of fair value to amortized cost, we do not consider any of these investments to be other-than-temporarily impaired as of and for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010. The following summarizes our evaluation of investment categories with significant unrealized losses and securities that were rated below investment grade. All other investment categories with securities in an unrealized loss position that are not specifically discussed below were comprised of investment grade fixed maturities.

Municipalities and Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities

As of September 30, 2010, 57% of the unrealized losses on investments in the municipalities sector and 27% of the unrealized losses on investments in the mortgage- and asset-backed securities sector were related to investments that were investment grade, compared with 74% and 39%, respectively, at December 31, 2009. We have determined that the majority of the unrealized losses on the investments in these sectors were caused by widening credit spreads. However, we have determined that the ability of the issuers to service our investments has not been compromised. Unrealized gains or losses related to prevailing interest rate environments are impacted by the remaining time to maturity of an investment. Assuming no credit-related factors develop, as investments near maturity the unrealized gains or losses can be expected to diminish.

Bank and Financial Institution Investments

The following table shows the composition of our investments in an unrealized loss position in the bank and financial institution sector by fixed-maturity securities and perpetual securities. The table reflects those securities in that sector that were in an unrealized loss position as a percentage of our total investment portfolio in an unrealized loss position and their respective unrealized losses as a percentage of total unrealized losses.

 

     September 30, 2010   December 31, 2009        
     Percentage of
Total Investments in
an Unrealized Loss
Position
 

Percentage of

Total

Unrealized

Losses

 

Percentage of

Total Investments in
an Unrealized Loss
Position

  Percentage of
        Total        
Unrealized
        Losses        

Fixed maturities

   40  %   55   %   33  %   44   %    

Perpetual securities:

       

Upper Tier II

  12       7       5      5        

Tier I

    5       6       4      10          
 

Total perpetual securities

  17       13         9      15          
 

Total

   57  %   68   %   42  %   59   %    
 

Throughout 2008 and during the first half of 2009, concerns related to troubled residential mortgages in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe spread to structured investment securities. As a result, banks and financial institutions suffered significant write-downs of asset values, which pressured banks and financial institutions to seek capital and liquidity support. National governments responded with various forms of support, ranging from guarantees on new and existing debt to significant injections of capital. In the second half of 2009, asset valuations generally improved. In addition, banks and other financial institutions have sought to enhance their core capital in part through exchanges and tender offers. Should capital markets deteriorate, more of these banks and financial institutions may need various forms of government support. While it does not appear to be a preferred solution, some troubled banks and financial institutions may be nationalized. Few nationalizations have occurred to date, and the governments have generally supported the classes of investments that we own.

As of September 30, 2010, 53% of the $2.8 billion in unrealized losses on investments in the bank and financial institution sector, including perpetual securities, were related to investments that were investment grade,

 

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compared with 75% at December 31, 2009. The decrease in this percentage is primarily due to investments in Greek financial institutions that were downgraded to below investment grade in the second quarter of 2010, as discussed previously in the Investment Concentrations section. Of the $16.9 billion in investments, at fair value, in the bank and financial institution sector in an unrealized loss position at September 30, 2010, only $1.9 billion ($1.3 billion in unrealized losses) were below investment grade. Six investments comprised nearly 90% of the $1.3 billion unrealized loss. The remaining investments that comprised the unrealized loss were divided among 11 issuers with average unrealized losses per investment of less than $16 million. We conduct our own independent credit analysis for investments in the bank and financial institution sector. Our assessment includes our own analysis of financial information, as well as consultation with the issuers from time to time. Based on our independent credit analysis, we have determined that the majority of the unrealized losses on the investments in this sector were caused by widening credit spreads, the downturn in the global economic environment and, to a lesser extent, changes in foreign exchange rates. Unrealized gains or losses related to prevailing interest rate environments are impacted by the remaining time to maturity of an investment. Assuming no credit-related factors develop, as investments near maturity, the unrealized gains or losses can be expected to diminish. In particular, for our investments rated below investment grade, we have observed improvements in the fair value of those investments during the last half of 2009 and continuing into 2010 resulting from improvements in the issuers’ capital structure, operating fundamentals and, to a lesser extent, the global economic environment. Based on our credit analysis, we believe that our investments in this sector have the ability to service their obligations to us.

Other Corporate Investments

As of September 30, 2010, 54% of the unrealized losses on investments in the other corporate sector were related to investments that were investment grade, compared with 58% at December 31, 2009. For any credit-related declines in market value, we perform a more focused review of the related issuer’s credit ratings, financial statements and other available financial data, timeliness of payment, competitive environment and any other significant data related to the issuer. From those reviews, we evaluate the issuers’ continued ability to service our investments. We have determined that the majority of the unrealized losses on the investments in the other corporate sector were caused by widening credit spreads. Also impacting the unrealized losses in this sector is the decline in creditworthiness of certain issuers in the other corporate sector. Based on our credit analysis, we believe that our investments in this sector have the ability to service their obligation to us.

Perpetual Securities

As of September 30, 2010, 84% of the unrealized losses on investments in perpetual securities were related to investments that were investment grade, compared with 92% at December 31, 2009. The majority of our investments in Upper Tier II and Tier I perpetual securities were in highly-rated global financial institutions. Upper Tier II securities have more debt-like characteristics than Tier I securities and are senior to Tier I securities, preferred stock, and common equity of the issuer. Conversely, Tier I securities have more equity-like characteristics, but are senior to the common equity of the issuer. They may also be senior to certain preferred shares, depending on the individual security, the issuer’s capital structure and the regulatory jurisdiction of the issuer.

 

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Details of our holdings of perpetual securities as of September 30, 2010, were as follows:

Perpetual Securities

(In millions)    Credit
Rating
           Amortized
Cost
             Fair
Value
             Unrealized
Gain (Loss)
 

Upper Tier II:

                    
   AA       $ 187              $ 200          $   13        
   A         3,189                3,140            (49)       
   BBB         1,238                1,151            (87)       
   BB         643                589            (54)       

  Total Upper Tier II

                   5,257                      5,080                  (177)       

Tier I:

                    
   A         618                563            (55)       
   BBB         1,351                1,240            (111)       
   BB or lower         511                569            58        

  Total Tier I

                   2,480                      2,372                  (108)       

  Total

         $     7,737              $ 7,452          $   (285)       
                                                            

With the exception of the Icelandic bank securities that we completely impaired in 2008, our Lloyds Banking Group plc dollar-denominated Tier I perpetual securities (par value of $33 million at September 30, 2010), our Royal Bank of Scotland dollar-denominated Tier I perpetual security (par value of $20 million at September 30, 2010), and our RBS Capital Trust II dollar-denominated Tier I perpetual security (par value $38 million at September 30, 2010), all of the perpetual securities we own were current on interest and principal payments at September 30, 2010. Based on amortized cost as of September 30, 2010, the geographic breakdown of our perpetual securities by issuer was as follows: European countries, excluding the United Kingdom (71%); the United Kingdom (10%); Japan (13%); and other (6%). To determine any credit-related declines in market value, we perform a more focused review of the related issuer’s credit ratings, financial statements and other available financial data, timeliness of payment, competitive environment and any other significant data related to the issuer. From those reviews, we evaluate the issuer’s continued ability to service our investment.

We have determined that the majority of our unrealized losses in the perpetual security category was principally due to widening credit spreads, largely as the result of the contraction of liquidity in the capital markets. Based on our reviews, we concluded that the ability of the issuers to service our investment has not been compromised by these factors. Unrealized gains or losses related to prevailing interest rate environments are impacted by the remaining time to maturity of an investment. Assuming no credit-related factors develop, as the investments near economic maturity, the unrealized gains or losses can be expected to diminish. Based on our credit analyses, we believe that our investments in this sector have the ability to service their obligation to us.

Qualified Special Purpose Entities (QSPEs) and Variable Interest Entities (VIEs)

As discussed in Note 1, effective January 1, 2010, we have consolidated all of the components of each former QSPE investment, including a debt or hybrid instrument and a corresponding derivative transaction (swap). In addition, new criteria for determining the primary beneficiary of a VIE that was effective January 1, 2010, has resulted in the consolidation of additional VIE investments. Under accounting guidance in effect at December 31, 2009, QSPEs were exempt from consolidation and VIEs were evaluated for consolidation using a quantitative approach.

 

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The following table details our investments in VIEs and former QSPEs.

Investments in Qualified Special Purpose Entities

and Variable Interest Entities

 

      September 30, 2010     December 31, 2009      
(In millions)    Amortized
Cost
    Fair
Value
    Amortized
Cost
     Fair
Value  
 

QSPEs:

         

Total QSPEs

   $ 0      $ 0      $ 4,405       $ 4,089     
                                   

VIEs:

         

Consolidated:

         

  Total VIEs consolidated

   $ 6,799 (1)     $ 7,043 (1)     $ 1,809       $ 1,522     

Not consolidated:

         

CDOs

     5        5        498         464     

Other

     12,690        11,939        727         689     

  Total VIEs not consolidated

     12,695        11,944        1,225         1,153     

  Total VIEs

   $ 19,494      $     18,987      $ 3,034       $ 2,675     
                                   

(1) Includes CDOs and former QSPEs consolidated beginning on January 1, 2010

QSPEs

The underlying collateral in the former QSPEs, which we began consolidating effective January 1, 2010, are structured as fixed-maturity or perpetual investments and we have classified these securities as available for sale. We are the only beneficial interest holder in the former QSPEs and our risk of loss over the life of these investments is limited to the amount of our original investment.

VIEs

As a condition to our involvement or investment in a VIE, we enter into certain protective rights and covenants that preclude changes in the structure of the VIE that would alter the creditworthiness of our investment or our beneficial interest in the VIE.

Our involvement with all of the VIEs in which we have an interest is passive in nature, and we are not the arranger of these entities. Except as relates to our review and evaluation of the structure of these VIEs in the normal course of our investment decision-making process, we have not been involved in establishing these entities. Further, we have not been nor are we required to purchase the securities issued in the future by any of these VIEs.

Our ownership interest in the VIEs is limited to holding the obligations issued by them. All of the VIEs in which we invest are static with respect to funding and have no ongoing forms of funding after the initial funding date. We have no direct or contingent obligations to fund the limited activities of these VIEs, nor do we have any direct or indirect financial guarantees related to the limited activities of these VIEs. We have not provided any assistance or any other type of financing support to any of the VIEs we invest in, nor do we have any intention to do so in the future. The weighted-average lives of our notes are very similar to the underlying collateral held by these VIEs where applicable.

Our risk of loss related to our interests in any of our VIEs is limited to our investment in the debt securities issued by them.

 

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VIEs-Consolidated

We are substantively the only investor in the consolidated VIEs listed in the table above. As the sole investor in these VIEs, we have the power to direct the activities of a variable interest entity that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance and are therefore considered to be the primary beneficiary of the VIEs that we consolidate. We also participate in substantially all of the variability created by these VIEs. The activities of these VIEs are limited to holding debt securities and interest rate and/or foreign currency swaps, as appropriate, and utilizing the cash flows from these securities to service our investment. Neither we nor any of our creditors are able to obtain the underlying collateral of the VIEs unless there is an event of default. Further, we are not a direct counterparty to the swap contracts and have no control over them. Our loss exposure to these VIEs is limited to our original investment.

Prior to January 1, 2010, we had interests in VIEs that we were not required to consolidate as reflected in the above table. Included in the VIEs that we did not consolidate are CDOs issued through VIEs originated by third parties. These VIEs combine highly rated underlying assets as collateral for the CDOs with CDSs to produce an investment security that consists of multiple asset tranches with varying levels of subordination within the VIE. However, subsequent to the adoption of new criteria for determining the primary beneficiary of a VIE, we have consolidated the majority of these investments effective January 1, 2010.

The underlying collateral assets and funding of these VIEs are generally static in nature. These VIEs are limited to holding the underlying collateral and CDS contracts on specific corporate entities and utilizing the cash flows from the collateral and CDS contracts to service our investment therein. The underlying collateral and the reference corporate entities covered by the CDS contracts are all investment grade at the time of issuance. These VIEs do not rely on outside or ongoing sources of funding to support their activities beyond the underlying collateral and CDS contracts. We currently own only senior CDO tranches within these VIEs.

Consistent with our other debt and perpetual securities we own, we are exposed to credit losses within these CDOs that could result in principal losses to our investments. We have mitigated our risk of credit loss through the structure of the VIE, which contractually requires the subordinated tranches within these VIEs to absorb the majority of the expected losses from the underlying credit default swaps. Based on our statistical analysis models, each of the VIEs can sustain a reasonable number of defaults in the underlying CDS pools with no loss to our investment.

VIEs-Not Consolidated

The VIEs that we are not required to consolidate are investments that are limited to loans in the form of debt obligations from the VIEs that are irrevocably and unconditionally guaranteed by their corporate parents. These VIEs are the primary financing vehicle used by their corporate sponsors to raise financing in the international capital markets. The variable interests created by these VIEs are principally or solely a result of the debt instruments issued by them. We do not have the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance, nor do we have (1) the obligation to absorb losses of the entity or (2) the right to receive benefits from the entity. As such, we are not the primary beneficiary of these VIEs and are therefore not required to consolidate them. The increase in the amounts disclosed for VIEs not consolidated of $11.5 billion at amortized cost at September 30, 2010, compared with December 31, 2009, was due to a change in disclosure requirements that was effective January 1, 2010.

 

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Securities Lending

We lend fixed-maturity securities to financial institutions in short-term security-lending transactions. These short-term security-lending arrangements increase investment income with minimal risk. Our security lending policy requires that the fair value of the securities and/or cash received as collateral be 102% or more of the fair value of the loaned securities. The following table presents our security loans outstanding and the corresponding collateral held:

 

(In millions)    September 30,    
2010  
     December 31,    
2009  
 

Security loans outstanding, fair value

   $     143               $ 467           

Cash collateral on loaned securities

     147                 483           
                   

All security lending agreements are callable by us at any time.

For general information regarding our investment accounting policies, see Note 1.

 

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4.  DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS

We do not use derivative financial instruments for trading purposes, nor do we engage in leveraged derivative transactions. The majority of our freestanding derivatives are interest rate, foreign currency and credit default swaps that are associated with investments in special-purpose entities, including VIEs where we are the primary beneficiary. The remaining derivatives are interest rate swaps associated with our variable interest rate yen-denominated debt.

Derivative Types

Interest rate and credit default swaps involve the periodic exchange of cash flows with other parties, at specified intervals, calculated using agreed upon rates or other financial variables and notional principal amounts. Generally, no cash or principal payments are exchanged at the inception of the contract. Typically, at the time a swap is entered into, the cash flow streams exchanged by the counterparties are equal in value. Interest rate swaps are primarily used to convert interest receipts on floating-rate fixed-maturity securities contracts to fixed rates. These derivatives are predominantly used to better match cash receipts from assets with cash disbursements required to fund liabilities.

Credit default swaps are used to assume credit risk related to an individual security or an index. These contracts entitle the consolidated VIE to receive a periodic fee in exchange for an obligation to compensate the derivative counterparty should the referenced security issuers experience a credit event, as defined in the contract. The consolidated VIE is also exposed to credit risk due to embedded derivatives associated with credit-linked notes.

Foreign currency swaps exchange an initial principal amount in two currencies, agreeing to re-exchange the currencies at a future date, at an agreed upon exchange rate. There may also be a periodic exchange of payments at specified intervals calculated using the agreed upon rates and exchanged principal amounts. Foreign currency swaps are used primarily in the consolidated VIEs in our Aflac Japan portfolio to convert foreign denominated cash flows to yen, the functional currency of Aflac Japan, in order to minimize cash flow fluctuations.

Credit Risk Assumed through Derivatives

Our exposure to credit risk in the event of nonperformance by counterparties to our interest rate swaps associated with our variable interest rate Uridashi notes as of September 30, 2010, was immaterial. For the interest rate, foreign currency, and credit default swaps associated with our VIE investments for which we are the primary beneficiary, we do not bear the risk of loss for counterparty default. We are not a direct counterparty to those contracts.

The consolidated VIE enters into credit default swaps that assume credit risk from an asset pool in order to synthetically replicate investment transactions. The consolidated VIE will receive periodic payments based on an agreed upon rate and notional amount and will only make a payment by delivery of associated collateral, which consists of highly rated asset-backed securities, if there is a credit event. A credit event payment will typically be equal to the notional value of the swap contract less the value of the referenced obligations. A credit event is generally defined as a default on contractually obligated interest or principal payments or bankruptcy of the referenced entity. The credit default swaps in which the consolidated VIE assumes credit risk primarily reference investment grade baskets. The diversified portfolios of corporate issuers are established within sector concentration limits.

 

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The following table presents the maximum potential risk, fair value, weighted-average years to maturity, and underlying referenced credit obligation type for credit derivatives as of September 30, 2010.

 

    

Less than

one year

   

One to

three years

   

Three to

five years

   

Greater than

five years

    Total  
(In millions)   Maximum
potential
risk
    Estimated
fair value
    Maximum
potential
risk
    Estimated
fair value
    Maximum
potential
risk
     Estimated
fair value
    Maximum
potential
risk
    Estimated
fair value
    Maximum
potential
risk
    Estimated
fair value
 

Index exposure:

 

                    

Corporate
bonds

  $  0      $  0      $  0      $  0      $  (326)       $  (102)      $  (393)      $  (225)      $  (719)      $  (327)   
                                                                                  

Derivative Balance Sheet Classification

The table below summarizes the balance sheet classification of the Company’s derivative fair value amounts, as well as the gross asset and liability fair value amounts. The fair value amounts presented do not include income accruals. The notional amount of derivative contracts represents the basis upon which pay or receive amounts are calculated. Notional amounts are not reflective of credit risk.

 

      September 30, 2010  
(In millions)            Net Derivatives               Asset
    Derivatives    
     Liability
    Derivatives    
 

Hedge Designation/

Derivative Type

  

Notional

        Amount        

             Fair Value                      Fair Value                      Fair Value          

Cash flow hedges:

           

Interest rate swaps

         $ 239                 $ (2)                 $ 0                 $ (2)       

Foreign currency swaps

           375                   112                    112                   0        

Total cash flow hedges

         $ 614                 $ 110                  $ 112                 $ (2)       
   

Non-qualifying strategies:

           

Interest rate swaps

         $ 708                 $ 56                  $ 118                 $ (62)       

Foreign currency swaps

           3,539                   (139)                   153                   (292)       

Credit default swaps

           719                   (327)                   0                   (327)       

Total non-qualifying strategies

         $ 4,966                 $ (410)                 $ 271                 $ (681)       
   

Total cash flow hedges and non-qualifying strategies

         $ 5,580                 $ (300)                 $ 383                 $ (683)       
   

Balance Sheet Location

                                   

Other assets

         $ 1,468                 $ 383                  $ 383                 $ 0        

Other liabilities

     4,112                   (683)                   0                   (683)       

Total derivatives

         $ 5,580                 $ (300)                 $ 383                 $ (683)       
   

Hedging

As part of the adoption of the new accounting requirements associated with VIEs, we considered whether the interest rate and/or foreign currency swaps in the consolidated VIEs would qualify for hedge accounting treatment on January 1, 2010. For those that qualified, the Company designated the derivative on January 1, 2010, as a hedge of the variability in cash flows of a forecasted transaction or of amounts to be received or paid related to a recognized asset (“cash flow” hedge). We expect to continue this hedging activity for a weighted-average period of approximately 19 years. The remaining derivatives that did not qualify for hedge accounting were designated on January 1, 2010, as held for other investment purposes (“non-qualifying strategies”).

 

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We have interest rate swap agreements related to the 20 billion yen variable interest rate Uridashi notes (see Note 5). By entering into these contracts, we have been able to lock in the interest rate at 1.52% in yen. We have designated these interest rate swaps as a hedge of the variability in our interest cash flows associated with the variable interest rate Uridashi notes. The notional amounts and terms of the swaps match the principal amount and terms of the variable interest rate Uridashi notes. The swaps had no value at inception. Changes in the fair value of the swap contracts are recorded in other comprehensive income so long as the hedge is deemed effective. Should any portion of the hedge be deemed ineffective, that value would be reported in net earnings.

Hedge Documentation and Effectiveness Testing

To qualify for hedge accounting treatment, a derivative must be highly effective in mitigating the designated changes in cash flow of the hedged item. At hedge inception, the Company formally documents all relationships between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as its risk-management objective and strategy for undertaking each hedge transaction. The documentation process includes linking derivatives that are designated as cash flow hedges to specific assets or liabilities on the statement of financial position or to specific forecasted transactions and defining the effectiveness and ineffectiveness testing methods to be used. The Company also formally assesses both at the hedge’s inception and ongoing on a quarterly basis, whether the derivatives that are used in hedging transactions have been and are expected to continue to be highly effective in offsetting changes in cash flows of hedged items. Hedge effectiveness is assessed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods may include the comparison of critical terms of the derivative to the hedged item. Quantitative methods include regression or other statistical analysis of changes in cash flows associated with the hedge relationship. Hedge ineffectiveness of the hedge relationships is measured each reporting period using the “Hypothetical Derivative Method.”

For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as cash flow hedges, the effective portion of the gain or loss on the derivative is reported as a component of other comprehensive income and reclassified into earnings in the same period or periods during which the hedged transaction affects earnings. Gains and losses on the derivative representing hedge ineffectiveness are recognized in current earnings as a component of realized gains (losses). All components of each derivative’s gain or loss were included in the assessment of hedge effectiveness.

Discontinuance of Hedge Accounting

The Company discontinues hedge accounting prospectively when (1) it is determined that the derivative is no longer highly effective in offsetting changes in the cash flows of a hedged item; (2) the derivative is de-designated as a hedging instrument; or (3) the derivative expires or is sold, terminated or exercised.

When hedge accounting is discontinued on a cash-flow hedge, including those where the derivative is sold, terminated or exercised, amounts previously deferred in other comprehensive income are reclassified into earnings when earnings are impacted by the variability of the cash flow of the hedged item.

 

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Cash Flow Hedges

The following table presents the components of the gain or loss on derivatives that qualify as cash flow hedges:

Derivatives in Cash Flow Hedging Relationships

 

(In millions)   

Gain (Loss) Recognized in

Other Comprehensive Income

on Derivative (Effective Portion)

   

Net Realized Investment Gains (Losses)
Recognized in Income

on Derivative (Ineffective Portion)

 
     

Three Months Ended

September 30, 2010

     Nine Months Ended
September 30, 2010
    Three Months Ended
September 30, 2010
     Nine Months Ended
September 30, 2010
 

Interest rate swaps

   $                0       $                1       $            0       $                0       

Foreign currency swaps

     2         (1     13         13       

Total

   $ 2       $ 0      $ 13       $ 13       
                                    

There was no gain or loss reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive income into earnings related to our cash flow hedges for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2010. As of September 30, 2010, before-tax deferred net gains on derivative instruments recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income that are expected to be reclassified to earnings during the next twelve months are immaterial.

Non-qualifying Strategies

Our other derivative activities in VIEs do not receive hedge accounting treatment. All changes in the value of these derivative instruments are reported in current period earnings as net realized investment gains (losses). The following table presents the gain or loss recognized in income on non-qualifying strategies:

Non-qualifying Strategies

Gain (Loss) Recognized within Net Realized Investment Gains (Losses)

 

(In millions)    Three Months Ended
September 30, 2010
     Nine Months Ended
September 30, 2010
 

Interest rate swaps

     $              4          $          7    

Foreign currency swaps

     (33)                 (77)   

Credit default swaps

     30                  (15)   

Total

     $               1          $       (85)   
   

The amount of gain or loss recognized in earnings for our VIEs is attributable to the derivatives in those investment structures. While the change in value of the swaps is recorded through current period earnings, the change in value of the available-for-sale fixed income or perpetual securities associated with these swaps is recorded through other comprehensive income. For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010, the change in value of our total investment in these VIEs, consisting of swaps and their associated fixed income or perpetual securities, had a favorable impact on total shareholders’ equity.

Nonderivative Hedges

We have designated a majority of the Parent Company’s yen-denominated Samurai and Uridashi notes and yen-denominated loans (see Note 6) as nonderivative hedges of the foreign currency exposure of our investment in Aflac Japan. Our net investment hedge was effective during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010; therefore, there was no impact on net earnings during that period. We recognized an immaterial loss in net earnings during the nine-months ended September 30, 2009, for the negative foreign exchange effect on the Parent Company yen-denominated liabilities that exceeded our yen net asset position in Aflac Japan.

For additional information on our financial instruments, see the accompanying Notes 1, 3 and 5 and Notes 1, 3 and 4 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in our annual report to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2009.

 

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5.  FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS

We determine the fair values of our debt, derivative, perpetual and privately issued equity securities primarily using three pricing approaches or techniques: quoted market prices readily available from public exchange markets, a discounted cash flow (DCF) pricing model, and price quotes we obtain from outside brokers.

Our DCF pricing model incorporates an option adjusted spread and utilizes various market inputs we obtain from both active and inactive markets. The estimated fair values developed by the DCF pricing model is most sensitive to prevailing credit spreads, the level of interest rates (yields) and interest rate volatility. Prior to March 31, 2010, credit spreads were derived based on pricing data obtained from investment brokers and took into account the current yield curve, time to maturity and subordination levels for similar securities or classes of securities. Subsequent to March 31, 2010, credit spreads are derived from using a bond index to create a credit spread matrix which takes into account the current credit spread, ratings and remaining time to maturity, and subordination levels for securities that are included in the bond index. Our DCF pricing model is based on a widely used global bond index that is comprised of investments in active markets. The index provides a broad-based measure of the global fixed-income bond market. This widely used bond index extensively covers bonds issued by European and American issuers, which account for the majority of bonds that we hold. We validate the reliability of the DCF pricing model periodically by using the model to price investments for which there are quoted market prices from active and inactive markets or, in the alternative, are quoted by our custodian for the same or similar securities.

The pricing data and market quotes we obtain from outside sources are reviewed internally for reasonableness. If a fair value appears unreasonable, the inputs are re-examined and the value is confirmed or revised.

In recent years, we have noted a continued reduction in the availability of pricing data from market sources. This decline is due largely to a reduction in the overall number of sources to provide pricing data. As a result, we have noted that available pricing data has become more volatile. The reduction in available pricing sources coupled with the increase in price volatility has increased the degree of management judgment required in the final determination of fair values. We assess the reasonableness of the pricing data we receive by comparing it to relevant market indices and other performance measurements. The final pricing data used to determine fair values is based on management’s judgment.

Fair Value Hierarchy

GAAP specifies a hierarchy of valuation techniques based on whether the inputs to those valuation techniques are observable or unobservable. These two types of inputs create three valuation hierarchy levels. Level 1 valuations reflect quoted market prices for identical assets or liabilities in active markets. Level 2 valuations reflect quoted market prices for similar assets or liabilities in an active market, quoted market prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in non-active markets or model-derived valuations in which all significant valuation inputs are observable in active markets. Level 3 valuations reflect valuations in which one or more of the significant valuation inputs are not observable in an active market. The vast majority of our financial instruments subject to the classification provisions of GAAP relate to our investment securities classified as securities available for sale in our investment portfolio. We determine the fair value of our securities available for sale using several sources or techniques based on the type and nature of the investment securities.

 

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The following tables present the fair value hierarchy levels of the Company’s assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis.

 

      September 30, 2010  
(In millions)    Level 1      Level 2      Level 3      Total  

Assets:

           

Fixed maturities:

           

Government and agencies

   $ 15,617       $ 697       $ 0       $ 16,314     

Municipalities

     0         872         0         872     

Mortgage- and asset-backed securities

     0         1,594         270         1,864     

Public utilities

     0         5,154         0         5,154     

Collateralized debt obligations

     0         0         5         5     

Sovereign and supranational

     0         1,243         0         1,243     

Banks/financial institutions

     0         8,086         417         8,503     

Other corporate

     0         13,033         0         13,033     

Total fixed maturities

     15,617         30,679         692         46,988     

Perpetual securities:

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