On the heels of announcing record financial results for 2017, Unum (NYSE: UNM) said, in addition to the existing all-employee annual bonus program, it is investing in its people and communities with a new paid parental leave benefit for both mothers and fathers in the U.S.; enhancements to the compensation program so that all U.S. employees earn at least $15 an hour; and an additional $1 million in charitable contributions this year in support of the communities where Unum employees live and work.
“These investments reflect our values and recognize the significant role that everyone at Unum plays in delivering for our customers,” said Unum President and CEO Rick McKenney.
“2017 was a great year, and one that would not be possible without the dedication of all of our people.”
With the new parental leave benefit, which will take effect later this year, eligible employees will have six weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn, or a child placed through adoption or foster care, at any time during the 12 months following birth, adoption or fostering.
“Paid parental leave allows parents to spend valuable time with children at a crucial point in their lives and can ease the transition back to work,” McKenney said. “Importantly, it aligns with the leave benefits that we provide for many of our customers.”
Additionally, Unum is enhancing its compensation program so that all employees earn at least $15 an hour across the U.S. The change will show up in paychecks on March 30.
“This recognizes the significant role that everyone at the company plays in delivering for our customers,” added Mr. McKenney. “We strive to be the employer of choice in each of our communities.”
Making an additional $1 million in charitable contributions in support of Unum’s local communities advances one of the company’s core beliefs – the critical importance of giving back to its communities through donations of time, talent, and financial support.
“These investments will allow us to have an even greater impact in our support of education and other initiatives that are important to our people and our communities,” Mr. McKenney said.
Unum and its employees contributed more than $12.4 million to charitable organizations in 2016.
Unum reported net income of $266.9 million ($1.19 per diluted common share) for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to net income of $248.0 million ($1.07 per diluted common share) for the fourth quarter of 2016.
Included in net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 are impacts related to the U.S. tax reform bill enacted on December 22, 2017. The revaluation of our net deferred tax liabilities at the newly enacted rate of 21 percent resulted in a tax benefit of $97.9 million ($0.44 per diluted common share), and the one-time tax on undistributed and previously untaxed foreign earnings and profits resulted in a tax expense of $66.4 million ($0.30 per diluted common share).
In addition, net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 includes a net loss of $25.4 million ($0.11 per diluted common share) related to the settlement of a third party review conducted on behalf of a number of state treasurers concerning unclaimed death benefits. The amount recognized reflects our estimate of the liability expected to be paid as we execute on the terms of the settlement.
Net after-tax realized investment gains on the Company’s investment portfolio were $7.2 million ($0.03 per diluted common share) in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $18.3 million ($0.08 per diluted common share) in the fourth quarter of 2016.
After-tax adjusted operating income, which excludes net after-tax realized investment gains and losses, the impacts from tax legislation, and reserves established for unclaimed death benefits, was $253.6 million ($1.13 per diluted common share) in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $229.7 million ($0.99 per diluted common share) in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Our fourth quarter results were again strong, capping a very successful year for the company that surpassed our expectations,” said Mr. McKenney. “We’re pleased with our outstanding operating performance and the growth potential we have in front of us. As we move into 2018, we are focused on executing our business strategy to deliver growth, consistent performance, and shareholder value.”