1. Nature of Operations and Significant Accounting Policies
Description of Business
Principal Financial Group, Inc. ("PFG"), along with its consolidated subsidiaries, is a diversified financial services organization engaged in promoting retirement savings and investment and insurance products and services in the U.S. and selected international markets.
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements, which include our majority-owned subsidiaries and consolidated variable interest entities ("VIEs"), have been prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("U.S. GAAP"). Less than majority-owned entities in which we have at least a 20% interest and limited liability companies ("LLCs"), partnerships and real estate joint ventures in which we have at least a 5% interest, are reported on the equity basis in the consolidated statements of financial position as other investments. Investments in LLCs, partnerships and real estate joint ventures in which we have an ownership percentage of 3% to 5% are accounted for under the equity or cost method depending upon the specific facts and circumstances of our ownership and involvement. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated. Information included in the notes to the financial statements excludes information applicable to less than majority-owned entities reported on the equity and cost methods, unless otherwise noted.
We have evaluated subsequent events through February 17, 2010, which was the date our consolidated financial statements were issued.
Reclassifications have been made to prior period financial statements to conform to the December 31, 2009, presentation. See Recent Accounting Pronouncements for impact of new accounting guidance on prior period financial statements.
Principal Life Insurance Company ("Principal Life") operates a closed block ("Closed Block") for the benefit of individual participating dividend-paying policies in force at the time of the 1998 mutual insurance holding company ("MIHC") formation. See Note 7, Closed Block, for further details.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In January 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued authoritative guidance that requires new disclosures related to fair value measurements and clarifies existing disclosure requirements about the level of disaggregation, inputs and valuation techniques. Specifically, reporting entities now must disclose separately the amounts of significant transfers in and out of Level 1 and Level 2 fair value measurements and describe the reasons for the transfers. In addition, in the reconciliation for Level 3 fair value measurements, a reporting entity should present separately information about purchases, sales, issuances and settlements. The guidance clarifies that a reporting entity needs to use judgment in determining the appropriate classes of assets and liabilities for disclosure of fair value measurement, considering the level of disaggregated information required by other applicable GAAP guidance and should also provide disclosures about the valuation techniques and inputs used to measure fair value for each class of assets and liabilities. This guidance will be effective for us on January 1, 2010, except for the disclosures about purchases, sales, issuances and settlements in the reconciliation for Level 3 fair value measurements, which will be effective for us on January 1, 2011. This guidance will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In September 2009, FASB issued authoritative guidance for measuring the fair value of certain alternative investments and to offer investors a practical means for measuring the fair value of investments in certain entities that calculate net asset value per share. This guidance was effective for us on October 1, 2009, and did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In August 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance to provide additional guidance on measuring the fair value of liabilities. This guidance clarifies that the quoted price for the identical liability, when traded as an asset in an active market, is also a Level 1 measurement for that liability when no adjustment to the quoted price is required. In the absence of a quoted price in an active market, an entity must use one or more of the following valuation techniques to estimate fair value: (1) a valuation technique that uses a quoted price (a) of an identical liability when traded as an asset or (b) of a similar liability when traded as an asset; or (2) another valuation technique such as (a) a present value technique or (b) a technique based on the amount an entity would pay to transfer the identical liability or would receive to enter into an identical liability. This guidance was effective for us on October 1, 2009, and did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In June 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance for the establishment of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification ("Codification") as the source of authoritative accounting principles recognized by the FASB to be applied by nongovernmental entities in the preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP. Rules and interpretive releases of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") under federal securities laws are also sources of authoritative U.S. GAAP for SEC registrants. All guidance contained in the Codification carries an equal level of authority. This guidance was effective for us on July 1, 2009, and did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In June 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance to improve the relevance, representational faithfulness, and comparability of the information that a reporting entity provides in its financial reports about a transfer of financial assets; the effects of a transfer on its financial position, financial performance, and cash flows; and a transferor's continuing involvement in transferred financial assets. The most significant change is the elimination of the concept of a qualifying special-purpose entity. Therefore, formerly qualifying special-purpose entities (as defined under previous accounting standards) should be evaluated for consolidation by reporting entities on and after the effective date in accordance with the applicable consolidation guidance. This guidance will be effective for us on January 1, 2010, and is not expected to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Also in June 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance related to the accounting for VIEs, which amends prior guidance and requires an enterprise to perform an analysis to determine whether the enterprise's variable interest or interests give it a controlling financial interest in a VIE. This analysis identifies the primary beneficiary of a VIE as the enterprise that has (1) the power to direct the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact the entity's economic performance and (2) the obligation to absorb losses of the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE. In addition, this guidance requires ongoing reassessments of whether an enterprise is the primary beneficiary of a VIE. Furthermore, we are required to enhance disclosures that will provide users of financial statements with more transparent information about an enterprise's involvement in a VIE. The enhanced disclosures are required for any enterprise that holds a variable interest in a VIE. This guidance will be effective for us on January 1, 2010, and will result in the consolidation of additional entities in our consolidated financial statements and additional required disclosures. We do not anticipate these changes will have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. On January 27, 2010, the FASB agreed to issue an amendment to this guidance. The amendment, when issued, will indefinitely defer the consolidation requirements for reporting enterprises' interests in entities that have the characteristics of investment companies and regulated money market funds. The amendment will be effective for us on January 1, 2010.
In April 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which relates to the recognition and presentation of an other-than-temporary impairment ("OTTI") of securities and requires additional disclosures. The recognition provisions apply only to debt securities classified as available-for-sale and held-to-maturity, while the presentation and disclosure requirements apply to both debt and equity securities. An impaired debt security will be considered other-than-temporarily impaired if a holder has the intent to sell, or it more likely than not will be required to sell prior to recovery of the amortized cost. If a holder of a debt security does not expect recovery of the entire cost basis, even if there is no intention to sell the security, it will be considered an OTTI as well. This guidance also changes how an entity recognizes an OTTI for a debt security by separating the loss between the amount representing the credit loss and the amount relating to other factors, if a holder does not have the intent to sell or it more likely than not will not be required to sell prior to recovery of the amortized cost less any current period credit loss. Credit losses will be recognized in net income and losses relating to other factors will be recognized in other comprehensive income ("OCI"). If the holder has the intent to sell or it more likely than not will be required to sell before its recovery of amortized cost less any current period credit loss, the entire OTTI will continue to be recognized in net income. Furthermore, this guidance requires a cumulative effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption with a corresponding adjustment to accumulated OCI. We adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2009. The cumulative change in accounting principle from adopting this guidance resulted in a net $9.9 million increase to retained earnings and a corresponding decrease to accumulated OCI. The required disclosures have been included in our consolidated financial statements.
Also in April 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which provides additional information on estimating fair value when the volume and level of activity for an asset or liability have significantly decreased in relation to normal market activity for the asset or liability and clarifies that the use of multiple valuation techniques may be appropriate. It also provides additional guidance on circumstances that may indicate a transaction is not orderly. Further, it requires additional disclosures about fair value measurements in annual and interim reporting periods. We adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2009, and it did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. See Note 15, Fair Value of Financial Instruments, for further details.
In January 2009, the FASB issued authoritative guidance related to the assessment of the OTTI of certain beneficial interests in securitized financial assets, which eliminated the requirement that a financial instrument holder's best estimate of cash flows be based upon those that a market participant would use. Instead, this guidance requires the use of management's judgment in the determination of whether it is probable there has been an adverse change in estimated cash flow. This guidance was effective for us on October 1, 2008, and did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In December 2008, the FASB issued authoritative guidance requiring additional disclosures by public entities with continuing involvement in transfers of financial assets to special purpose entities and with variable interests in VIEs. This guidance was effective for us on October 1, 2008. We have included the required disclosures in our consolidated financial statements. See Note 4, Variable Interest Entities for further details.
In September 2008, the FASB issued authoritative guidance (1) requiring disclosures by sellers of credit derivatives, including credit derivatives embedded in a hybrid instrument and (2) requiring an additional disclosure about the current status of the payment/performance risk of a guarantee. This guidance was effective for us on October 1, 2008. We have included the required disclosures in our consolidated financial statements. See Note 6, Derivative Financial Instruments, for further details relating to our credit derivatives.
In March 2008, the FASB issued authoritative guidance requiring (1) qualitative disclosures about objectives and strategies for using derivatives, (2) quantitative disclosures about fair value amounts of gains and losses on derivative instruments and related hedged items and (3) disclosures about credit-risk-related contingent features in derivative instruments. The disclosures are intended to provide users of financial statements with an enhanced understanding of how and why derivative instruments are used, how they are accounted for and the financial statement impacts. We adopted these changes on January 1, 2009. See Note 6, Derivative Financial Instruments, for further details.
In December 2007, the FASB issued authoritative guidance requiring that the acquiring entity in a business combination establish the acquisition-date fair value as the measurement objective for all assets acquired and liabilities assumed, including any noncontrolling interests, and requires the acquirer to disclose additional information needed to more comprehensively evaluate and understand the nature and financial effect of the business combination. In addition, direct acquisition costs are to be expensed. We adopted this guidance on January 1, 2009, and all requirements are applied prospectively.
Also in December 2007, the FASB issued authoritative guidance mandating the following changes to noncontrolling interests:
We adopted this guidance on January 1, 2009. Presentation and disclosure requirements have been applied retrospectively for all periods presented. All other requirements have been applied prospectively. Certain separate account arrangements involve ownership of mutual funds to support the investment objective of the separate account. It is possible that, through a separate account arrangement, greater than 50% of the mutual fund shares could be owned. The accounting guidance for this circumstance is not well defined, but we, like many other insurers, do not consolidate the mutual fund as we believe the arrangement qualifies for the exemption afforded investment companies. In September 2009, the FASB issued proposed guidance addressing an insurer's accounting for majority-owned investments through a separate account. The comment period for this proposed guidance ended on October 26, 2009, and while the final outcome is still uncertain, the guidance as exposed supports our position.
In February 2007, the FASB issued authoritative guidance permitting entities to choose, at specified election dates, to measure eligible financial instruments and certain other items at fair value that are not currently required to be reported at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses on items for which the fair value option is elected shall be reported in net income. The decision about whether to elect the fair value option (1) is applied instrument by instrument, with certain exceptions (2) is irrevocable and (3) is applied to an entire instrument and not only to specified risks, specific cash flows, or portions of that instrument. This guidance also requires additional disclosures that are intended to facilitate comparisons between entities that choose different measurement attributes for similar assets and liabilities and between assets and liabilities in the financial statements of an entity that selects different measurement attributes for similar assets and liabilities. At the effective date, the fair value option may be elected for eligible items that exist at that date and the effect of the first remeasurement to fair value for those items should be reported as a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings. We adopted this guidance on January 1, 2008, and the resulting cumulative effect of the change in accounting principle was immaterial. Therefore, the pre-tax cumulative effect of the change in accounting principle is reflected in net realized capital gains (losses). Election of this option upon acquisition or assumption of eligible items could introduce period to period volatility in net income.
In September 2006, the FASB issued authoritative guidance related to defined benefit pension plans and other postretirement benefit plans, which eliminated the ability to choose a measurement date by requiring that plan assets and benefit obligations be measured as of the annual balance sheet date. This guidance was effective for us on December 31, 2008. For 2007, we used a measurement date of October 1 for the measurement of plan assets and benefit obligations. Two transition methods were available when implementing the change in measurement date for 2008. We chose the alternative that allowed us to use the October 1, 2007, measurement date as a basis for determining the 2008 expense and transition adjustment. The effect of changing the measurement date resulted in a $0.9 million increase to retained earnings and a $2.0 million decrease to accumulated OCI in the first quarter of 2008.
In September 2006, the FASB issued authoritative guidance for using fair value to measure assets and liabilities, which applies whenever other standards require or permit assets or liabilities to be measured at fair value, but does not expand the use of fair value measurement. This guidance establishes a fair value hierarchy that gives the highest priority to quoted prices in active markets and the lowest priority to unobservable data, and requires fair value measurements to be separately disclosed by level within the hierarchy. In February 2008, the FASB deferred the effective date of this guidance for one year for nonfinancial assets and nonfinancial liabilities that are recognized or disclosed at fair value on a nonrecurring basis. In February 2008, the FASB issued authoritative guidance excluding instruments covered by lease accounting and its related interpretive guidance from the scope of its fair value measurement guidance. In October 2008, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which clarifies the application of its fair value measurement guidance in an inactive market and provides an illustrative example to demonstrate how the fair value of a financial asset is determined when the market for that financial asset is inactive. Our adoption of the FASB's fair value measurement guidance on January 1, 2008, for assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis and financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. We deferred the adoption for nonfinancial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis until January 1, 2009, which also did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. See Note 15, Fair Value of Financial Instruments, for further details.
In July 2006, the FASB issued authoritative guidance prescribing a recognition threshold and measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken, or expected to be taken, in a tax return. This guidance requires the affirmative evaluation that it is more likely than not, based on the technical merits of a tax position, that an enterprise is entitled to economic benefits resulting from positions taken in income tax returns. If a tax position does not meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold, the benefit of that position is not recognized in the financial statements. In addition, this guidance requires companies to disclose additional quantitative and qualitative information in their financial statements about uncertain tax positions. We adopted this guidance on January 1, 2007, which did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. See Note 11, Income Taxes, for further details.
In March 2006, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which (1) requires an entity to recognize a servicing asset or liability each time it undertakes an obligation to service a financial asset by entering into a servicing contract in specified situations, (2) requires all separately recognized servicing assets and liabilities to be initially measured at fair value, (3) for subsequent measurement of each class of separately recognized servicing assets and liabilities, an entity can elect either the amortization or fair value measurement method, (4) permits a one-time reclassification of available-for-sale securities to trading securities by an entity with recognized servicing rights, without calling into question the treatment of other available-for-sale securities, provided the available-for-sale securities are identified in some manner as offsetting the entity's exposure to changes in fair value of servicing assets or liabilities that a servicer elects to subsequently measure at fair value, and (5) requires separate presentation of servicing assets and liabilities measured at fair value in the statement of financial position and also requires additional disclosures. For us, the initial measurement requirements of this statement should be applied prospectively to all transactions entered into after January 1, 2007. The election related to the subsequent measurement of servicing assets and liabilities was also effective for us on January 1, 2007. We did not elect to subsequently measure any of our servicing rights at fair value or reclassify any available-for-sale securities to trading.
In February 2006, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which (1) permits fair value remeasurement for any hybrid financial instrument that contains an embedded derivative that otherwise would require bifurcation, (2) clarifies which interest-only and principal-only strips are not subject to the requirements of derivative accounting guidance (3) establishes a requirement to evaluate interests in securitized financial assets to identify interests that are freestanding derivatives or that are hybrid financial instruments that contain an embedded derivative requiring bifurcation, (4) clarifies that concentrations of credit risk in the form of subordination are not embedded derivatives and (5) eliminates the prohibition on a qualifying special-purpose entity from holding a derivative financial instrument that pertains to a beneficial interest other than another derivative financial instrument. For us, this guidance was effective for all financial instruments acquired or issued after January 1, 2007. At adoption, the fair value election could also be applied to hybrid financial instruments that had been bifurcated under derivative accounting guidance prior to adoption of this guidance. We adopted this guidance on January 1, 2007, and did not apply the fair value election to any existing hybrid financial instruments that had been bifurcated.
In September 2005, the AICPA issued authoritative guidance relating to accounting for deferred policy acquisition costs ("DPAC") when insurance or investment contracts are modified or exchanged. An internal replacement of an insurance or investment contract is defined as a modification in product benefits, features, rights, or coverages that occurs by the exchange of a contract for a new contract, or by amendment, endorsement, or rider to a contract, or by the election of a feature or coverage within a contract. An internal replacement that is determined to result in a replacement contract that is substantially unchanged from the replaced contract should be accounted for as a continuation of the replaced contract. Contract modifications resulting in a replacement contract that is substantially changed from the replaced contract should be accounted for as an extinguishment of the replaced contract and any unamortized DPAC, unearned revenue liabilities, and deferred sales inducement costs from the replaced contract should be written off and acquisition costs on the new contracts deferred as appropriate. This guidance was effective for internal replacements occurring prospectively beginning in 2007. Adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Use of Estimates in the Preparation of Financial Statements
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported and disclosed. These estimates and assumptions could change in the future as more information becomes known, which could impact the amounts reported and disclosed in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. The most critical estimates include those used in determining:
A description of such critical estimates is incorporated within the discussion of the related accounting policies which follow. In applying these policies, management makes subjective and complex judgments that frequently require estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain. Many of these policies, estimates and related judgments are common in the insurance and financial services industries; others are specific to our businesses and operations. Actual results could differ from these estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, money market instruments and other debt issues with a maturity date of three months or less when purchased.
Fixed maturity securities include bonds, mortgage-backed securities, redeemable preferred stock and certain nonredeemable preferred stock. Equity securities include mutual funds, common stock and nonredeemable preferred stock. We classify fixed maturity securities and equity securities as either available-for-sale or trading at the time of the purchase and, accordingly, carry them at fair value. See Note 15, Fair Value of Financial Instruments, for policies related to the determination of fair value. Unrealized gains and losses related to available-for-sale securities, excluding those in fair value hedging relationships, are reflected in stockholders' equity, net of adjustments related to DPAC, sales inducements, unearned revenue reserves, derivatives in cash flow hedge relationships and applicable income taxes. Unrealized gains and losses related to available-for-sale securities in fair value hedging relationships and mark-to-market adjustments on certain trading securities are reflected in net realized capital gains (losses). We also have trading securities portfolios that support investment strategies that involve the active and frequent purchase and sale of fixed maturity securities. Mark-to-market adjustments related to these trading securities are reflected in net investment income.
The cost of fixed maturity securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and accrual of discounts, both computed using the interest method. The cost of fixed maturity securities and equity securities is adjusted for declines in value that are other than temporary. Impairments in value deemed to be other than temporary are primarily reported in net income as a component of net realized capital gains (losses), with noncredit impairment losses for certain fixed maturity securities reported in OCI. See further discussion in Note 5, Investments. For loan-backed and structured securities, we recognize income using a constant effective yield based on currently anticipated cash flows.
Real estate investments are reported at cost less accumulated depreciation. The initial cost bases of properties acquired through loan foreclosures are the lower of the fair market values of the properties at the time of foreclosure or the outstanding loan balance. Buildings and land improvements are generally depreciated on the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of improvements, and tenant improvement costs are depreciated on the straight-line method over the term of the related lease. We recognize impairment losses for properties when indicators of impairment are present and a property's expected undiscounted cash flows are not sufficient to recover the property's carrying value. In such cases, the cost bases of the properties are reduced to fair value. Real estate expected to be disposed is carried at the lower of cost or fair value, less cost to sell, with valuation allowances established accordingly and depreciation no longer recognized. The carrying amount of real estate held for sale was $35.4 million and $139.6 million as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Any impairment losses and any changes in valuation allowances are reported in net income.
Commercial and residential mortgage loans are generally reported at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accrual of discounts, computed using the interest method, net of valuation allowances. Any changes in the valuation allowances are reported in net income as net realized capital gains (losses). We measure impairment based upon the difference between carrying value and estimated value. Estimated value is based on either the present value of expected cash flows discounted at the loan's effective interest rate, the loan's observable market price or the fair value of the collateral. If foreclosure is probable, the measurement of any valuation allowance is based upon the fair value of the collateral. We had commercial mortgage loans held for sale in the amount of $3.4 million and $12.9 million at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, which are carried at the lower of cost or fair value and reported as mortgage loans in the consolidated statements of financial position.
Net realized capital gains and losses on sales of investments are determined on the basis of specific identification. In general, in addition to realized capital gains and losses on investment sales and periodic settlements on derivatives not designated as hedges, we report gains and losses related to the following in net realized capital gains (losses): other than temporary impairments of securities, mark-to-market adjustments on certain trading securities, mark-to-market adjustments on certain seed money investments, fair value hedge ineffectiveness, mark-to-market adjustments on derivatives not designated as hedges, changes in the mortgage loan valuation allowance and impairments of real estate held for investment. Investment gains and losses on sales of certain real estate held for sale, which do not meet the criteria for classification as a discontinued operation and mark-to-market adjustments on certain trading securities are reported as net investment income and are excluded from net realized capital gains (losses).
Policy loans and other investments, excluding investments in unconsolidated entities, are primarily reported at cost.
Overview. Derivatives are financial instruments whose values are derived from interest rates, foreign exchange rates, financial indices or the values of securities. Derivatives generally used by us include interest rate swaps, swaptions, futures, currency swaps, currency forwards, credit default swaps, treasury lock agreements, commodity swaps and options. Derivatives may be exchange traded or contracted in the over-the-counter market. Derivative positions are either assets or liabilities in the consolidated statements of financial position and are measured at fair value, generally by obtaining quoted market prices or through the use of pricing models. See Note 15, Fair Value of Financial Instruments, for policies related to the determination of fair value. Fair values can be affected by changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates, financial indices, values of securities, credit spreads, and market volatility and liquidity.
Accounting and Financial Statement Presentation. We designate derivatives as either:
Our accounting for the ongoing changes in fair value of a derivative depends on the intended use of the derivative and the designation, as described above, and is determined when the derivative contract is entered into or at the time of redesignation. Hedge accounting is used for derivatives that are specifically designated in advance as hedges and that reduce our exposure to an indicated risk by having a high correlation between changes in the value of the derivatives and the items being hedged at both the inception of the hedge and throughout the hedge period.
Fair Value Hedges. When a derivative is designated as a fair value hedge and is determined to be highly effective, changes in its fair value, along with changes in the fair value of the hedged asset, liability or firm commitment attributable to the hedged risk, are reported in net realized capital gains (losses). Any difference between the net change in fair value of the derivative and the hedged item represents hedge ineffectiveness.
Cash Flow Hedges. When a derivative is designated as a cash flow hedge and is determined to be highly effective, changes in its fair value are recorded as a component of OCI. Any hedge ineffectiveness is recorded immediately in net income. At the time the variability of cash flows being hedged impacts net income, the related portion of deferred gains or losses on the derivative instrument is reclassified and reported in net income.
Net Investment in a Foreign Operation Hedge. When a derivative is used as a hedge of a net investment in a foreign operation, its change in fair value, to the extent effective as a hedge, is recorded as a component of OCI. Any hedge ineffectiveness is recorded immediately in net income. If the foreign operation is sold or upon complete or substantially complete liquidation, the deferred gains or losses on the derivative instrument are reclassified into net income.
Non-Hedge Derivatives. If a derivative does not qualify or is not designated for hedge accounting, all changes in fair value are reported in net income without considering the changes in the fair value of the economically associated assets or liabilities.
Hedge Documentation and Effectiveness Testing. At inception, we formally document all relationships between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as our risk management objective and strategy for undertaking various hedge transactions. This process includes associating all derivatives designated as fair value or cash flow hedges with specific assets or liabilities on the statement of financial position or with specific firm commitments or forecasted transactions. Effectiveness of the hedge is formally assessed at inception and throughout the life of the hedging relationship. Even if a derivative is highly effective and qualifies for hedge accounting treatment, the hedge might have some ineffectiveness.
We use qualitative and quantitative methods to assess hedge effectiveness. Qualitative methods may include monitoring changes to terms and conditions and counterparty credit ratings. Quantitative methods may include statistical tests including regression analysis and minimum variance and dollar offset techniques.
Termination of Hedge Accounting. We prospectively discontinue hedge accounting when (1) the criteria to qualify for hedge accounting is no longer met, e.g., a derivative is determined to no longer be highly effective in offsetting the change in fair value or cash flows of a hedged item; (2) the derivative expires, is sold, terminated or exercised; or (3) we remove the designation of the derivative being the hedging instrument for a fair value or cash flow hedge.
If it is determined that a derivative no longer qualifies as an effective hedge, the derivative will continue to be carried on the consolidated statements of financial position at its fair value, with changes in fair value recognized prospectively in net realized capital gains (losses). The asset or liability under a fair value hedge will no longer be adjusted for changes in fair value pursuant to hedging rules and the existing basis adjustment is amortized to the consolidated statements of operations line associated with the asset or liability. The component of OCI related to discontinued cash flow hedges that are no longer highly effective is amortized to the consolidated statements of operations consistent with the net income impacts of the original hedged cash flows. If a cash flow hedge is discontinued because a hedged forecasted transaction is no longer probable, the deferred gain or loss is immediately reclassified from OCI into net income.
Embedded Derivatives. We purchase and issue certain financial instruments and products that contain a derivative that is embedded in the financial instrument or product. We assess whether this embedded derivative is clearly and closely related to the asset or liability 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 bifurcated from that contract and held at fair value on the consolidated statements of financial position, with changes in fair value reported in net income.
Contractholder and Policyholder Liabilities
Contractholder and policyholder liabilities (contractholder funds, future policy benefits and claims and other policyholder funds) include reserves for investment contracts and reserves for universal life, term life insurance, participating traditional individual life insurance, group life insurance, accident and health insurance and disability income policies, as well as a provision for dividends on participating policies.
Investment contracts are contractholders' funds on deposit with us and generally include reserves for pension and annuity contracts. Reserves on investment contracts are equal to the cumulative deposits less any applicable charges and withdrawals plus credited interest. Reserves for universal life insurance contracts are equal to cumulative deposits less charges plus credited interest, which represents the account balances that accrue to the benefit of the policyholders.
We hold additional reserves on certain long duration contracts where benefit features result in gains in early years followed by losses in later years, universal life/variable universal life contracts that contain no lapse guarantee features, or annuities with guaranteed minimum death benefits.
Reserves for nonparticipating term life insurance and disability income contracts are computed on a basis of assumed investment yield, mortality, morbidity and expenses, including a provision for adverse deviation, which generally varies by plan, year of issue and policy duration. Investment yield is based on our experience. Mortality, morbidity and withdrawal rate assumptions are based on our experience and are periodically reviewed against both industry standards and experience.
Reserves for participating life insurance contracts are based on the net level premium reserve for death and endowment policy benefits. This net level premium reserve is calculated based on dividend fund interest rates and mortality rates guaranteed in calculating the cash surrender values described in the contract.
Participating business represented approximately 17%, 17% and 18% of our life insurance in force and 55%, 57% and 57% of the number of life insurance policies in force at December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. Participating business represented approximately 52%, 54% and 53% of life insurance premiums for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. The amount of dividends to policyholders is declared annually by Principal Life's Board of Directors. The amount of dividends to be paid to policyholders is determined after consideration of several factors including interest, mortality, morbidity and other expense experience for the year and judgment as to the appropriate level of statutory surplus to be retained by Principal Life. At the end of the reporting period, Principal Life establishes a dividend liability for the pro rata portion of the dividends expected to be paid on or before the next policy anniversary date.
Some of our policies and contracts require payment of fees or other policyholder assessments in advance for services that will be rendered over the estimated lives of the policies and contracts. These payments are established as unearned revenue liabilities upon receipt and included in other policyholder funds in the consolidated statements of financial position. These unearned revenue reserves are amortized to operations over the estimated lives of these policies and contracts in relation to the emergence of estimated gross profit margins.
The liability for unpaid accident and health claims is an estimate of the ultimate net cost of reported and unreported losses not yet settled. This liability is estimated using actuarial analyses and case basis evaluations. Although considerable variability is inherent in such estimates, we believe that the liability for unpaid claims is adequate. These estimates are continually reviewed and, as adjustments to this liability become necessary, such adjustments are reflected in net income.
Recognition of Premiums and Other Considerations, Fees and Other Revenues and Benefits
Traditional individual life insurance products include those products with fixed and guaranteed premiums and benefits and consist principally of whole life and term life insurance policies. Premiums from these products are recognized as premium revenue when due. Related policy benefits and expenses for individual life products are associated with earned premiums and result in the recognition of profits over the expected term of the policies and contracts.
Immediate annuities with life contingencies include products with fixed and guaranteed annuity considerations and benefits and consist principally of group and individual single premium annuities with life contingencies. Annuity considerations from these products are recognized as revenue. However, the collection of these annuity considerations does not represent the completion of the earnings process, as we establish annuity reserves, using estimates for mortality and investment assumptions, which include provision for adverse deviation as required by U.S. GAAP. We anticipate profits to emerge over the life of the annuity products as we earn investment income, pay benefits and release reserves.
Group life and health insurance premiums are generally recorded as premium revenue over the term of the coverage. Certain group contracts contain experience premium refund provisions based on a pre-defined formula that reflects their claim experience. Experience premium refunds reduce revenue over the term of the coverage and are adjusted to reflect current experience. Related policy benefits and expenses for group life and health insurance products are associated with earned premiums and result in the recognition of profits over the term of the policies and contracts. Fees for contracts providing claim processing or other administrative services are recorded as revenue over the period the service is provided.
Universal life-type policies are insurance contracts with terms that are not fixed. Amounts received as payments for such contracts are not reported as premium revenues. Revenues for universal life-type insurance contracts consist of policy charges for the cost of insurance, policy initiation and administration, surrender charges and other fees that have been assessed against policy account values and investment income. Policy benefits and claims that are charged to expense include interest credited to contracts and benefit claims incurred in the period in excess of related policy account balances.
Investment contracts do not subject us to significant risks arising from policyholder mortality or morbidity and consist primarily of Guaranteed Investment Contracts ("GICs"), funding agreements and certain deferred annuities. Amounts received as payments for investment contracts are established as investment contract liability balances and are not reported as premium revenues. Revenues for investment contracts consist of investment income and policy administration charges. Investment contract benefits that are charged to expense include benefit claims incurred in the period in excess of related investment contract liability balances and interest credited to investment contract liability balances.
Fees and other revenues are earned for asset management services provided to retail and institutional clients based largely upon contractual rates applied to the market value of the client's portfolio. Additionally, fees and other revenues are earned for administrative services performed including recordkeeping and reporting services for retirement savings plans. Fees and other revenues received for performance of asset management and administrative services are recognized as revenue when earned, typically when the service is performed.
Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs
Commissions and other costs (underwriting, issuance and field expenses) that vary with and are primarily related to the acquisition of new and renewal insurance policies and investment contract business are capitalized to the extent recoverable. Maintenance costs and acquisition costs that are not deferrable are charged to operations as incurred.
DPAC for universal life-type insurance contracts, participating life insurance policies and certain investment contracts are being amortized over the lives of the policies and contracts in relation to the emergence of estimated gross profit margins. This amortization is adjusted in the current period when estimated gross profits are revised. For individual variable life insurance, individual variable annuities and group annuities which have separate account equity investment options, we utilize a mean reversion method (reversion to the mean assumption), a common industry practice, to determine the future domestic equity market growth assumption used for the amortization of DPAC. The DPAC of nonparticipating term life insurance and individual disability policies are being amortized over the premium-paying period of the related policies using assumptions consistent with those used in computing policyholder liabilities.
DPAC are subject to recoverability testing at the time of policy issue and loss recognition testing on an annual basis, or when an event occurs that may warrant loss recognition. If loss recognition is necessary, DPAC would be written off to the extent that it is determined that future policy premiums and investment income or gross profits are not adequate to cover related losses and expenses.
Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs on Internal Replacements
All insurance and investment contract modifications and replacements are reviewed to determine if the internal replacement results in a substantially changed contract. If so, the acquisition costs, sales inducements and unearned revenue associated with the new contract are deferred and amortized over the lifetime of the new contract. In addition, the existing DPAC, sales inducement costs and unearned revenue balances associated with the replaced contract are written off. If an internal replacement results in a substantially unchanged contract, the acquisition costs, sales inducements and unearned revenue associated with the new contract are immediately recognized in the period incurred. In addition, the existing DPAC, sales inducement costs or unearned revenue balance associated with the replaced contract is not written off, but instead is carried over to the new contract.
Long-term debt includes notes payable, nonrecourse mortgages and other debt with a maturity date greater than one year at the date of issuance. Current maturities of long-term debt are classified as long-term debt in our statement of financial position.
We enter into reinsurance agreements with other companies in the normal course of business. We may assume reinsurance from or cede reinsurance to other companies. Assets and liabilities related to reinsurance ceded are reported on a gross basis. Premiums and expenses are reported net of reinsurance ceded. The cost of reinsurance related to long-duration contracts is accounted for over the life of the underlying reinsured policies using assumptions consistent with those used to account for the underlying policies. We are contingently liable with respect to reinsurance ceded to other companies in the event the reinsurer is unable to meet the obligations it has assumed. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, our largest exposures to a single third-party reinsurer in our individual life insurance business was $22.0 billion and $18.5 billion of life insurance in force, representing 14% and 11% of total net individual life insurance in force, respectively. The financial statement exposure is limited to the reinsurance recoverable related to this single third party reinsurer, which was $26.8 million and $18.1 million at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
The effects of reinsurance on premiums and other considerations and policy and contract benefits were as follows:
The separate account assets presented in the consolidated financial statements represent the fair market value of funds that are separately administered by us for contracts with equity, real estate and fixed income investments. The separate account contract owner, rather than us, bears the investment risk of these funds. The separate account assets are legally segregated and are not subject to claims that arise out of any of our other business. We receive fees for mortality, withdrawal, and expense risks, as well as administrative, maintenance and investment advisory services that are included in the consolidated statements of operations. Net deposits, net investment income and realized and unrealized capital gains and losses on the separate accounts are not reflected in the consolidated statements of operations.
At December 31, 2009 and 2008, the separate accounts include a separate account valued at $191.5 million and $207.4 million, respectively, which primarily includes shares of our stock that were allocated and issued to eligible participants of qualified employee benefit plans administered by us as part of the policy credits issued under our 2001 demutualization. These shares are included in both basic and diluted earnings per share calculations. In the consolidated statements of financial position, the separate account shares are recorded at fair value and are reported as separate account assets with a corresponding separate account liability to eligible participants of the qualified plan. Changes in fair value of the separate account shares are reflected in both the separate account assets and separate account liabilities and do not impact our results of operations.
We file a U.S. consolidated income tax return that includes all of our qualifying subsidiaries. In addition, we file income tax returns in all states and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct business. Our policy of allocating income tax expenses and benefits to companies in the group is generally based upon pro rata contribution of taxable income or operating losses. We are taxed at corporate rates on taxable income based on existing tax laws. Current income taxes are charged or credited to net income based upon amounts estimated to be payable or recoverable as a result of taxable operations for the current year. Deferred income taxes are provided for the tax effect of temporary differences in the financial reporting and income tax bases of assets and liabilities and net operating losses using enacted income tax rates and laws. The effect on deferred income tax assets and deferred income tax liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in operations in the period in which the change is enacted.
Assets and liabilities of our foreign subsidiaries and affiliates denominated in non-U.S. dollars, where the U.S. dollar is not the functional currency, are translated into U.S. dollar equivalents at the year-end spot foreign exchange rates. Resulting translation adjustments are reported as a component of stockholders' equity, along with any related hedge and tax effects. Revenues and expenses for these entities are translated at the average exchange rates for the year. Revenue, expense and other foreign currency transaction and translation adjustments that affect cash flows are reported in net income, along with related hedge and tax effects.
Goodwill and Other Intangibles
Goodwill and other intangibles include the cost of acquired subsidiaries in excess of the fair value of the net tangible assets recorded in connection with acquisitions. Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized. Rather, they are tested for impairment during the fourth quarter each year, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired. Goodwill is tested at the reporting unit level to which it was assigned. A reporting unit is an operating segment or a business one level below that operating segment, if financial information is prepared and regularly reviewed by management at that level. Once goodwill has been assigned to a reporting unit, it is no longer associated with a particular acquisition; therefore all of the activities within a reporting unit, whether acquired or organically grown, are available to support the goodwill value. Impairment testing for indefinite-lived intangible assets consists of a comparison of the fair value of the intangible asset with its carrying value.
Intangible assets with a finite useful life are amortized as related benefits emerge and are reviewed periodically for indicators of impairment in value. If facts and circumstances suggest possible impairment, the sum of the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset is compared to the current carrying value of the asset. If the undiscounted future cash flows are less than the carrying value, an impairment loss is recognized for the excess of the carrying amount of assets over their fair value.
Earnings Per Common Share
Basic earnings per common share is calculated by dividing income available to common stockholders by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding for the period and excludes the dilutive effect of equity awards. Diluted earnings per common share reflects the potential dilution that could occur if dilutive securities, such as options and non-vested stock grants, were exercised or resulted in the issuance of common stock.
2. Discontinued Operations
Real Estate Investments
In 2007, we sold a real estate property previously held for investment purposes. This property qualifies for discontinued operations treatment. Therefore, the income from the discontinued operation has been removed from our results of continuing operations for all periods presented. The gain on disposal, which is reported in our Corporate segment, is excluded from segment operating earnings for all periods presented. We have separately disclosed the operating, investing and financing portions of the cash flows attributable to the discontinued operation in our consolidated statements of cash flows. Additionally, the information included in the notes to the financial statements excludes information applicable to this property, unless otherwise noted.
The property was sold to take advantage of positive real estate market conditions in a specific geographic location and to further diversify our real estate portfolio.
Selected financial information for the discontinued operation is as follows:
3. Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
The changes in the carrying amount of goodwill reported in our segments for 2008 and 2009 were as follows:
Finite Lived Intangibles
Amortized intangible assets that continue to be subject to amortization over a weighted average remaining expected life of 13 years were as follows:
Present Value of Future Profits. Present value of future profits ("PVFP") represents the present value of estimated future profits to be generated from existing insurance contracts in-force at the date of acquisition and is amortized over the expected policy or contract duration in relation to estimated gross profits. Interest rates used to calculate the estimated interest accruals were 9.00% for all years related to PVFP generated from Mexico acquisitions and 6.36% in 2007, related to PVFP generated from Chile acquisitions.
The changes in the carrying amount of PVFP, reported in our International Asset Management and Accumulation segment for 2007, 2008 and 2009, were as follows (in millions):
At December 31, 2009, the estimated amortization expense related to PVFP for the next five years is as follows (in millions):
Other Finite Lived Intangible Assets. During 2009 and 2008, we recognized an impairment of $6.5 million and $12.3 million, respectively, associated with a customer-based intangible acquired as part of our acquisition of WM Advisors, Inc. This impairment had no impact on our consolidated statement of operations for the U.S. Asset Accumulation segment, as the cash flows associated with this intangible are credited to an outside party. We recorded no significant impairments in 2007. The amortization expense for intangible assets with finite useful lives was $35.2 million, $44.6 million and $50.0 million for 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. At December 31, 2009, the estimated amortization expense for the next five years is as follows (in millions):
Indefinite Lived Intangible Assets
The net carrying amount of unamortized indefinite-lived intangible assets was $668.6 million as of both December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Of this balance, $608.0 million relates to investment management contracts associated with our December 31, 2006, acquisition of WM Advisors, Inc.
4. Variable Interest Entities
We have relationships with various types of special purpose entities and other entities where we have a variable interest. The following serves as a discussion of investments in entities that meet the definition of a VIE.
Consolidated Variable Interest Entities
Synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligation. On May 26, 2005, we invested $130.0 million in a secured credit-linked note issued by a grantor trust. The trust entered into a credit default swap providing credit protection on the first 45% of loss of seven mezzanine tranches totaling $288.9 million of seven synthetic reference portfolios. Subordination for the seven mezzanine tranches ranged from 1.29% to 4.79%. Therefore, defaults in an underlying reference portfolio only affected the credit-linked note if cumulative losses exceeded the subordination of a synthetic reference portfolio. As of December 31, 2008, the credit default swap entered into by the trust had an outstanding notional amount of $130.0 million. The credit default swap counterparties of the grantor trusts had no recourse to our assets. In October 2009, the grantor trust was terminated and we received $122.2 million in cash.
We determined that this grantor trust was a VIE and that we were the primary beneficiary of the trust as we were the sole investor in the trust and the manager of the synthetic reference portfolios. Upon consolidation of the trust, as of December 31, 2008, our consolidated statements of financial position included $93.5 million of available-for-sale fixed maturity securities, which represented the collateral held by the trust. The assets of the trust were held by a trustee and could only be liquidated to settle obligations of the trust. These obligations included losses on the synthetic reference portfolio and the return of investments due to maturity or termination of the trust. As of December 31, 2008, our consolidated statements of financial position included $53.4 million of other liabilities representing derivative market values of the trust.
During the year December 31, 2008 and 2007, the credit default swaps had a change in fair value that resulted in a $54.5 million pre-tax loss and $3.2 million pre-tax loss, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2009, we recognized a pre-tax gain of $49.8 million related to the change in fair value and termination of the credit default swaps.
Grantor Trusts. We contributed undated subordinated floating rate notes to three grantor trusts. The trusts separated the cash flows of the underlying $425.9 million par value notes by issuing an interest-only certificate and a residual certificate related to each note contributed. Each interest-only certificate entitles the holder to interest on the stated note for a specified term while the residual certificate entitles the holder to interest payments subsequent to the term of the interest-only certificate and to all principal payments. We retained the interest-only certificate and the residual certificates were subsequently sold to a third party.
We have determined that these grantor trusts are VIEs as our interest-only certificates are exposed to the majority of the risk of loss due to interest rate risk. The restricted interest periods end between 2016 and 2020 and, at that time, the residual certificate holders' certificates are redeemed by the trust in return for the notes. We have determined that it will be necessary for us to consolidate these entities until the expiration of the interest-only period. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, our consolidated statements of financial position include $226.6 million and $212.2 million, respectively, of undated subordinated floating rate notes of the grantor trusts, which are classified as available-for-sale fixed maturity securities and represent the collateral held by the trust. The obligation to deliver the underlying securities to the residual certificate holders of $89.1 million and $103.8 million as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, is classified as an other liability and contains an embedded derivative of the forecasted transaction to deliver the underlying securities. The creditors of the grantor trusts have no recourse to our assets.
Other. In addition to the entities above, we have a number of relationships with a disparate group of entities, which meet the criteria for VIEs. Due to the nature of our direct investment in the equity and/or debt of these VIEs, we are the primary beneficiary of such entities, which requires us to consolidate them. These entities include five private investment vehicles and several hedge funds. The consolidation of these VIEs did not have a material effect on either our consolidated statements of financial position as of December 31, 2009 or 2008, or results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007. For these entities, the creditors have no recourse to our assets.
The carrying amount and classification of other consolidated VIE assets that are pledged as collateral that the VIEs have designated for their other obligations and the debt of the VIEs are as follows:
The assets of the trusts are held by a trustee and can only be liquidated to settle obligations of the trusts. These obligations primarily include unrealized losses on derivatives, the synthetic reference portfolios or financial guarantees and the return of investments due to maturity or termination of the trusts. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, these entities had long-term debt of $81.2 million and $142.6 million, respectively, all of which was issued to our affiliates and, therefore, eliminated upon consolidation.
Significant Unconsolidated Variable Interest Entities
We hold a significant variable interest in a number of VIEs where we are not the primary beneficiary. These entities include private investment vehicles that have issued trust certificates that are recorded as available-for-sale fixed maturity securities in the consolidated statements of financial position.
On September 21, 2001, we entered into a transaction where a third party transferred funds to a trust. The trust purchased shares of a specific money market fund and then separated the cash flows of the money market shares into share receipts and dividend receipts. The dividend receipts entitle the holder to dividends paid for a specified term while the share receipts, purchased at a discount, entitle the holder to dividend payments subsequent to the term of the dividend receipts and the rights to the underlying shares. We purchased $150.0 million par value of the share receipts at a significant discount. After the restricted dividend period ends on December 21, 2021, we, as the share receipt holder, have the right to terminate the trust agreement and will receive the underlying money market fund shares. We determined the primary beneficiary is the dividend receipt holder, which has the majority of the risk of loss. Our maximum exposure to loss as a result of our involvement with this entity is our investment in the share receipts as measured by amortized cost.
On June 20, 1997, we entered into a transaction in which we purchased a residual trust certificate with a par value of $100.0 million. The trust separated the cash flows of an underlying security into an interest-only certificate that entitles the third party certificate holder to the stated interest on the underlying security through May 15, 2017, and a residual certificate entitling the holder to interest payments subsequent to the term of the interest-only certificates and any principal payments. Subsequent to the restricted interest period, we, as the residual certificate holder, have the right to terminate the trust agreement and will receive the underlying security. We determined the primary beneficiary is the interest-only certificate holder, which has the majority of the risk of loss. Our maximum exposure to loss as a result of our involvement with this entity is our investment in the residual trust certificate as measured by amortized cost. The only assets of the trust are corporate bonds which are guaranteed by a foreign government.
The classification of the asset, carrying value and maximum loss exposure for our significant unconsolidated VIEs as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, are as follows (in millions):
Fixed Maturities and Equity Securities
The amortized cost, gross unrealized gains and losses, other-than-temporary impairments in accumulated OCI ("AOCI") and fair value of fixed maturities and equity securities available-for-sale as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, are summarized as follows:
The amortized cost and fair value of fixed maturities available-for-sale at December 31, 2009, by expected maturity, were as follows:
Actual maturities may differ because borrowers may have the right to call or prepay obligations. Our portfolio is diversified by industry, issuer and asset class. Credit concentrations are managed to established limits.
Net Investment Income
Major categories of net investment income are summarized as follows:
Net Realized Capital Gains and Losses
The major components of net realized capital gains (losses) on investments are summarized as follows:
Proceeds from sales of investments (excluding call and maturity proceeds) in fixed maturities, available-for-sale were $3.3 billion, $1.2 billion and $2.4 billion in 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.
We have a process in place to identify fixed maturity and equity securities that could potentially have a credit impairment that is other than temporary. This process involves monitoring market events that could impact issuers' credit ratings, business climate, management changes, litigation and government actions and other similar factors. This process also involves monitoring late payments, pricing levels, downgrades by rating agencies, key financial ratios, financial statements, revenue forecasts and cash flow projections as indicators of credit issues.
During first quarter 2009, we adopted authoritative guidance that changed the recognition and presentation of other-than-temporary impairments. See further discussion of the adoption in Note 1, Nature of Operations and Significant Accounting Policies. The recognition provisions of the guidance apply only to debt securities classified as available-for-sale and held-to-maturity, while the presentation and disclosure requirements apply to both debt and equity securities.
Each reporting period, all securities are reviewed to determine whether an other-than-temporary decline in value exists and whether losses should be recognized. We consider relevant facts and circumstances in evaluating whether a credit or interest rate-related impairment of a security is other than temporary. Relevant facts and circumstances considered include: (1) the extent and length of time the fair value has been below cost; (2) the reasons for the decline in value; (3) the financial position and access to capital of the issuer, including the current and future impact of any specific events and (4) for fixed maturity securities, our intent to sell a security or whether it is more likely than not we will be required to sell the security before the recovery of its amortized cost which, in some cases, may extend to maturity and for equity securities, our ability and intent to hold the security for a period of time that allows for the recovery in value. Prior to 2009, our ability and intent to hold fixed maturity securities for a period of time that allowed for a recovery in value was considered rather than our intent to sell these securities. To the extent we determine that a security is deemed to be other than temporarily impaired, an impairment loss is recognized.
Impairment losses on equity securities are recognized in net income and are measured as the difference between amortized cost and fair value. The way in which impairment losses on fixed maturity securities are now recognized in the financial statements is dependent on the facts and circumstances related to the specific security. If we intend to sell a security or it is more likely than not that we would be required to sell a security before the recovery of its amortized cost, less any current period credit loss, we recognize an other-than-temporary impairment in net income for the difference between amortized cost and fair value. If we do not expect to recover the amortized cost basis, we do not plan to sell the security and if it is not more likely than not that we would be required to sell a security before the recovery of its amortized cost, less any current period credit loss, the recognition of the other-than-temporary impairment is bifurcated. We recognize the credit loss portion in net income and the noncredit loss portion in OCI. Prior to 2009, other-than-temporary impairments on fixed maturity securities were recorded in net income in their entirety and the amount recognized was the difference between amortized cost and fair value.
We estimate the amount of the credit loss component of a fixed maturity security impairment as the difference between amortized cost and the present value of the expected cash flows of the security. The present value is determined using the best estimate cash flows discounted at the effective interest rate implicit to the security at the date of purchase or the current yield to accrete an asset-backed or floating rate security. The methodology and assumptions for establishing the best estimate cash flows vary depending on the type of security. The asset-backed securities cash flow estimates are based on bond specific facts and circumstances that may include collateral characteristics, expectations of delinquency and default rates, loss severity and prepayment speeds and structural support, including subordination and guarantees. The corporate bond cash flow estimates are derived from scenario-based outcomes of expected corporate restructurings or liquidations using bond specific facts and circumstances including timing, security interests and loss severity.
Total other-than-temporary impairment losses, net of recoveries from the sale of previously impaired securities, were as follows:
The other-than-temporary impairments on fixed maturity securities for which an amount related to credit losses was recognized in net realized capital gains (losses) and an amount related to noncredit losses was recognized in OCI is summarized as follows:
The following table provides a rollforward of credit losses on fixed maturity securities recognized in net income ("bifurcated credit losses") for which a portion of an other-than-temporary impairment was recognized in OCI. The purpose of the table is to provide detail of (1) additions to the bifurcated credit loss amounts recognized for the period and (2) decrements for previously recognized bifurcated credit losses where the loss is no longer bifurcated and/or there has been a positive change in expected cash flows or accretion of the bifurcated credit loss amount.
Gross Unrealized Losses for Fixed Maturities and Equity Securities
For fixed maturities and equity securities available-for-sale with unrealized losses, including other-than-temporary impairment losses reported in OCI, as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, the gross unrealized losses and fair value, aggregated by investment category and length of time that individual securities have been in a continuous unrealized loss position are summarized as follows:
Of the total amounts, Principal Life's consolidated portfolio represented $14,979.2 million in available-for-sale fixed maturity securities with unrealized losses of $2,928.9 million. Principal Life's consolidated portfolio consists of fixed maturity securities where 83% were investment grade (rated AAA through BBB-) with an average price of 84 (carrying value/amortized cost) at December 31, 2009. Due to the credit disruption that began in the last half of 2007 and continued into first quarter of 2009, which reduced liquidity and led to wider credit spreads, we saw an increase in unrealized losses in our securities portfolio. The unrealized losses were more pronounced in the Corporate sector and in structured products, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and asset-backed securities (included in other debt obligations). During the second quarter of 2009 and continuing through the end of the year, a narrowing of credit spreads and improvement in liquidity resulted in a decrease in the unrealized losses in our securities portfolio relative to year-end 2008.
For those securities that had been in a loss position for less than twelve months, Principal Life's consolidated portfolio held 406 securities with a carrying value of $3,739.3 million and unrealized losses of $100.5 million reflecting an average price of 97 at December 31, 2009. Of this portfolio, 97% was investment grade (rated AAA through BBB-) at December 31, 2009, with associated unrealized losses of $82.7 million. The losses on these securities can primarily be attributed to changes in market interest rates and changes in credit spreads since the securities were acquired.
For those securities that had been in a continuous loss position greater than or equal to twelve months, Principal Life's consolidated portfolio held 1,481 securities with a carrying value of $11,239.9 million and unrealized losses of $2,828.4 million. The average rating of this portfolio was BBB+ with an average price of 80 at December 31, 2009. Of the $2,828.4 million in unrealized losses, the commercial mortgage-backed securities sector accounts for $1,302.5 million in unrealized losses with an average price of 63 and an average credit rating of AA-. The remaining unrealized losses consist primarily of $993.5 million within the Corporate sector at December 31, 2009. The average price of the Corporate sector was 88 and the average credit rating was BBB. The losses on these securities can primarily be attributed to changes in market interest rates and changes in credit spreads since the securities were acquired.
Because it was not our intent to sell the fixed maturity available-for-sale securities with unrealized losses and it was not more likely than not that we would be required to sell these securities before recovery of the amortized cost, which may be maturity, we did not consider these investments to be other-than-temporarily impaired at December 31, 2009.
Of the total amounts, Principal Life's consolidated portfolio represented $28,923.7 million in available-for-sale fixed maturity securities with unrealized losses of $8,215.6 million. Principal Life's consolidated portfolio consists of fixed maturity securities where 94% were investment grade (rated AAA through BBB-) with an average price of 78 (carrying value/amortized cost) at December 31, 2008. Due to the credit disruption that began in the last half of 2007 and continued into 2008, which reduced liquidity and led to wider credit spreads, we saw an increase in unrealized losses in our securities portfolio. The unrealized losses were more pronounced in the Corporate-public and Corporate-private finance sectors and in structured products, such as collateralized debt obligations, asset-backed securities and commercial mortgage-backed securities.
For those securities that had been in a loss position for less than twelve months, Principal Life's consolidated portfolio held 2,105 securities with a carrying value of $18,488.0 million and unrealized losses of $3,037.6 million reflecting an average price of 86 at December 31, 2008. Of this portfolio, 95% was investment grade (rated AAA through BBB-) at December 31, 2008, with associated unrealized losses of $2,701.9 million. The losses on these securities can primarily be attributed to changes in market interest rates and changes in credit spreads since the securities were acquired.
For those securities that had been in a continuous loss position greater than or equal to twelve months, Principal Life's consolidated portfolio held 1,526 securities with a carrying value of $10,435.7 million and unrealized losses of $5,178.0 million. The average rating of this portfolio was A- with an average price of 67 at December 31, 2008. Of the $5,178.0 million in unrealized losses, the Corporate-public and Corporate-private sectors account for $2,943.8 million in unrealized losses with an average price of 73 and an average credit rating of BBB+. The remaining unrealized losses consist primarily of $2,192.3 million in unrealized losses within the mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities sector at December 31, 2008. The average price of the mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities sector was 52 and the average credit rating was AA-. The losses on these securities can primarily be attributed to changes in market interest rates and changes in credit spreads since the securities were acquired.
Because we had the ability and intent to hold the available-for-sale securities with unrealized losses until a recovery of fair value, which may be maturity, we did not consider these investments to be other-than-temporarily impaired at December 31, 2008.
Net Unrealized Gains and Losses on Available-for-Sale Securities and Derivative Instruments
The net unrealized gains and losses on investments in fixed maturities available-for-sale, equity securities available-for-sale and derivative instruments are reported as a separate component of stockholders' equity. The cumulative amount of net unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities and derivative instruments net of adjustments related to DPAC, sales inducements, unearned revenue reserves, changes in policyholder benefits and claims and applicable income taxes was as follows:
Commercial Mortgage Loans
Commercial mortgage loans represent a primary area of credit risk exposure. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, the commercial mortgage portfolio is diversified by geographic region and specific collateral property type as follows:
Commercial Mortgage Loan Valuation Allowance
Mortgage loans on real estate are considered impaired when, based on current information and events, it is probable that we will be unable to collect all amounts due according to contractual terms of the loan agreement. When we determine that a loan is impaired, a valuation allowance is established equal to the difference between the carrying amount of the mortgage loan and the estimated value. Estimated value is based on either the present value of the expected future cash flows discounted at the loan's effective interest rate, the loan's observable market price or fair value of the collateral. The change in the valuation allowance is included in net realized capital gains (losses) on our consolidated statements of operations.
The valuation allowance is maintained at a level believed adequate by management to absorb estimated probable credit losses. Management's periodic evaluation and assessment of the adequacy of the valuation allowance and the need for mortgage impairments is based on known and inherent risks in the portfolio, adverse situations that may affect a borrower's ability to repay, the estimated value of the underlying collateral, composition of the loan portfolio, current economic conditions, loss experience and other relevant factors. The evaluation of our impaired loan component is subjective, as it requires the estimation of timing and amount of future cash flows expected to be received on impaired loans. Impaired mortgage loans, along with the related loan specific allowance for losses, were as follows:
The total average investment in impaired mortgage loans throughout each respective year and the interest income recognized on impaired mortgage loans were as follows:
When it is determined that a loan is impaired, interest accruals are stopped and all interest income is recognized on the cash basis.
A summary of the changes in the commercial mortgage loan valuation allowance is as follows:
Depreciation expense on invested real estate was $41.7 million, $32.1 million and $30.4 million in 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. Accumulated depreciation was $290.1 million and $248.1 million as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
Other investments include minority interests in unconsolidated entities, domestic and international joint ventures and partnerships and properties owned jointly with venture partners and operated by the partners. Such investments are generally accounted for using the equity method. In applying the equity method, we record our share of income or loss reported by the equity investees in net investment income. Summarized financial information for these unconsolidated entities is as follows:
In addition, other investments include $373.3 million and $265.4 million of direct financing leases as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Our Chilean operations enter into private placement contracts for commercial, industrial and office space properties whereby our Chilean operations purchase the real estate and/or building from the seller-lessee but then lease the property back to the seller-lessee. Ownership of the property is transferred to the lessee by the end of the lease term. The investments are carried at the amount of the gross investment and reviewed at least annually to determine whether an other-than-temporary decline in value has occurred.
Derivative assets are carried at fair value and reported as a component of other investments. Certain seed money investments are also carried at fair value and reported as a component of other investments, with changes in fair value included in net realized capital gains (losses) on our consolidated statements of operations.
Securities Posted as Collateral
We posted $910.0 million in fixed maturities, available-for-sale securities at December 31, 2009, to satisfy collateral requirements primarily associated with our derivative credit support annex (collateral) agreements and a reinsurance arrangement. In addition, we posted $1,741.4 million in commercial mortgage loans as of December 31, 2009, to satisfy collateral requirements associated with our obligation under funding agreements with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. Since we did not relinquish ownership rights on these securities, they are reported as fixed maturities, available-for-sale and commercial mortgage loans, respectively, on our consolidated statements of financial position.
6. Derivative Financial Instruments
Derivatives are generally used to hedge or reduce exposure to market risks associated with assets held or expected to be purchased or sold and liabilities incurred or expected to be incurred. Derivatives are used to change the characteristics of our asset/liability mix consistent with our risk management activities. Derivatives are also used in asset replication strategies. We have not bought, sold or held these investments for trading purposes.
Types of Derivative Instruments
Interest Rate Contracts
Interest rate risk is the risk that we will incur economic losses due to adverse changes in interest rates. Sources of interest rate risk include the difference between the maturity and interest rate changes of assets with the liabilities they support, timing differences between the pricing of liabilities and the purchase or procurement of assets and changing cash flow profiles from original projections due to prepayment options embedded within asset and liability contracts. We use various derivatives to manage our exposure to fluctuations in interest rates.
Interest rate swaps are contracts in which we agree with other parties to exchange, at specified intervals, the difference between fixed rate and floating rate interest amounts based upon designated market rates or rate indices and an agreed upon notional principal amount. Generally, no cash is exchanged at the outset of the contract and no principal payments are made by either party. Cash is paid or received based on the terms of the swap. These transactions are entered into pursuant to master agreements that provide for a single net payment to be made by one counterparty at each due date. We use interest rate swaps primarily to more closely match the interest rate characteristics of assets and liabilities arising from timing mismatches between assets and liabilities (including duration mismatches). We also use interest rate swaps to hedge against changes in the value of assets we anticipate acquiring and other anticipated transactions and commitments. Interest rate swaps are used to hedge against changes in the value of the guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit ("GMWB") liability. The GMWB rider on our variable annuity products provides for guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits regardless of the actual performance of various equity and/or fixed income funds available with the product.
A swaption is an option to enter into an interest rate swap at a future date. We have written these options and received a premium in order to transform our callable liabilities into fixed term liabilities. Swaptions provide us the benefit of the agreed-upon strike rate if the market rates for liabilities are higher, with the flexibility to enter into the current market rate swap if the market rates for liabilities are lower. Swaptions not only hedge against the downside risk, but also allow us to take advantage of any upside benefits.
In exchange-traded futures transactions, we agree to purchase or sell a specified number of contracts, the values of which are determined by the values of designated classes of securities, and to post variation margin on a daily basis in an amount equal to the difference in the daily market values of those contracts. We enter into exchange-traded futures with regulated futures commissions merchants who are members of a trading exchange. We have used exchange-traded futures to reduce market risks from changes in interest rates and to alter mismatches between the assets in a portfolio and the liabilities supported by those assets.
A treasury lock is an agreement that allows the holder to lock in an interest rate. If the interest rate increases, the holder is entitled to receive a payment from the counterparty to the agreement equal to the present value of the difference in the current interest rate and the locked-in interest rate. If the interest rate decreases, the holder must pay the counterparty to the agreement an amount equal to the present value of the difference in the current interest rate and the locked-in interest rate. We have used treasury lock agreements to hedge against changes in the value of anticipated transactions and commitments.
Foreign Exchange Contracts
Foreign currency risk is the risk that we will incur economic losses due to adverse fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. This risk arises from foreign currency-denominated funding agreements we issue, foreign currency-denominated fixed maturity securities we invest in and our investment in and net income of our international operations. We may use currency swaps and currency forwards to hedge foreign currency risk.
Currency swaps are contracts in which we agree with other parties to exchange, at specified intervals, a series of principal and interest payments in one currency for that of another currency. Generally, the principal amount of each currency is exchanged at the beginning and termination of the currency swap by each party. The interest payments are primarily fixed-to-fixed rate; however, may also be fixed-to-floating rate or floating-to-fixed rate. These transactions are entered into pursuant to master agreements that provide for a single net payment to be made by one counterparty for payments made in the same currency at each due date. We use currency swaps to reduce market risks from changes in currency exchange rates with respect to investments or liabilities denominated in foreign currencies that we either hold or intend to acquire or sell.
Currency forwards are contracts in which we agree with other parties to deliver a specified amount of an identified currency at a specified future date. Typically, the price is agreed upon at the time of the contract and payment for such a contract is made at the specified future date. We use currency forwards to reduce market risks from changes in currency exchange rates with respect to investments or liabilities denominated in foreign currencies that we either hold or intend to acquire or sell. We have also used currency forwards to hedge the currency risk associated with net investments in foreign operations.
Equity risk is the risk that we will incur economic losses due to adverse fluctuations in common stock. We use various derivatives to manage our exposure to equity risk, which arises from products in which the interest we credit is tied to an external equity index as well as products subject to minimum contractual guarantees.
We may sell an investment-type insurance contract with attributes tied to market indices (an embedded derivative as noted below), in which case we write an equity call option to convert the overall contract into a fixed-rate liability, essentially eliminating the equity component altogether. We purchase equity call spreads to hedge the equity participation rates promised to contractholders in conjunction with our fixed deferred annuity products that credit interest based on changes in an external equity index. We use exchange-traded futures and equity put options to hedge against changes in the value of the GMWB liability related to the GMWB rider on our variable annuity product, as previously explained.
Credit risk relates to the uncertainty associated with the continued ability of a given obligor to make timely payments of principal and interest. We use credit default swaps to enhance the return on our investment portfolio by providing comparable exposure to fixed income securities that might not be available in the primary market. They are also used to hedge credit exposures in our investment portfolio. Credit derivatives are used to sell or buy credit protection on an identified name or names on an unfunded or synthetic basis in return for receiving or paying a quarterly premium. The premium generally corresponds to a referenced name's credit spread at the time the agreement is executed. In cases where we sell protection, at the same time we enter into these synthetic transactions, we buy a quality cash bond to match against the credit default swap. When selling protection, if there is an event of default by the referenced name, as defined by the agreement, we are obligated to pay the counterparty the referenced amount of the contract and receive in return the referenced security in a principal amount equal to the notional value of the credit default swap.
Commodity Swaps. Commodity swaps are used to sell or buy protection on commodity prices in return for receiving or paying a quarterly premium. We purchased secured limited recourse notes from VIEs that are consolidated in our financial results. These VIEs use a commodity swap to enhance the return on an investment portfolio by selling protection on a static portfolio of commodity trigger swaps, each referencing a base or precious metal. The portfolio of commodity trigger swaps is a portfolio of deep out-of-the-money European puts on various base or precious metals. The VIEs provide mezzanine protection that the average spot rate will not fall below a certain trigger price on each commodity trigger swap in the portfolio and receive guaranteed quarterly premiums in return until maturity. At the same time the VIEs enter into this synthetic transaction, they buy a quality cash bond to match against the commodity swaps.
Embedded Derivatives. We purchase or issue certain financial instruments or products that contain a derivative instrument that is embedded in the financial instrument or product. When it is determined that the embedded derivative possesses economic characteristics that are not clearly or closely related to the economic characteristics of the host contract and a separate instrument with the same terms would qualify as a derivative instrument, the embedded derivative is bifurcated from the host for measurement purposes. The embedded derivative, which is reported with the host instrument in the consolidated statements of financial position, is carried at fair value.
We sell investment-type insurance contracts in which the return is tied to an external equity index, a leveraged inflation index or leveraged reference swap. We economically hedge the risk associated with these investment-type insurance contracts.
We offer group benefit plan contracts that have guaranteed separate accounts as an investment option. We also offer a guaranteed fund as an investment option in our defined contribution plans in Hong Kong.
We have structured investment relationships with trusts we have determined to be VIEs, which are consolidated in our financial statements. The notes issued by these trusts include obligations to deliver an underlying security to residual interest holders and the obligations contain an embedded derivative of the forecasted transaction to deliver the underlying security.
We have fixed deferred annuities that credit interest based on changes in an external equity index. We also have certain variable annuity products with a GMWB rider, which provides that the contractholder will receive at least their principal deposit back through withdrawals of up to a specified annual amount, even if the account value is reduced to zero. Declines in the equity market may increase our exposure to benefits under contracts with the GMWB. We economically hedge the exposure in these annuity contracts, as previously explained.
Our risk of loss is typically limited to the fair value of our derivative instruments and not to the notional or contractual amounts of these derivatives. Risk arises from changes in the fair value of the underlying instruments. We are also exposed to credit losses in the event of nonperformance of the counterparties. Our current credit exposure is limited to the value of derivatives that have become favorable to us. This credit risk is minimized by purchasing such agreements from financial institutions with high credit ratings and by establishing and monitoring exposure limits. We also utilize various credit enhancements, including collateral and credit triggers to reduce the credit exposure to our derivative instruments.
Our derivative transactions are generally documented under International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. Master Agreements. Management believes that such agreements provide for legally enforceable set-off and close-out netting of exposures to specific counterparties. Under such agreements, in connection with an early termination of a transaction, we are permitted to set off our receivable from a counterparty against our payables to the same counterparty arising out of all included transactions. For reporting purposes, we do not offset fair value amounts recognized for the right to reclaim cash collateral or the obligation to return cash collateral against fair value amounts recognized for derivative instruments executed with the same counterparties under master netting agreements.
We posted $273.7 million and $372.8 million in cash and securities under collateral arrangements as of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008, respectively, to satisfy collateral requirements associated with our derivative credit support agreements.
Certain of our derivative instruments contain provisions that require us to maintain an investment grade rating from each of the major credit rating agencies on our debt. If the rating on our debt were to fall below investment grade, it would be in violation of these provisions and the counterparties to the derivative instruments could request immediate payment or demand immediate and ongoing full overnight collateralization on derivative instruments in net liability positions. The aggregate fair value, inclusive of accrued interest, of all derivative instruments with credit-risk-related contingent features that were in a liability position without regard to netting under derivative credit support annex agreements as of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008, was $1,139.7 million and $2,100.0 million, respectively. With respect to these derivatives, we posted collateral of $273.7 million and $372.8 million as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, in the normal course of business, which reflects netting under derivative credit support annex agreements. If the credit-risk-related contingent features underlying these agreements were triggered on December 31, 2009, we would be required to post an additional $36.4 million of collateral to our counterparties.
As of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008, we had received $353.4 million and $262.9 million, respectively, of cash collateral associated with our derivative credit support annex agreements. The cash collateral is included in other assets on the consolidated statements of financial position, with a corresponding liability reflecting our obligation to return the collateral recorded in other liabilities.
Notional amounts are used to express the extent of our involvement in derivative transactions and represent a standard measurement of the volume of our derivative activity. Notional amounts represent those amounts used to calculate contractual flows to be exchanged and are not paid or received, except for contracts such as currency swaps. Credit exposure represents the gross amount owed to us under derivative contracts as of the valuation date. The notional amounts and credit exposure of our derivative financial instruments by type were as follows:
The fair value of our derivative instruments classified as assets and liabilities was as follows:
Credit Derivatives Sold
When we sell credit protection, we are exposed to the underlying credit risk similar to purchasing a fixed maturity security instrument. The majority of our credit derivative contracts sold reference a single name or reference security (referred to as "single name credit default swaps"). The remainder of our credit derivatives reference either a basket or index of securities. These instruments are either referenced in an over-the-counter credit derivative transaction, or embedded within an investment structure that has been fully consolidated into our financial statements.
These credit derivative transactions are subject to events of default defined within the terms of the contract, which normally consist of bankruptcy, failure to pay, or modified restructuring of the reference entity and/or issue. If a default event occurs for a reference name or security, we are obligated to pay the counterparty an amount equal to the notional amount of the credit derivative transaction. As a result, our maximum future payment is equal to the notional amount of the credit derivative. In certain cases, we also have purchased credit protection with identical underlyings to certain of our sold protection transactions. The effect of this purchased protection would reduce our total maximum future payments by $47.0 million and $60.8 million as of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008, respectively. These credit derivative transactions had a net fair value of $2.4 million and $21.2 million as of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008, respectively. Our potential loss could also be reduced by any amount recovered in the default proceedings of the underlying credit name.
We purchased certain investment structures with embedded credit features that are fully consolidated into our financial statements. This consolidation results in recognition of the underlying credit derivatives and collateral within the structure, typically high quality fixed maturity securities that are owned by a special purpose vehicle. These credit derivatives reference a single name or several names in a basket structure. In the event of default, the collateral within the structure would typically be liquidated to pay the claims of the credit derivative counterparty.
The following tables show our credit default swap protection sold by types of contract, types of referenced/underlying asset class and external agency rating for the underlying reference security as of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008. The maximum future payments are undiscounted and have not been reduced by the effect of any offsetting transactions, collateral or recourse features described above.
We also have invested in available-for-sale fixed maturity securities that contain credit default swaps that do not require bifurcation. These securities are subject to the credit risk of the issuer, normally a special purpose vehicle, which consists of the underlying credit default swaps and high quality fixed maturity securities that serve as collateral. A default event occurs if the cumulative losses exceed a specified attachment point, which is typically not the first loss of the portfolio. If a default event occurs that exceeds the specified attachment point, our investment may not be fully returned. We would have no future potential payments under these investments. The following tables show by the types of referenced/underlying asset class and external rating of the available-for-sale fixed maturity security our fixed maturity securities with nonbifurcatable embedded credit derivatives as of December 31, 2009, and December 31, 2008.
Fair Value Hedges
We use fixed-to-floating rate interest rate swaps to more closely align the interest rate characteristics of certain assets and liabilities. In general, these swaps are used in asset and liability management to modify duration, which is a measure of sensitivity to interest rate changes.
We enter into currency exchange swap agreements to convert certain foreign denominated assets and liabilities into U.S. dollar floating-rate denominated instruments to eliminate the exposure to future currency volatility on those items.
We also sell callable investment-type insurance contracts and use cancellable interest rate swaps and have written interest rate swaptions to hedge the changes in fair value of the callable feature.
The net interest effect of interest rate swap and currency swap transactions for derivatives in fair value hedges is recorded as an adjustment to income or expense of the underlying hedged item in our consolidated statements of operations.
Hedge effectiveness testing for fair value relationships is performed utilizing a regression analysis approach for both prospective and retrospective evaluations. This regression analysis will consider multiple data points for the assessment that the hedge continues to be highly effective in achieving offsetting changes in fair value. In certain periods, the comparison of the change in value of the derivative and the change in the value of the hedged item may not be offsetting at a specific period in time due to small movements in value. However, any amounts recorded as fair value hedges have shown to be highly effective in achieving offsetting changes in fair value both for present and future periods.
The following table shows the effect of derivatives in fair value hedging relationships and the related hedged items on the consolidated statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007. All gains or losses on derivatives were included in the assessment of hedge effectiveness.
The following table shows the periodic settlements on interest rate contracts and foreign exchange contracts in fair value hedging relationships for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007.
Cash Flow Hedges
We utilize floating-to-fixed rate interest rate swaps to eliminate the variability in cash flows of recognized financial assets and liabilities and forecasted transactions. We have also utilized treasury lock agreements to eliminate the variability in cash flows of forecasted transactions.
We enter into currency exchange swap agreements to convert both principal and interest payments of certain foreign denominated assets and liabilities into U.S. dollar denominated fixed-rate instruments to eliminate the exposure to future currency volatility on those items.
The net interest effect of interest rate swap and currency swap transactions for derivatives in cash flow hedges is recorded as an adjustment to income or expense of the underlying hedged item in our consolidated statements of operations.
The maximum length of time that we are hedging our exposure to the variability in future cash flows for forecasted transactions, excluding those related to the payments of variable interest on existing financial assets and liabilities, is 10.5 years. At December 31, 2009, we had $45.7 million of gross unrealized gains reported in AOCI on the consolidated statements of financial position related to active hedges of forecasted transactions. If a hedged forecasted transaction is no longer probable of occurring, cash flow hedge accounting is discontinued. If it is probable that the hedged forecasted transaction will not occur, the deferred gain or loss is immediately reclassified from OCI into net income. During the year ended December 31, 2009, $40.4 million of gross unrealized losses were reclassified from OCI into net realized capital gains (losses) as a result of the determination that hedged cash flows of a forecasted liability issuance were probable of not occurring. No amounts were reclassified from OCI into net income as a result of the determination that hedged cash flows were probable of not occurring during the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007.
The following table shows the effect of derivatives in cash flow hedging relationships on the consolidated statements of operations and consolidated statements of financial position for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007. All gains or losses on derivatives were included in the assessment of hedge effectiveness.