New York Life Insurance Co. announced Thursday that it will not participate in the Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program.

Some banks have signed up for the program, getting an equity investment from the Treasury in the form of preferred shares that earn a 5% dividend, a better rate than is available on the open market.

"When it became clear to us that the program was entirely voluntary for insurers, New York Life was able to evaluate it solely from the point of view of its capital strength and its policyholders' best interests," a spokesman for New York Life said.

"We are well capitalized with more capital than is required to maintain our triple-A ratings. New York Life has the highest possible ratings from all four of the major rating agencies," the spokesman said.

"The company can meet all of its strategic objectives without government capital, its businesses are strong and profitable, and it is committed to remaining a mutual company operating for the sole benefit of its policyholders."

New York Life offers life insurance products, retirement income, investment products, and long-term-care insurance.

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