Securian Financial saw a 44% drop in income last year — primarily due to payouts to policyholders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Securian Financial's purpose and values were on full display in 2020," said Chris Hilger, chief executive of the St. Paul-based insurance and financial services company. "The worst pandemic in a century highlighted the importance of the peace of mind and financial security we help provide our customers and their families. We took care of those who count on us when it mattered most."

The St. Paul-based life insurance and financial services company reported that 2020 net income dropped to $243 million, primarily due to payouts as a result of COVID-19.

Securian Financial sells group and individual life insurance and other financial products and investment services. Company revenue was $6.9 billion, up 4% for 2020. Excluding certain nonrecurring revenue, it was $6.3 billion, up more than 6% over 2019.

The company's operating income fell 65% to $116 million.

Sales of its retirement products — which include 401(k) plans, individual annuities and other products — were $2.8 billion, the second highest total in company history. Insurance product sales were $500 million.

The company will report more financial details when its annual report is released in April.

"Throughout the year, we navigated a challenging environment by carefully managing our capital, taking actions to mitigate the negative impact of very low interest rates and pursuing growth opportunities consistent with our risk appetite," Hilger said. "In addition, we continued to build our capital level and maintained our excellent overall financial strength."

The total value of its insurance in force, the face value of the combined life insurance policies, increased 11% to $1.4 trillion. Its assets under management increased 5% to $98.3 billion.

Despite the decrease in net income, the company was still able to make profit-sharing payments to eligible employees for the 47th consecutive year. The contribution for 2020 was 4.6% of annual salary.

Securian, like many financial companies, transitioned to a work-from-home environment last year because of the pandemic. About 95% of its workforce continues to work remotely.

In addition to the profit-sharing contribution, the company also gave employees a $500 stipend to improve their home office setups and created an 80-hour COVID-19 paid leave benefit.

Securian officials said they have a return-to-office plan that is based on data and not dates. The first phase would involve 20% of staff members and would be voluntary. A next phase would give employees four weeks notice before coming back to the office.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926