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Great career, but be prepared...

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Agent
Current Employee - Agent

I have been working at New York Life

Pros

New York Life is a well-respected, financially sound, established company. It is a great place to work if you are self-motivated, if you work well with people, if you feel rewarded by helping others protect their assets, if you like to learn, and if you want to establish and/or improve your skillset that will translate well into all aspects of business.

The company offers a variety of very good heath insurance benefits, including dental and vision coverage.

New York Life has been around since the 1800s and it is THE best in the industry.

Unlimited income possibilities.

Cons

I am still employed with New York Life and I enjoy my career. The "cons" I am sharing include many small details I wish were told to me at the very start.

In summary, be VERY prepared (mentally, financially, physically, and emotionally) to run your own business, from "soup to nuts." Discuss this career with your family and make sure they are supportive; you will need their understanding and flexibility to foster a successful career with New York Life. As with almost all sales positions, your compensation is commission-only based (no base salary or draw), so your success is dependent upon what you produce, period. If you do not have adequate savings to support daily living and business expenses for at least 3 months, this may not be the career to choose.

Additionally, as others have mentioned, there are a number of details about being an agent at New York Life that are never disclosed to you or glossed over when reviewing your employment contract. And most importantly, the company changes the “rules of the game constantly,” especially with regard to overall compensation.

(A) Agent = SALES position. There are good and bad aspects of being commission-based. Yes, it is true "skies are the limit;" however, take that with a grain of salt. The most difficult part of compensation at New York Life is the complexity involved in understanding the pay ledger and how you actually get paid. The majority of partners (managers) cannot even explain compensation! Be financially prepared for months you will not get paid because it WILL happen. If a client gets denied insurance or they cancel their policy, commission is reversed. You will either need to sell more products to off-set the reversal -or- pay the money back directly to the company.

The operations/payroll department is very slow when processing policy cancellations, so you may get a reversal of commissions for an event that happened many months prior. This is important to realize so you are not caught off-guard!

(B) As an agent, you must pay for all overhead expenses and as a new full-time agent, you are required to rent an office space from the company. You have to pay for things like your own computer/laptop, internet service, cel phone, copies...if there is an expense attached, you are responsible for it.

(C) Management has high-sales expectations, but they do not foster a balanced, conducive environment to "produce" during your first years with the company. As a new, full-time agent, you will be required to attend quite a large number of training classes and meetings. On one hand, it is fantastic the company offers so much training, but it does not leave much time for appointments and drumming up new business. This is a "sales" position, so working long days and weekends should be expected. You will also be pressured by management to solicit business (and referrals) from your own family, friends, and community. Unfortunately, this is almost essential to make it your first year with the company.

(D) You are expected to manage, find, or purchase your own leads and determine how to get new clients/business on your own. Management will encourage you to join networking groups and participate in events, but realize you are responsible for all fees associated with doing so.

(E) A manager/partner is still SALES with compensation like a pyramid organization. You will see some people get promoted to management who have no leadership or coaching skills as well as those who are great motivators - this happens at most any company. Partners (and above) are still selling the company and recruiting for more agents, as a partner’s income is based upon their agents’ (team) sales.

(F) Your employment contract is finite. After 2 years, your commission percentage on new business goes down - no surprise there. You have the option to open your own office (either physically located at your GO -or- physically located off-site). Again, you have to pay for everything either way.

(G) If you decide to ever leave the company, understand that you may not be absent from reversal of commissions for quite some time. Again, this is one of those small details that are glossed over and could have big financial impacts to your future after New York Life. If one of your clients cannot pay an insurance premium -or- if they cancel a policy altogether, you receive a bill from New York Life telling you to re-pay the commissions. I do not know if this is even legal, but if you do not pay the “bill,” they will send you to collections.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

-Provide adequate support with existing company tools (software, intranet, etc.). Right now, it's lacking.
-Rip off the band-aid and spend the money to do a complete upgrade on IT applications and reporting. The current tools are very outdated and quite limited in functionality. Agents not only need nimble and FLEXIBLE tools to help grow their business, but also to quickly and accurately service and help our clients (aka: shareholders). For a company of this size, we should be on the cutting edge of technology, not 10 years behind.
-Promote balance between learning time and "selling" time and create more realistic expectations between partners and their agents.
-Better define compensation and how commission is calculated.
-Create more clarity to payment ledger that allows the average person to understand income and expense details.
-Improve the turnaround time for processing accurate payments and deductions from ledger.
-Provide more incentive goals and financial rewards for agents.

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

728 Other Employee Reviews for New York Life (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Be all you can be.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor

    I have been working at New York Life

    Pros

    Excellent compensation plan. Amazing residual opportunities. They have a very nice pension plan. Excellent training support. They have exceptional case development support. They are a mutual company and focus on clients FIRST.

    Cons

    They can nickle and dime you to death sometimes. They have a bad habit of changing their rules on you unexpectedly. They are excellent at risk management products but not as good at financial planning or advising. I will give them a lot of credit for making great strides to improve this deficiency. They run on two separate fiscal years which is very annoying as a business owner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the excellent management. Develop an easier way to have the field communicate with you on their ideas. Quit charging for illustration software, IT support, RR fees, etc. These are needed to place YOUR business.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Exceptional Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern

    I worked at New York Life

    Pros

    Very laid back atmosphere, employees all get along pretty well. Good work/life balance, benefits, very competitive pay for interns and full timers. Friendly management. Structured and meaningful internship program.

    Cons

    Interns typically don't get very much work to do outside of the internship work given to all interns (final project). Potentially large age gap between new and current employees depending on which department you get into.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall satisfactory effort at keeping employees in the loop. Continue taking surveys and getting feedback from employees.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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