A Letter from our
President and CEO,
Rick McKenney

To our shareholders, customers and colleagues

At Unum Group, the trust we have built has deep roots.

Since 1848, millions of people and their families have counted on us to be there during the difficult moments of their lives. For decades, companies have relied on our benefits and workplace expertise to attract and retain their employees. The trust we’ve built over 175 years comes not only from delivering on our promises but by anticipating the needs of our customers well into the future. Today, we’re a company steadfastly committed to upholding the trust we’ve earned while securing our future through innovation, uncommon service and reaching more people.

In 2023, our nearly 11,000 people delivered another year of exceptional performance for Unum Group. Our unyielding focus to live our purpose of helping the working world thrive throughout life’s moments delivered substantive value to our customers, employees, communities and, of course, shareholders.

As we reflect on the year, I am proud of what we have accomplished together as we continue to leverage our deep relationships with employers to reach even more workers. The value of these relationships was reflected in our strong top line results and momentum that continued to build across our core businesses.

Looking forward, 2024 will be an exciting year as we continue to honor deep connections with all our stakeholders. The work we have put in and the decisions we have made now allow us to actively shape our future. With many opportunities to seize, we’re treating time as one of our most precious resources.

In 2023, we helped people at every stage of life.

protected 45 million individuals and families

partnered with more than 174,000 companies

delivered $8 billion in benefits

Review of 2023 Performance

Our 2023 financial results underscored the strength of our longstanding leadership in disability insurance.


It was a year that saw exceptional performance across our core businesses, including strong results from Unum U.S. and Unum International, as well as a return to growth at Colonial Life. It was a year in which we made significant strides to accelerate our industry leading digital capabilities, including HR Connect, Total Leave, Gathr and Help@hand. And it was a year in which our ongoing focus on underwriting discipline and operational excellence drove strong bottom-line growth and returns on equity, both on an adjusted basis.

Capital stewardship was another standout area. Building on healthy cash flows, we delivered against our capital allocation priorities. This includes fully recognizing the long-term care premium deficiency reserves ahead of schedule, which puts us on a path of further financial flexibility. As part of this, we raised our dividend and increased the pace of share repurchases.

2023 Performance by the Numbers

Book value per share
(excluding accumulated other comprehensive income)
up 8.8% from 2022

Adjusted operating return on equity

$10.0 billion
Premium income
up 4.5% from 2022

$1.3 billion
Net income

$1.5 billion
After-tax adjusted operating income

Earnings per diluted share

After-tax adjusted operating earnings per diluted share

We also ended the year in a strong financial position with excellent capital metrics:

  • Improvement in holding company liquidity to $1.7 billion
  • Risk-based capital of approximately 415%, in excess of our 350% target
  • A decline in our leverage to 22.1%
  • Fully recognized the premium deficiency reserve
  • Share repurchases totaling $250 million, up 25% from year ago levels
  • A nearly 11% increase in our quarterly dividend to 36.5 cents per common share

We have been recognized by several independent organizations for our commitment to workplace excellence.

Ethisphere World's Most Ethical Companies Award 2024
Newsweek America's Most Responsible Companies Award 2023
Fortune America's Most Innovative Companies Award 2023
National Organization on Disability Leading Disability Employer Award 2023

Driving our business through our purpose

Our north star has and always will be our purpose: helping the working world thrive throughout life’s moments. The need for what we do highlights the importance of our work.

Most of today’s families live paycheck-to-paycheck, while 1 in 4 workers will become disabled at some point in their career. On top of this stark reality, companies are navigating an increasingly complex regulatory environment governing leave, and with 1 in 5 workers out on leave at any given time, we are well-positioned to guide employers and employees through this process.

Meeting these needs head-on by delivering affordable access to vital benefits is what aligns and energizes our teams around the world. It starts with the deep relationships we have with 174,000 businesses who partner with us to attract and retain employees and address today’s workplace challenges. Through these vital partnerships, we protect nearly 45 million workers and their families. Whether providing our core set of employee benefits, enhancing access to vital mental health resources, guiding workers through the leave process or removing friction from top HR challenges, our people are delivering on our purpose through each interaction.

Anchored by our purpose and a clear set of values, we are focused on ensuring our people put customers first. For the fourth year in a row, we have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere,® highlighting our commitment to operate our business with integrity. We recognize the sacred trust our customers and other stakeholders have in us, and our steadfast commitment to operating our business with integrity means we treat each interaction with the care and respect it deserves.

We empower our people and our business by helping employees become their best selves. Each employee’s unique perspective, experience and background equips us to better serve others, and the diversity of thought we all bring to work each day fosters innovation and is a key differentiator. Our dedication to supporting employee well-being is also critical as we create a dynamic and rewarding environment for our people. Key to our approach is our commitment to fostering meaningful connections — listening to our people through regular leadership check-ins, town halls, engagement surveys and ongoing conversations across all levels of the organization.

Our purpose also guides our investments in the communities where we live and work to drive positive change.

$14.7 million
donated to charitable partners

In 2023, we donated $14.7 million to local charitable partners throughout our geographic footprint to promote equitable access to and resources for education, health and well-being. This included $700,000 in commemorative gifts to several community organizations in honor of our 175th anniversary, enabling these partners to leverage our gifts for meaningful change. Our matching gifts program and company volunteer events magnified our collective impact through the efforts of our people.

Cultivating our workplace culture

Our efforts continue to be recognized by leading organizations for excellence in areas including diversity, disability and LGBTQ equality, health and well-being and community engagement.

Actively shaping and driving our future

Since becoming Chief Executive Officer nine years ago, the industry, economy, and world has had its share of volatility and uncertainty—and then some. While there are no easy answers to this reality, our steady focus and hard work have positioned us to better seize opportunities and manage challenges and related risk.

Centered on our purpose, we have built our business around a model — solving protection needs through the workplace — that acts as a growing differentiator in a world where longstanding, systemic trends have broadened and deepened the responsibilities of employers.

As part of that model, we are seeing real results across our product and service portfolio. In this letter last year, I noted our efforts to accelerate modernization of the benefits experience. Those efforts are paying off, with offerings such as Gathr and Help@hand establishing real footholds with our customers and ultimately driving strong top line results, including sales growth of over 13 percent for the full year of 2023 and premium growth of 4.5 percent.

Consider HR Connect, which automates benefits administration with accurate, real-time data exchange across systems. That’s a growing need for our customers, and it has led to more than 1,500 organizations using HR Connect to deliver a better benefits experience for their employees.

And, finally, the discipline with which we run the business is a core constant. Our purpose informs and aligns every step we consider; when we act, operational excellence is our starting point. That’s true across the business. One way we’re doing that is through artificial intelligence, with a focus on elevating the employee experience and making it easier for employers to deliver a great customer service experience.

It’s also true in our Closed Block, where we have a focused strategy that we continued to progress in 2023. For this run-off portfolio of policies we no longer actively market, including long-term care, we are making meaningful progress across three core objectives: creating value, reducing the footprint, and increasing the predictability of outcomes.

Together, these drivers are enabling Unum Group to actively shape our future. That is true when the external environment is favorable, as it is now. The continued strength of the labor market, higher interest rates, and evolving views of the value of benefits and services are good for the company. But it’s also true that — should economic conditions shift — our hard work has given us the ability to better manage challenges and seize opportunities in every environment.

With a sustained and growing ability to chart our own course, time is a key resource. And looking forward, we are moving to make the most of our differentiated position in the marketplace.



Simplified benefits

customer service

The view ahead

Our operational and financial performance over the past few years has given us strong momentum and positions us for accelerated success in 2024 and beyond.

With the tailwinds described throughout this letter, we will continue to build on a durable foundation as we further strengthen our operations, maintain a disciplined approach, and continue to pursue innovation focused on meeting the evolving needs of our customers. These actions ensure we remain their provider of choice.

In our U.S. businesses, our focus is on leveraging deep go-to-market expertise to connect benefits to HR platforms while also providing solutions to support seamless enrollment, billing and administration. This is a key opportunity and need that we are hearing from our customers. At Colonial Life, we will continue to support our teams with tools and solutions that enhance their productivity, including enabling Colonial Life agents to offer Unum employer-paid products to ensure they have the right solutions on hand to address every situation. At Unum International, we are undertaking initiatives to redefine the broker experience in the U.K., providing differentiated services that generate actionable insights, and continuing to expand our product set. In Poland, we will further build out our distribution network and geographic reach as we work to increase the number of employers and customers we serve in that compelling market.

We will complement the execution of our growth strategy with a continued focus on disciplined capital allocation, as we utilize our strong cash flow to create additional value for our shareholders. Our priorities have not changed. First, we will look to invest internally to drive organic growth. Second, we will seek to identify highly selective, compelling M&A opportunities that complement our core business and growth strategy. And third, we will continue to return capital to shareholders, which we anticipate will include an increase in our dividend and additional share repurchases in 2024.

We enter 2024 well positioned for continued success, with the solutions, people, financial strength and liquidity to build on our accomplishments and execute on our strategy to deliver on the opportunities we see ahead. None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our nearly 11,000 colleagues, and I thank them, our customers and our shareholders for their continued trust and support.

Rick McKenney
President and CEO, Unum Group