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CARMEL, Ind., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) today announced that its subsidiary, Conseco Life Insurance Company ("Conseco Life"), has reached a tentative settlement in the Nicholas putative class action litigation, which involves changes implemented in late 2011 to some non-guaranteed elements in certain universal life policies sold by Conseco Life prior to its acquisition by CNO's predecessor. After a hearing held on April 19, 2012 the judge in the Nicholas litigation case took under advisement Conseco Life's requests for (i) the designation of a nationwide class for the purpose of approving the tentative settlement and (ii) an injunction to stay any other litigation involving the cost of insurance increase implemented by Conseco Life in November 2011 on the Valulife and Valuterm policies that are at issue in the Nicholas litigation. If the court approves the designation of a class for purposes of settlement, final approval of the settlement would be subject to a court fairness hearing after notice to the inforce and former policyholders covered by the settlement and other conditions. In connection with the tentative settlement, CNO expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $20 million in its Other CNO Business segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. The tentative settlement is expected to reduce CNO's consolidated risk-based capital ratio by approximately six percentage points.
CNO is a holding company. Our insurance subsidiaries – principally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington National Insurance Company and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company – serve working American families and seniors by helping them protect against financial adversity and provide for a more secure retirement. For more information, visit CNO online at www.CNOinc.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements. Our statements, trend analyses and other information contained in this press release relative to markets for CNO Financial's products and trends in CNO Financial's operations or financial results, as well as other statements, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically are identified by the use of terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "may," "will," "would," "contemplate," "possible," "attempt," "seek," "should," "could," "goal," "target," "on track," "comfortable with," "optimistic" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. You should consider statements that contain these words carefully because they describe our expectations, plans, strategies and goals and our beliefs concerning future business conditions, our results of operations, financial position, and our business outlook or they state other ''forward-looking'' information based on currently available information. Assumptions and other important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements include, among other things: (i) changes in or sustained low interest rates causing reductions in investment income, the margins of our fixed annuity and life insurance businesses, and sales of, and demand for, our products; (ii) general economic, market and political conditions, including the performance and fluctuations of the financial markets which may affect the value of our investments as well as our ability to raise capital or refinance existing indebtedness and the cost of doing so; (iii) the ultimate outcome of lawsuits filed against us and other legal and regulatory proceedings to which we are subject; (iv) our ability to make anticipated changes to certain non-guaranteed elements of our life insurance products; (v) our ability to obtain adequate and timely rate increases on our health products, including our long-term care business; (vi) the receipt of any required regulatory approvals for dividend and surplus debenture interest payments from our insurance subsidiaries; (vii) mortality, morbidity, the increased cost and usage of health care services, persistency, the adequacy of our previous reserve estimates and other factors which may affect the profitability of our insurance products; (viii) changes in our assumptions related to deferred acquisition costs or the present value of future profits; (ix) the recoverability of our deferred tax assets and the effect of potential ownership changes and tax rate changes on their value; (x) our assumption that the positions we take on our tax return filings, including our position that our 7.0% convertible senior debentures due 2016 will not be treated as stock for purposes of Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and will not trigger an ownership change, will not be successfully challenged by the Internal Revenue Service; (xi) changes in accounting principles and the interpretation thereof (including changes in principles related to accounting for deferred acquisition costs); (xii) our ability to continue to satisfy the financial ratio and balance requirements and other covenants of our debt agreements; (xiii) our ability to achieve anticipated expense reductions and levels of operational efficiencies including improvements in claims adjudication and continued automation and rationalization of operating systems, (xiv) performance and valuation of our investments, including the impact of realized losses (including other-than-temporary impairment charges); (xv) our ability to identify products and markets in which we can compete effectively against competitors with greater market share, higher ratings, greater financial resources and stronger brand recognition; (xvi) our ability to generate sufficient liquidity to meet our debt service obligations and other cash needs; (xvii) our ability to maintain effective controls over financial reporting; (xviii) our ability to continue to recruit and retain productive agents and distribution partners and customer response to new products, distribution channels and marketing initiatives; (xix) our ability to achieve eventual upgrades of the financial strength ratings of CNO Financial and our insurance company subsidiaries as well as the impact of our ratings on our business, our ability to access capital and the cost of capital; (xx) the risk factors or uncertainties listed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission; (xxi) regulatory changes or actions, including those relating to regulation of the financial affairs of our insurance companies, such as the payment of dividends and surplus debenture interest to us, regulation of the sale, underwriting and pricing of products, and health care regulation affecting health insurance products; and (xxii) changes in the Federal income tax laws and regulations which may affect or eliminate the relative tax advantages of some of our products or affect the value of our deferred tax assets. Other factors and assumptions not identified above are also relevant to the forward-looking statements, and if they prove incorrect, could also cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. We assume no obligation to update or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, future events or developments, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting the forward-looking statements.
SOURCE CNO Financial Group, Inc.