Thanks to an independent effort by New York insurance regulators, MetLife expects to reduce by about $1.8 billion, or more than 30%, the amount it must post to back up its variable annuity living benefit guarantees, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A spokesman for New York's insurance department said officials there agreed to accommodate a proposal from the American Council of Life Insurers to let certain insurers take advantage of an existing methodology that might reduce their reserve requirements.

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