Indexed and Income Annuities Set Sales Records in 2012
May 22, 2013 by Judith Alexander
Allianz #1 for the Year; Security Benefit Life Takes the Lead in the Fourth Quarter
Indexed and income annuity sales rose to record highs in 2012, according to the Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study. Indexed annuity results increased 3.7% to $34.2 billion. In the third straight year of growth, income annuity sales advanced from 8.5% to $9.2 billion. Fourth quarter’s income annuity results of $2.4 billion were up 7.2% from a year ago and 0.3% from the prior quarter. It was the third consecutive quarterly improvement. Deferred income annuities generated the entire sequential gain. Indexed annuity sales were $8.5 billion in fourth quarter, 1.2% above a year ago, but 3.2% below the prior quarter.
“DIA results topped $1 billion for the first time in 2012,” said Jeremy Alexander, CEO of Beacon Research. “From the first to fourth quarter, sales climbed nearly 150%. These products often generate more retirement income than other annuity alternatives and are easy to understand. It’s not surprising that growth was so rapid. The need for retirement income was also an important driver of the annual increase in indexed annuity sales.”
Total fixed annuity results were $16.2 billion in the fourth quarter, down 6.5% from a year ago and 2.2% sequentially. Annual sales fell 11.6% to $66.8 billion. Large losses in fixed rate annuity sales were responsible for the annual decrease. Most issuers of these products chose to maximize margins at the expense of sales.
Allianz was the top fixed annuity company in 2012, followed by New York Life, Aviva, American Equity and Security Benefit Life, a first-time annual top five company. In the fourth quarter, Security Benefit Life moved up from fourth place to take the lead for the first time. Allianz moved down a notch to come in second. New York Life remained in the third spot. American Equity moved up a notch to come in fourth, and Lincoln Financial Group rejoined the top five for fifth place. Fourth quarter results for the top five Study participants were as follows:
In the fourth quarter, Security Benefit Life jumped up from 14th place to take the lead in bank channel sales. Jackson National regained the top spot in the independent broker-dealer channel. Lincoln Financial Group was the new leader in fixed rate non-MVAs. The other top companies in sales by product type and distribution channel were unchanged from the prior quarter.
In sales by product type, Security Benefit Life joined the top five, with its indexed Total Value Annuity taking fifth place. New York Life’s Lifetime Income Annuity was the quarterly bestseller, as it had been throughout 2012. Indexed annuities from Allianz and American Equity remained top products, with the Allianz Endurance Plus rejoining the top five for third place.
“We think that 2013 will be another record year for indexed and income annuities,” Alexander concluded. “But we don’t expect overall fixed annuity sales to change significantly.”
About the Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study
The quarterly Study is the first and only source to track and analyze product-level fixed annuity sales on an ongoing basis, and it’s the first to put a decade’s worth of historical industry, company and product sales information in an easily-searchable online database at www.annuitymarketstudy.com.
About Beacon Research
Beacon Research tracks fixed, indexed and variable annuity sales, rates and features, and provides web-based systems at www.annuitynexus.com for distributors and insurance companies. Beacon also licenses information and software tools to other platforms. Beacon’s fixed annuity benchmark series — the industry’s first – is available through Ibbotson Associates. Directly and through strategic alliances, Beacon information can be accessed by hundreds of financial institutions and other distributors, as well as thousands of advisors and agents.