This is the last in our series of columns on the industry results for 2011. The first article looked at overall voluntary sales for 2011. The second column looked at sales by product and platform. This final one spotlights sales by distribution segment. Total voluntary sales for 2011 was $5.478 billion (up 4.5 percent over 2010), according to our annual U.S. Worksite/Voluntary Sales Report.
The benefit broker segment continues to account for the largest portion of worksite/voluntary sales—55 percent in 2011, up from 52 percent in 2010. It was also the only segment that realized an increase in sales in 2011. Career agents had the second highest share again this year, but their total sales were down slightly. The chart below shows the full annualized sales by distribution segment and their increase or decrease as compared to 2010.
If there was any question about whether benefit brokers are embracing voluntary more now than before health care reform, the voluntary sales results should remove all doubt. Benefit brokers have made their mark and are continuing to drive this market. In addition, with health care reform and the slowly improving economy, we anticipate that voluntary sales will continue to grow.