Indexed annuity sales hit $11.5 billion in Q4 2013

Total fourth quarter sales hit $11.5 billion for indexed annuities, according to the latest Wink’s Sales & Market Report.

The numbers trended up as indexed annuity sales rose 15 percent from the previous quarter and grew 35 percent compared to the same period a year ago. According to Wink’s, data from forty-four indexed annuity carriers contributed to the report.

“2013 was the year for setting and conquering all previous sales records,” said Sheryl J. Moore, president and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc. “This was the fifth consecutive record-setting year at $36.8 billion, topping last year’s record of $8.5 billion by 13.4 percent."

Moore added: "Indexed annuities continue to gain more acceptance in bank and wirehouse distributions, as rates on traditional fixed money instruments remain low and consumers seek-out the guarantees that are inherent in indexed annuities. Plus, more attractive rates on these products are increasing sales in the independent agent distribution as well—it is a win/win for the industry.”

Additional highlights from the report:

  • Allianz Life held on to their position as the No. 1 carrier in indexed annuities with a 20.01 percent market share. Security Benefit Life maintained its position as the second-ranked company in the market, while Great American, American Equity, and Athene USA rounded out the top five, respectively. 
  • Allianz Life’s Allianz 360 Annuity took over as the top selling indexed annuity for the quarter.
  • Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) utilization declined for the second consecutive quarter, while additional experience data pointed to trends in rider elections and income commencement. 
  • Moore pointed-out, “It isn’t surprising to see GLWB elections down to 61.9 percent of eligible sales. Rates on indexed annuities are much more attractive than they have been in years, so salespeople are finally able to focus on accumulation sales again, as opposed to income sales.”
  • For indexed life sales, 50 insurance carriers participated in Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 95.4 percent of production. Fourth quarter sales were $430.4 million. When evaluating fourth quarter indexed life sales, results were up more than 31.0 percent when compared with the previous quarter, and down more than 2.0 percent as compared to the same period last year. 
  • “Fourth quarter sales propelled 2013 into another record breaking year. This was the fourth consecutive record-setting year for indexed life sales, topping last year’s record by 7.95 percent,” said Moore.
  • Facts worth noting in the indexed life market this quarter included Pacific Life Companies maintaining the top position in indexed life sales, with a 12.94 percent market share. AXA US moved to the second-ranked company in the market; National Life Group, Aegon, and Minnesota Life rounded-out the top five companies, respectively. 
  • AXA US’ Athena Indexed UL was the top selling indexed life insurance product for the 11th consecutive quarter. 
  • The average indexed UL target premium reported for the quarter was $10,358, an increase of nearly 55 percent from the prior quarter.
About the Author
Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams, Editor-in-Chief of the new Retirement Advisor magazine (formerly Senior Market Advisor) and Annuities Channel Editor for LifeHealthPro.com, is an award-winning journalist and business editor with extensive experience in print, online and trade shows. Prior to joining Senior Market Advisor, Daniel was editor of Real Estate Southern California magazine and West Coast South Bureau Chief of GlobeSt.com, both are divisions of Real Estate Media. Previously, he covered the commercial real estate beat for the Orange County Business Journal. While there, he received a certificate of merit from SABEW (the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc.) for a story on "OCs Cash Economy." A native of the Deep South, Daniel relocated from Los Angeles to Denver with his wife and daughter and can be reached at dwilliams@SummitProNets.com or on Twitter @LHPro_Annuities.

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