You only need two words to describe the voluntary benefits industry's sales last year: "up again." Or, if you prefer, "historic highs."

You may recall voluntary sales grew a solid 5.4% in 2022 — quite respectable as the industry emerged from the lingering effects of the pandemic. But last year topped that with a 6.7% jump, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group's annual "U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report." That pushed total sales premium to $9.34 billion, the industry's highest level ever. In-force premium also reached historic highs in 2023 by growing almost 5.5% to $53.3 billion.

Benefit brokers and career agents lead the way

Benefit brokers — those who primarily sell core or employer-funded products but also sell voluntary benefits — beat the industry average with 7% sales growth in 2023. These brokers produced total sales of $6.3 billion, or 68% of the total market.

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