Although it announced its intention to scale back its variable annuity sales in May, MetLife remained in the top three companies for VA sales in the third quarter, according to LIMRA. The number one seller was Prudential Annuities at $16.2 billon, followed by Jackson National Life at $15.3 billion. MetLife booked a total of $14.1 billion in VA sales, up from a second quarter tally of $9.5 billion.
Jackson National was the Q3 leader in industry-wide sales at $17.3 billion, a spot it has held since the second quarter. Prudential Annuities and MetLife switched the number two and three positions, with Prudential Annuities taking second place in the third quarter with $16.7 billion in sales, followed by MetLife at $15.5 billion. In the second quarter, MetLife was the number two seller ($10.564 billion), trailed closely by Prudential at $10.561 billion.
Several carriers have adjusted their variable annuity features in an effort to cope with the low interest rate environment. Some, like MetLife, have either willingly decided to trim VA sales or exited the market altogether.
LIMRA recorded at drop in annuity sales in the third quarter, a trend that may continue as changes in VA offerings have yet to fully impact the marketplace, the organization contends.