Indexed, Income Annuity Sales Beat Quarterly, YTD Records

Total sales top $22 billion

Beacon Research announced Monday that annuities in several categories broke sales records in the third quarter of 2013. Total annuity sales were nearly $22.5 billion in the third quarter, up from $17 billion in the second quarter. Total annuity sales increased more than 35% since the third quarter of 2012,

"Quarter-over-quarter sales were up among all fixed annuity product types and, for the first time since 2008, in all major distribution channels," Jeremy Alexander, CEO of Beacon Research, said in a statement. "Sales of indexed annuities surpassed $10 billion for the first time, and nearly two-thirds of carriers experienced an increase in MVA annuity sales during the quarter."

Indexed annuity sales increased more than 10% over the second quarter to $10.1 billion. Sales for income annuities, including immediate and deferred income, reached $2.8 billion, also beating year-to-date and quarterly records. Deferred income annuities were especially popular, tripling since the third quarter of 2012. Beacon said that deferred income annuities account for 22% of all income annuity sales, an increase of 11% since last year.

New York Life was the top annuity issuer, bringing in $2.3 billion in total fixed annuity sales for the third quarter. Security Benefit came in second with $1.8 billion, followed by Allianz Life at $1.3 billion; Western National with $1.2 billion; and Great American with $1.1 billion.

Beacon noted that the top issuers for the quarter also led the industry in year-to-date sales.

Captive agents sold the most annuity products, followed by independent producers and wirehouses. Large and regional broker-dealers and independent broker-dealers were in fourth and fifth place for total third-quarter annuity sales.

"At the pace seen in the past two quarters, we expect total fixed annuity sales for 2013 to exceed last year's numbers for the first year-over-year increase since 2008," Alexander said. "The outlook for indexed and deferred income annuities remains strong, in particular, and we expect to see increases in fixed-rate annuities as well, should interest rate trends continue."

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