03 Index Annuity Sales
Hit Record $14 Billion
Fixed index annuity sales totaled more than $14 billion in 2003, says Jack Marrion, president of Advantage Compendium, St. Louis, Mo. “Thats a 20% increase over 2002, when sales reached $11.7 billion, and it is a new record for the index annuity industry.” (See Chart I.)
“Sales in 2003 were roughly equal to total sales for the years 1995 through 1999,” he points out.
Allianz Life was the sales leader for the year, bringing in more than $4.3 billion (see Chart II).
The figures are based on a survey of 33 fixed index annuity insurers. Three did not participate so their results were estimated, says Marrion, adding “the results reflect experience of 95% of active index insurers, and over 99% of sales.”
The 2003 sales total would have been even higher if index carriers had not reshuffled their product lines in mid-year, Marrion says. Many insurers pulled products that offered minimum guaranteed interest rates at 3% of 90% of premium, he explains, and later introduced new versions having lower minimums, ranging from 1.5% of 90% of premium to 2% of 100% of premium.
Today, the majority of fixed index annuities still offer a 3% minimum guarantee, Marrion says. “However, the top sellers for 2003 were products having the new lower rates,” he adds.