In the third quarter 2005, the top selling fixed annuity was MasterDex, an Allianz Life indexed annuity that has ranked first for five consecutive periods, reports the “Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study.” The study covers sales of 182 products from 47 participating insurers.

Three book value products–New York Life’s LifeStages/MainStay Single Premium Fixed Annuity, John Hancock’s GPA Plus and Genworth Financial’s Capital Provider Advantage–ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, says Beacon Research, the Evanston, Ill., firm that ran the study.

ING US’s Secure Index Annuity was fifth.

(See chart for leading products in different distribution channels.)

By product type, Allstate Financial’s Tactician Plus led market value adjusted annuity sales. Genworth Financial had the leading immediate annuity.

One-year interest guarantee periods accounted for 87.9% of book value sales, up from 77% in the second quarter, says Beacon.

Compared to the second quarter, 3Q sales of all product types were down except for fixed immediate annuities, which grew 5.8%. That continues a trend that began in 1Q 2005, says Beacon.

The healthy immediate sales “probably benefited from ongoing positive publicity regarding their importance in retirement income planning,” says Beacon CEO Jeremy Alexander. “With the gradual disappearance of defined benefit pensions and uncertainty regarding the future of Social Security, the appeal to aging baby boomers of a guaranteed income for life is clear.”

Strong sales programs at Genworth and MetLife had a “major impact,” he adds. Several smaller fixed immediate annuity players–including The Standard, Western United Life and Standard Life of Indiana–showed “impressive gains,” too, he says.