Annuity benefits paid in 2005 totaled about $50 billion in 2005, with ordinary annuity benefits paid contributing a little less than half of that total, according to annual statement filings. In 2005, total annuity benefits paid were $49.8 billion for the top 50, a 4% increase over 2004′s $47.7 billion, according to data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ annual statement database via National Underwriter Insurance Data Services/Highline Data.

Ordinary annuity benefits paid totaled $25.3 billion in 2005, up 6% from 2004′s $24 billion, the data indicated.

The percentage increases in benefits paid exceeded the total growth of annuity considerations that was reported in the 2005 Fact Book published by the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington.

In 2005, annuity considerations totaled $302.6 billion, a 0.5% increase over 2004′s $301 billion, according to the ACLI Fact Book. Group annuities increased 5.3% in 2005 to $110.1 billion, compared with 2004′s $104.5 billion. Individual annuities declined 3% to $167 billion in 2005, compared with $172.1 billion in 2004, the Fact Book indicated.

The top 10 companies represented a big portion of the top 50′s totals. For total annuity benefits paid, the top 10 companies comprised 61% of benefits paid both in 2005 and in 2004.

Regarding ordinary individual annuity benefits paid, the top 10 companies represented 49% and 50%, respectively, of the total for the top 50 companies in 2005 and 2004.

Large gains in total annuity benefits paid were posted by: Prudential Retirement Insurance & Annuity Co., with an increase of 913%; Transamerica Life Insurance Company, with a 119% increase; Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company, up 93%; and Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, with an 83% rise.

Other companies also posted sizeable increases. These included: CUNA Mutual Life, with a 49% increase; Chase Insurance Life and Annuity Company, up 35%; Standard Insurance Company, up 28%; and USAA Life Insurance Company, with a 26% increase.

Declines in 2005 over 2004 for total annuity benefits paid were experienced by several companies including: Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, with an 80% decrease; and, John Hancock Life, off 36%.

For ordinary individual annuity benefits paid, 95% increases in 2005 over 2004 were posted by Transamerica Occidental Life and Fidelity & Guaranty Life.

Large increases were also posted by Transamerica Life, up 49%; Chase Insurance Life and Annuity Company, up 45%; Prudential Retirement Insurance & Annuity Company, with a 30% increase; and USAA Life with a rise of 26%.

In the top 50, as measured by ordinary individual annuity benefits paid, several companies also experienced noticeable declines in 2005 when compared with 2004. Those companies include: John Hancock Life, off 77%; Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, with a 62% decline; and John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA), down 35%.