Two new studies show fixed annuity sales were significantly higher in the first quarter than they were in the first quarter of 2008.
Total annuity sales grew to $66 billion in the quarter, up 6% from $62 billion in the first quarter of 2008, according to LIMRA International’s U.S. Individual Annuities First Quarter 2009 Sales Report.
The surge was due to a 74% sales increase for fixed annuities, from $25 billion in first quarter 2008 to $36 billion in the comparable period of 2009, LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., says.
Variable annuities sold just $301 billion in the first quarter of this year, in sharp contrast to first quarter 2008, when VA contracts outsold FA contracts by $42 billion to $20.5 billion.
Consumers’ recent preference for fixed products was a result of the unstable stock market and a desire for guaranteed rates of return, says Joe Montminy, director of annuity research at LIMRA.
Sales of variable annuities showed double-digit declines for the fourth straight quarter, LIMRA says.
Sales increased for all fixed deferred annuity product-types in the first quarter of 2009, LIMRA found.