Fixed indexed annuity sales hit a new record in the second quarter of 2009, according to AnnuitySpecs.com.
Total sales were $8.3 billion–up 18.3% from the previous quarter and up 21.2% from the second quarter of 2008, says Sheryl J. Moore, president and chief executive officer of the Des Moines, Iowa, annuity tracking service.
The previous sales record for indexed annuities was posted in the second quarter of 2005, when sales nearly reached $7.5 billion, according to AnnuitySpecs.
The 2009 results come from 47 indexed annuity companies representing 99% of indexed annuity production, says Moore. The data appear in her firm’s Advantage Index Sales & Market Report, 2nd Quarter 2009.
The second quarter sales increase occurred despite the challenging economy, scarce capital and the many changes that annuity carriers made to their products, says Moore.
The product changes include reduced commission percentages, lower premium bonuses, increased minimum premiums, and lowered issue ages, she says.
In addition, “many indexed annuity carriers have terminated agents, stopped accepting new agent appointments, and put moratoriums on 1035 exchange business,” she says.
Also, the number of index annuities has declined to 266, from 333 one year ago, she says.
Carriers have declined, too: one year ago, 59 companies offered the product.