Third-quarter numbers are in and several insurance carriers have booked solid sales in the annuity space, particularly in the variable annuity category. Sales of fixed annuities were not as robust.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, saw its variable annuity (VA) sales rise to $2.9 billion, a year-to-date upswing of 26 percent from the $2.3 billion sold through the third quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, through the third quarter, fixed index annuity premiums came in at $4.9 billion, a notch below the $5 billion sold in the first nine months of 2010. Overall, Allianz posted premium sales of $8.3 billion between January and September, a 7 percent jump from the $7.8 billion sold during the same period last year.
Boosted by its VA sales, Jackson National Life Insurance Co., Lansing, Mich., netted $17.9 billion in total sales and deposits during the first nine months of 2011, which translates to a 25 percent increase from the same period in 2010. Much of that growth was booked in the VA category, where sales rose 31 percent to $13.7 billion.
However, when viewed on a quarter-over-quarter basis, VA sales at Jackson showed some instability. In Q3, VA sales reached $4.2 billion, up 15 percent over the same quarter in 2010 but down 15 percent from the second quarter of 2011. The company attributes that dip to market volatility that “reduced customer demand for equity-based products.”
In the fixed annuity space, sales were more subdued. During the first nine months of this year, Jackson generated $1.1 billion in fixed index annuity sales, compared to $1.3 billion during the same period of the prior year. Traditional deferred fixed annuity sales totaled $531 million during the first nine months of 2011 versus $1 billion during the same period in 2010.
According to a company release, Jackson “restrained fixed and fixed index annuity sales during the first nine months of 2011, as the company continued to direct available capital to support higher-margin product sales.”
New York Life Insurance Co.’s new Guaranteed Future Income Annuity (GFIA) has hit $100 million in sales since its launch in July. According to the company, that number accounts for 20 percent of all income annuity sales for the New York City-based company. Targeted for pre-retirees between the ages of 55 and 65, GFIA is structured so that policyholders make an initial premium payment of at least $10,000 and then set an income start date in the future, at which time they begin receiving guaranteed income payments for the rest of their life.