Annuity sales fell in the third quarter from the second quarter, but are up from the same period one year ago by 5%, the Insured Retirement Institute announced on Nov. 8. Sales of annuity products increased to $57 billion from $54.8 billion in the third quarter of 2010, largely on success in the variable annuity space. From the second quarter of 2011, however, sales industry wide fell 6%.
Cathy Weatherford, president of IRI, told AdvisorOne that the slowdown in the third quarter is to be expected, though.
“We went back and looked at data from the last five years and saw that the third quarter period is when sales slow down a little bit,” Weatherford (left) said Monday. “Summer seems to be slow months when people are thinking about vacations and are not focused on their portfolios.”
The fourth quarter is often the strongest, she added.
Variable annuities are a large part of that growth. “Up significantly from year-ago levels, third-quarter variable annuity sales of $39.1 billion put the industry on track this year to exceed $150 billion in sales for the first time since 2008,” Frank O’Connor, director of insurance solutions for Morningstar, said in a statement.
Variable annuity sales are down 2% from the second quarter, but rose 14% from the third quarter of 2010.