For the second consecutive quarter, variable annuity sales improved 16% compared to the prior year, totaling $40.2 billion in the third quarter, according to a new report.
LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., published this finding in its U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey. The report represents data from 94% of the market.
The report finds that VA sales experienced six consecutive quarters of positive growth—the last three in double digits. In the third quarter, VA guaranteed living benefit (GLB) riders were elected 88% of the time, when a GLB was available at purchase. In the first nine months of 2011, VA sales jumped 18%, to reach $120.9 billion.
Total annuity sales hit $60.4 billion in the third quarter, an increase of 8% compared to prior year. Year-to-date, annuity sales reached $182.8 billion, improving 11% from the first nine months of 2010.
Fixed annuity sales continued to struggle in the current low interest rate environment, falling 6% in the third quarter and down 1% for the first nine months of 2011. Total fixed annuity sales equaled $20.2 billion in the third quarter and $61.9 billion in the first nine months of 2011.
The report adds that indexed annuity sales in the third quarter matched the record level of $8.7 billion set in the third quarter of 2010, a 7% increase from the second quarter of 2011.