Funds flowing into annuities increased by nearly 15% in the first three quarters of 2011, a new survey reveals.

SNL Financial LC, Charlottesville, Va., published this finding in a report on “annuity considerations,” periodic payments or one lump sum payment made to purchase an annuity plan. SNL’s analysis of total annuity considerations consists of ordinary and group annuities; they also include first-year, single and renewal considerations of U.S. life insurers for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

The report reveals that annuity considerations grew by 14.72% in the first three quarters of 2011 as compared to the same period one year ago.

MetLife Inc., New York, and ING Group N.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands, which each saw annuity consideration grow more than 40%, logged market share increases of 323 and 105 basis points, respectively, the report says. The top five insurers have a combined market share of 40.65% for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to 36.06% for the prior-year period.

Prudential Financial Inc. and Manulife Financial Corp. saw market share decreases of 85 and 103 basis points, respectively. Manulife previously indicated that declines in annuity considerations were expected, leading to its market share decrease. Prudential has enjoyed an annuity considerations increase of 4.92%, but this was lower than the increases among the other top five insurers, the report says.

Ranking of life insurers for 9 months ended September 30.