Overall annuity sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 were at $50.6 billion, down 4.3 percent from the previous quarter.
The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) published the findings this week with data culled from Mornigstar, Inc. and Beacon Research.
Industry-wide sales were down 7.1 percent from the fourth quarter of last year. Total sales sat at $211.8 billion for the year down 8.4 percent from 2011, but nearly even with 2010 levels.
Fixed annuity sales totaled $16.2 billion for the fourth quarter, down 2.2 percent from the previous quarter and down 6.5 percent from the same period in 2011. Fixed annuity sales came in at $66.8 billion for the year, down 11.6 percent from 2011.
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Within the fixed annuity market, the bright spot was income annuities, which experienced an increase in Q4, continuing their trend of increased sales in each of the last four quarters. Income annuity sales reached $2.38 billion for the fourth quarter — a new quarterly record. Income annuity sales for the year totaled $9.2 billion, another record. The fixed annuity market had $8.26 billion in qualified sales, $7.94 billion in non-qualified sales in the fourth quarter. For the year, there were $33.8 billion in qualified sales and $33 billion in non-qualified sales.
“The income annuity sales reflects two trends we are seeing in the market — demand and innovation. To ensure that they have guaranteed retirement income for the remainder of their lives, many consumers are turning to income annuities as a type of longevity insurance,” Cathy Weatherford, IRI President and CEO said.