Total first quarter indexed annuity sales hit $7.8 billion, down 8.2 percent from the previous quarter and 2.7 percent from the same quarter last year.
The results, found in Wink’s Sales & Market Report (formerly AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report) were released on June 7 and should not be cause for too much despair as the first quarter is always slower than the fourth quarter.
“There was a sizable decline in indexed annuity sales this quarter,” said Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink Inc., the rebranded AnnuitySpecs.com, a third party research firm specializing in indexed annuity and indexed life tools said. “However, I am going to restate what I always state of first quarter sales — they are always going to be down as compared to the previous quarter. The fourth quarter is always the big record-breaking quarter of the year, with agents trying to qualify for trips and incentives.”
Forty-one carriers participated, representing 98.2 percent of indexed annuity production. Allianz Life continued to hold onto their position as the top carrier in the field with a 14.6 percent market share. Security Benefit Life maintained their position at No. 2 with their Total Value Annuity preserving its spot as the top-selling indexed annuity for the third consecutive quarter, while American Equity, Aviva and Jackson National Life rounded-out the top five, respectively.
The report also found that the Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) election marginally declined in the first quarter as additional data pointed to trends in rider elections and income commencement. The percentage of annuity purchasers that elected GLWBs continued its fall to the typical age of an annuity purchaser (60-69) while the quarter highlighted and improved its trend in the percentage of indexed annuity GLWB purchasers beginning their lifetime income under the benefit between the ages of 70-79.
In regard to indexed life sales, which the report also tracks, first quarter sales of the 46 participating carriers that represent 95.5 percent of the industry production, came in at $351.2 million. Sales were down 19.5 percent from last quarter but were 37.2 percent higher year-over-year. AEGON Companies slid into the top spot in indexed life sales, capturing 12.0 percent of the market share. Pacific Life clung to their position at No. 2 and National Western, AXA Equitable and National Life Group rounded out the top five respectively. AXA Equitable’s Athena Indexed UL was the top-selling indexed life insurance product for the eighth straight quarter.