If an index is rising, people want in, which is one reason indexed annuities remain a bright spot in an otherwise struggling industry. Although rebounding, total annuity sales remain below 2012 numbers.
Annuity sales were $56.5 billion in the second quarter, 9% higher than the first quarter of 2013 but down 1% from a year ago, according to LIMRA’s second-quarter 2013 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey.
“This quarter’s results are encouraging for the annuity industry — every product line improved from the first quarter of 2013,” Joseph Montminy, assistant vice president of LIMRA Annuity Research, said in a statement. “Observing the economic improvements, including interest rate increases, we believe variable annuity sales have stabilized while fixed annuity sales will continue to improve for the remainder of the year.”
In the first six months of 2013, total annuity sales were down 4% to $108.2 billion.
Variable annuity sales were 1% lower in the second quarter 2013 compared with the second quarter of 2012, totaling $38.2 billion. However, VA sales rebounded from the prior quarter, up 8%. Year-to-date, VA sales totaled $73.7 billion, a 3% decline from prior year.
Deferred income annuities surpassed $500 million for the first time, reaching $535 million in the second quarter of 2013, 155% higher than in the second quarter of 2012. Year to date, DIA sales grew 151% to nearly $1 billion. DIA sales are on pace to reach $2 billion by the end of the year — doubling 2012 results.
Fixed annuity sales reached $18.3 billion in the second quarter, down 1% compared with prior year. Yet, LIMRA says it is important to note that this is 13% higher than the first three months of the year. In the first half of 2013, fixed annuities fell 6%, totaling $34.5 billion.
For the first time ever, quarterly indexed annuities topped $9 billion. Second-quarter sales were up 5% compared with last year. Year to date, indexed annuities improved 1%, to reach $16.8 billion.