The U.S. annuity industry ended 2013 on an upward trend, according to data reported by Morningstar Inc. and Beacon Research.
Increased fixed and variable annuity total sales during the fourth quarter pushed industry-wide sales to $59.3 billion, up 3.1 percent from the previous quarter sales of $57.5 billion and up 17.2 percent from 2012 fourth-quarter sales of $50.6 billion. For the full year, industry-wide sales increased 4.2 percent to $220.9 billion from $212 billion during the previous year.
Fixed annuity sales hit $23.5 billion in the fourth quarter – a 4.7 percent increase from nearly $22.5 billion in the previous quarter and a 45.2 percent increase from $16.2 billion in Q4 2012. For the full-year 2013, fixed annuity sales totaled $78.1 billion, a 16.6 percent increase from $67 billion in 2012.
Total sales for variable annuities climbed to $35.8 billion, a 2 percent increase from $35.1 billion in third-quarter 2013 and a 4.1 percent increase from $34.4 billion in fourth-quarter 2012. For the full-year 2013, variable annuity total sales dipped 1.5 percent to $142.8 billion from $145 billion in 2012.
“Supported by a resurgence in fixed annuity sales, industry-wide sales continue to move higher,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI President and CEO, in a prepared statement. “It’s particularly noteworthy that income annuities continue to break new barriers, passing the $3 billion mark for the first time and reaching $3.5 billion.”