According to LIMRA’s Fourth Quarter 2014 U.S. Annuity Sales Survey, the news looks good for the industry. Total U.S. annuity sales in 2014 rose 3% to $235.8 billion, with indexed and income annuities leading the way.
“Despite interest rates falling nearly a percentage point in 2014, indexed annuities and income annuity sales – fixed immediate and deferred income – topped record sales levels,” said Todd Giesing, senior business analyst, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. “The performance of these products certainly propelled overall annuity sales to increase in 2014.”
Some highlights from the report:
* Total annuity sales in the fourth quarter were $58.1 billion, a 6% dip compared with the fourth quarter of 2013.
* Indexed annuity sales hit $48.2 billion in 2014 – $9.0 billion higher than prior year – a 23% increase from 2013. ”For the first time, indexed annuities held more than 50% market share of all fixed annuity sales in 2014.”
* Immediate income annuity sales spiked 17% in 2014, totaling $9.7 billion.
“In the run up to the fourth quarter of 2013 interest rates were trending upward, reaching over 3% at year-end,” Giesing noted. “Quite the opposite occurred in the fourth quarter of 2014, where interest rates dropped a third of point, falling to 2.17% at the end of 2014.”