Forty-nine indexed annuity carriers participated in the 70th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8 percent of indexed annuity production.

Total fourth quarter sales were $11.9 billion. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were up 4.0 percent when compared to the previous quarter, and up 3.5 percent when compared with the same period last year.

As long as interest rates remain low, these new, nontraditional distributions will continue to force indexed annuity sales upward. These new outlets helped indexed annuity sales reach a sixth consecutive record-setting year in 2014. That topped last year’s record by more than 21 percent.

indexed annuities

Noteworthy highlights for the 4th quarter include Allianz Life maintaining their position as the #1 carrier in indexed annuities, with a market share of 25.5 percent. American Equity Companies held on as the #2 carrier in the market; Security Benefit Life, Great American Insurance Group, and Athene USA followed-up in sales, rounding-out the top five. Allianz Life’s Allianz 222 Annuity was the #1 selling indexed annuity for the second consecutive quarter.

Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) utilization showed a decline, just as second quarter 2014 did.  Proprietary GLWB data provided survey participants with specifics on rider elections and commencement by age. GLWB election rates continue to seesaw each quarter. Anyone that thinks that the income sale is king in this low interest rate environment needs to check out our data.

sales by quarterFor indexed life sales, 47 insurance carriers participated in Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 95.2 percent of production. Fourth quarter sales were $498.1 million. When evaluating fourth quarter indexed life sales, results were up 33.6 percent when compared with the previous quarter, and up 23.6 percent when compared to the same period last year. Indexed life sales remain strong, despite recent regulatory controversy regarding illustrated rates. In fact, this was a record-setting quarter for indexed life sales; beating-out the prior 4Q2012 record by nearly 13 percent.

Items of interest in the indexed life market this quarter include Pacific Life Companies maintaining their #1 position in indexed life sales, with a 14.6 percent market share. Aegon finished as second-ranked company in the market; National Life Group, Minnesota Life, and Accordia rounded-out the top five companies, respectively. Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio’s WRL Financial Foundation was the #1 selling indexed life insurance product for the fourth consecutive quarter.

The average indexed UL target premium reported for the quarter was $7,749, an increase of nearly 9.0 percent from the prior quarter.