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Indexed annuity sales off to strong start in 2015

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First quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 5.0 percent when compared to the previous quarter, but up nearly 5.0 percent when compared with the same period last year. Total first quarter sales topped $11.3 billion.

“Indexed annuity sales began the year with sales greater than any other first quarter has in the history of the product line,” said Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc., who compiled the data. 

Highlights for the first quarter include:

* Allianz Life maintained its position as the top carrier in indexed annuities, with a market share of 20.3 percent. American Equity Companies held its position in the second spot in the market; others in the top five include Security Benefit Life, Great American Insurance Group, and Athene USA.

* Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) utilization declined for the second consecutive quarter. “It isn’t surprising to see another drop in GLWB election rates,” Moore said. “Income sales continue to take a backseat to accumulation sales, due to recent development of hybrid indices that give distributors the ability to promote ‘uncapped’ crediting methods.”

* For indexed life sales, first quarter numbers hit $380.3 million. “When evaluating first quarter indexed life sales, results were down nearly 24.0 percent when compared with the previous quarter, and up over 15.0 percent when compared to the same period last year,” according to Moore’s data. “As we saw with the previous year sales, indexed life sales remain strong, despite the on-going regulatory controversy regarding illustrated rates.”

* Aegon grabbed the top position in indexed life sales, with a 13.7 percent market share. Pacific Life, National Life Group, Minnesota Life, and Nationwide rounded-out the top five companies, respectively.