The U.S. market for individual annuities may really be starting to recover, according to new survey data from LIMRA.
Overall individual annuity sales fell to $54 billion in the first quarter, down 8% from the total for the second quarter of 2016. But the year-of-year decrease was much smaller than the 12% decline that hit issuers between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.
(Related: Q1 Annuity Sales Fell 18%: IRI)
LIMRA figures show that year-over-year shrinkage in individual fixed annuity sales narrowed to 7% in the second quarter, from 15% in the first quarter.
In the variable annuity market, year-over-year shrinkage held steady at 8%, according to LIMRA.
Another organization, Wink, recently reported that it believes the year-over-year drop in sales of individual non-variable annuities slowed to 9.3% in the second quarter, from 14% in the first quarter.
Both LIMRA and Wink based their annuity sales figures on results from life insurance company surveys.
One factor helping to firm up the market may be Trump administration efforts to slow adoption of the U.S. Department of Labor fiduciary rule standards for retirement plan advisors.
The second quarter started April 1 and ended June 30. Life insurers feared the DOL would start enforcing the new standards June 9. In May, the department postponed enforcement of the standards.