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Life insurers may have gotten the U.S. individual annuity market breathing again in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Insurers generated $51 billion in in U.S. individual annuity sales during the quarter. Overall individual annuity sales for the quarter were just 0.4% lower than they were in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  • Sales of individual variable annuities fell 2%, year-over-year, to about $25 billion.

  • Sales of fixed annuities increased 2%, to $26 billion.

  • Sales of indexed annuities rose 5%, to $15 billion.

LIMRA, a life insurance industry research consortium, has posted those figures in its latest annuity industry estimates table. Sixty-four companies participated in LIMRA’s latest annuity issuer survey.

A copy of the latest survey results table is available here.

LIMRA had been reporting sharp year-over-year decreases in overall individual annuity sales every quarter since early 2016.

(Related: LIMRA Reports Drop in Q3 Annuity Sales)

Back in the first quarter of 2016, overall individual annuity sales rose 9%, year-over-year, thanks to a 48% increase in fixed annuity sales. Variable annuity sales sank 18% during that quarter.

Even though variable annuity sales fell 2%, year-over-year, during the latest quarter, that’s the best performance LIMRA has reported for the variable annuities since early 2015. In the second quarter of 2015, variable anuity sales fell just 1%.

The increase in indexed annuity sales is the first increase LIMRA has reported for indexed annuities since the third quarter of 2016. In the third quarter of 2016, indexed annuity sales rose 5%.

— Read Q2 Annuity Sales Look Better: IRI on ThinkAdvisor.


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