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Annuity Sales Move In an Amazing Way

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Something unusual happened to U.S. individual annuity sales in the second quarter: Sales of both fixed annuities and variable annuities increased, at the same time.

Sales of fixed annuities increased to $34 billion in the second quarter, up 18% from the total for the second quarter of 2017, according  to the latest LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute issuer survey.

Sales of variable annuities increased 2%, year-over-year, to $26 billion.

Sales of VA fixed accounts fell 4%, to $5.5 billion, but sales of VA separate accounts rose 4%, to $20 billion.

Total U.S. individual annuity sales rose 10%, to about $60 billion.

(Related: Indexed Annuity Sales Jump: LIMRA)

The simultaneous increase in sales of both fixed and variable annuities appears to be the first the institute has recorded since early 2011.

The institute includes indexed annuity results in the fixed annuity total.

Indexed annuity sales climbed 17%, to $18 billion, but some other types of annuities posted even bigger gains.

Sales of book value annuities, for example, increased 24%, to $7.2 billion.

Todd Giesing, the institute’s annuity research director, said in a statement that all major indexed annuity issuers reported strong sales in the second quarter.

“Clearly, with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule vacated and the prospect of continued rising interest rates, demand for this product is high,” Giesing said.

Sales of variable annuities are not increasing in the same way, Giesing said.

“However, the new and enhanced VAs, combined with the vacated DOL rule and better economic conditions, have led to slightly improved sales,” Giesing said.

— Read Annuity Sales Stabilize: LIMRAon ThinkAdvisor.

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