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Fixed Annuity Sales Surge in Q2: Report

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Sales of fixed annuities shot up in the second quarter of 2018, signaling strong demand, according to investment and research professionals.

During the second quarter, fixed annuity sales hit almost $32 billion, a 25.4% increase in sales over the first quarter of 2018 and a spike of 21.8% over the second quarter of 2017.

The surge in product growth in the annuity industry was reported by the independent research firms Beacon Research and Morningstar Inc., and shared in a Sept. 10 press release by  the Insured Retirement Institute.

Fixed annuity sales rose in all product types, according to Beacon Research. Sales of fixed indexed annuities surged 20.8% to $17.7 billion from the first quarter. This boost reflects an increase of almost 23% from the second quarter of 2017.

“The fixed annuity market saw record percentage increases across the board in the second quarter,” Beacon Research CEO Jeremy Alexander stated in the release. Alexander said the data shows strong demand among advisors and consumers “for safety and guaranteed income.”

Overall annuity sales hit $56 billion in the second quarter of 2018. This reflects an almost 16% spike from first quarter sales of $48.3 billion, and a 12.3% increase from overall annuity sales of $49.9 billion in the year-ago quarter, according to the data.

Total variable annuity sales did not come close to matching the performance of their fixed annuity brethren but still rose in both year-over-year and quarter-to-quarter sales.

VA sales contributed $24.1 billion to total annuity sales in the second quarter. This reflects a 1.8% increase from the second quarter of 2017, and a 5.2% from the first quarter of 2018, according to Morningstar.

Total annuity sales reached $104.3 billion for the first half of the year, a 5.8% increase over the $98.6 billion sold during the same period in 2017.

“IRI has remained confident that annuities sales would rebound due to pent-up demand for these solutions, which can provide both guaranteed lifetime income and principal protection to retirees and those saving for retirement,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI’s president and CEO, in a statement.

She predicts that annuity sales will increase “as Americans take on ever more responsibility for their own retirement security, and as demographic trends inexorably increase the number of Americans living in retirement.”