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U.S. sales of the fixed accounts inside individual variable annuities softened in the fourth quarter of 2018.

U.S. sales of individual fixed annuities, individual indexed annuities, and the separate accounts inside individual variable annuities soared.

Overall U.S. individual annuity sales increased to $62 billion in the latest quarter, up 22% from the total for the fourth quarter of 2017, according to new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute insurer survey data.

(Related: Annuity Sales Move In an Amazing Way)

Here’s what happened to sales of the five top-selling types of annuities included in the survey data:

  • Book value fixed annuities: $9.5 billion (up 94%).
  • Indexed annuities: $19.5 bllion (up 40%).
  • Variable annuity separate accounts: $20 billion (up 2%).
  • Variable annuity fixed accounts: $4.5 bilion (down 20%).
  • Fixed immediate annuities: $2.7 billion (up 29%).

For all of 2018, overall U.S. individual annuity sales increased 14%, to $232 billion.

Fixed annuity sales increased 25%, to $132 billion.

Variable annuity sales increased 2%, to $100 billion.

Most U.S. indexed annuities are classified as insurance products, not as securities. Issuers have started structuring some indexed annuities as variable annuities, and registering those contracts with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sales of SEC-registered indexed annuities increased to $3 billion in the latest quarter, up 10% from the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the new survey data.

For the year, sales of the SEC-registered indexed annuities increased 10%, to $11 billion.

Resources

Links to the new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute annuity sales survey data is available here.

— Read Annuity Sales Stabilize: LIMRAon ThinkAdvisor.

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