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The NAIC's Top 7 U.S. Annuity Issuers of 2018

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The seven biggest players in the U.S. annuity market ended up with a noticeably smaller share of total annuity considerations in 2018 than in 2017.

The seven biggest issuers’ annuity considerations increased 7.6% in 2018, to $109 billion. But, because smaller players increased their combined annuity considerations 15%, the seven gorillas’ share of all annuity considerations fell to 39.5% in 2018, from 41.2% in 2017.

(Related: 2016′s Top 10 Annuity Providers Ranked by NAIC)

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a group for state insurance regulators, develops the annuity considerations market share rankings to help regulators identify the leading annuity issuers, and to keep tabs on how healthy the level of competition is.

For a look at the NAIC’s top seven annuity issuers for 2018, ranked in order from least gigantic to most gigantic, see the data cards in the slideshow above.

The Context

All U.S. annuity issuers with 2018 filings in the NAIC financial statement database combined for $276 billion in 2018 annuity considerations, up 12% from the 2017 total.

The NAIC breaks out separate annuity considerations figures and market share figures for the 25 highest-considerations issuers.

  • To rank in the top 25: An insurer had to have at least $3.1 billion in 2018 annuity considerations, up 2.3% from what was needed in 2017.
  • To rank 13th on the list: An insurer had to have $8.1 billion in annuity considerations, up 31% from what was needed in 2017.

The term “annuity considerations” refers to both the cash purchasers pay when they buy annuities and to any payments they make while they hold the annuities.

Although U.S. insurers’ annuity considerations total looks large, it’s may be modest when compared with aging Americans’ likely income planning needs: Insurers received an average of only about $2,500 in annuity considerations for each of the 110 million Americans over age 50.

The Social Security Administration, which operates what amounts to a public retirement annuity program, brings in about $1 trillion in payroll tax revenue per year, according to SSA data. That amounts to roughly $3,000 in payroll taxes per year per American, or about $9,000 in payroll taxes per year per American over age 50.


The top seven U.S. life issuers are all in the same places in the NAIC market share rankings for 2018 that they were in for the 2017 rankings.

The top seven annuity issuers moved around.

Some issuers seemed to sell more because a drop in the overall level of fiduciary rule confusion helped sales.

Other issuers may have sold less because of conscious decisions to hold down exposure to annuity guarantee risk, or in response to changes in the cost of hedging against stock market and bond market fluctuations.


A copy of the NAIC’s annuity issuer market share rankings for 2018 is available here.

A copy of the comparable rankings for 2017 is available here.

— Read 2016′s Top 10 Life Insurance Providers Ranked by NAICon ThinkAdvisor.

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