Annuity and life insurance operations were a source of stability at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Minneapolis-based financial services company says its Retirement & Protection Solutions division performed about as well in the latest quarter as it did in the fourth quarter of 2019, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the pandemic on the economy.
Ameriprise as a whole reported $177 million in net income for the latest quarter on $3.2 billion in revenue, compared with $463 million in net income on $3.3 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019.
The Retirement & Protection Solutions unit recorded $180 million in pretax adjusted operating income on $799 million in revenue, up from $179 million in operating earnings on $786 million in revenue for the year-earlier quarter.
The unit benefited “from higher fees and higher ending market levels, partially offset by lower interest rates,” the company said.
The company coped with lower rates by shifting to a focus on the sale of variable annuities without significant benefits guarantees.
Sales of variable annuities increased 20%, to $1.3 billion, the company said.
Variable annuities without living benefits guarantees now amount to 58% of variable annuity sales, and the annuity net amount at risk for living benefits is just 0.4% of account value, the company said.