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Life Health > Annuities > Variable Annuities

U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Rise 9%

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What You Need to Know

  • RILA contract sales came close to doubling.
  • Fixed-rate deferred annuities also sold well.
  • Sales of fixed immediate annuities fell sharply.

Strong sales of registered index-linked annuities, or RILA contracts, continued to push up U.S. life insurers’ sales of individual annuities in the first quarter.

U.S. sales of individual annuities increased to $61 billion in the first quarter, up 9% from the total for the first quarter of 2020, according to issuer survey data compiled by the Secure Retirement Institute, which is an arm of Windsor, Connecticut-based LL Global Inc.

The new sales increase follows a 2% year-over-year increase for the fourth quarter of 2020. Social distancing rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic hit sales hard in the second and third quarters of 2020.

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However, RILA contracts, which some insurers call  “buffer annuities,” “structured annuities” or “indexed variable annuities,” had an 89% jump YOY in sales for the first quarter, which ended March 31.

Here’s how some types of products performed in sales between the first quarter of 2020 and first quarter 2021:

  • RILA Contracts: $9.2 billion (up 89%)
  • Fixed-Rate Deferred Annuities: $14 billion (up 46%)
  • All Types of Variable Annuities: $30 billion (up 15%).
  • All Fixed Annuities: $31 billion (up 4%)
  • Traditional Variable Annuities: $21 billion (down 2%)
  • Non-Variable Indexed Annuities: $14 billion (down 15%)
  • Fixed Immediate: $1.4 billion (down 26%)

(Image: n_defender/Shutterstock)