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Life Health > Annuities > Variable Annuities

Individual Annuity Sales Continue to Grow: Wink

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What You Need to Know

  • Index-linked variable annuities were the growth leaders.
  • MYGA sales fell.
  • Traditional fixed annuity sales increased a little.

Annuity issuers and buyers favored products with the most flexible crediting rates in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Overall sales increased 8.1% between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2021, to $61 billion, according to new issuer survey data from Wink.

The overall rate of year-over-year growth was down from 10% in the third quarter of 2021.

Wink found that, as in the third quarter, variable and indexed products outperformed products with fixed rates.

Here’s a look at how sales of some of the types of annuities Wink tracks changed between the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2021:

  • Index-linked variable annuity contracts: $10 billion (up 20%).
  • Traditional variable annuities: $22 billion (up 16%).
  • Non-variable indexed annuities: $17 billion (up 12%).
  • Traditional fixed annuities: $487 million (up 2.6%).
  • Multi-year guaranteed annuity contracts: $11 billion (down 15%).

Wink based the new annuity sales figures on data from 15 index-linked variable annuity issuers, 45 variable annuity issuers, 46 traditional fixed annuity issuers and 69 multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) issuers.

Definitions

A variable annuity issuer lets a holder choose from a menu of subaccount funds that perform like mutual funds.

An index-linked variable annuity issuer, or ILVA issuer, lets the holder tie the crediting rate to the performance of one or more investment indexes.

A non-variable indexed annuity operates in a similar fashion, except that the issuer must protect the holder against investment-related loss of account value.

A traditional fixed annuity locks in a specified crediting rate for up to one year.

A MYGA contract locks in a crediting rate for more than one year.