Changes to the annuity landscape will likely be ushered in this year with the anticipated passage by the Senate of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, or Secure Act 2.0, which would make it easier to use qualified longevity annuity contracts in retirement plans, among other changes.
In the meantime, total U.S. annuity sales are on the rise.
Sales increased 4% to $63.6 billion, according to preliminary results from the Secure Retirement Institute U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey.
“First quarter annuity sales tend to be a bit slower. While sales in the first two months of 2022 were a bit sluggish, annuity sales in March were at record-high levels,” said Todd Giesing, assistant vice president, SRI Annuity Research, in a recent statement. “Rising interest rates and increased market volatility shifted the product mix this quarter with fixed annuity products driving the overall growth.”
Total fixed annuity sales were $35.2 billion, up 14% over first quarter 2021. Double-digit growth for fixed indexed annuities and fixed-rate deferred annuities drove the overall fixed annuity sales to pre-pandemic levels.
Fixed indexed annuity (FIA) sales were $16.3 billion, 21% higher than the prior year. Fixed-rate deferred annuity sales increased 10% in the first quarter year-over-year to $16 billion.
“Both FIAs and fixed-rate deferred products benefited from the significant interest rate increases in the first quarter,” Giesing said. “Coupled with a nearly 5% equity market decline, investors sought out principal protection and steady growth, which these products offer.”
Traditional variable annuity sales were $19.1 billion in the first quarter, down 8% year-over-year, according to the data.
Registered index-linked annuity (RILA) sales were $9.3 billion.
“While this is 2% higher than first quarter 2021, it reflects a 10% drop from prior quarter,” the group said.
“Market conditions in the first quarter have made FIAs more attractive than RILAs,” Giesing noted. “As a result, the remarkable growth RILAs experienced over the past three years has leveled off.”
The Secure Act 2.0 isn’t the only annuity-related bill making its way through Congress. See the gallery above for more of them.