Windsor, CT, November 28, 2006 — Individual annuity sales continued to grow in the third quarter at $58.7 billion, a 9 percent increase over the same period in 2005, according to LIMRA International. Sales for the first three quarters of 2006 were up 9 percent over the same period in 2005, reaching $177.9 billion.
Though not reaching a single-quarter record (as in the second quarter), annuity sales will very likely come in at record levels for the year. Variable annuities continue their strong growth, up 9 percent in the third quarter to $37.9 billion and up 18 percent for the first three quarters, reaching $119.6 billion.
Fixed annuity sales reversed their declining trend, growing 9 percent for the quarter. At $58.3 billion, fixed annuities are down 5 percent for the first three quarters compared with 2005. Equity indexed annuities were down 7 percent from third quarter 2005, marking a fifth straight quarter of decline from the comparable period prior year. EIA sales did increase in third quarter after four consecutive quarters of decline. Contributing to fixed annuities' strong growth in the third quarter are book value deferred annuities (up 10 percent) and market value adjusted annuities, which are a smaller segment, but up 127 percent over third quarter 2005.
Among distribution channels, financial planners and independent broker-dealers showed the strongest total sales growth in both fixed and variable annuities, up 35 percent overall for the first three quarters, followed by career agents and stockbrokers at 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Banks increased variable sales 21 percent but declined 15 percent in fixed sales for a net increase of 1 percent.
This marks the second release LIMRA is issuing the top 20 writers of variable annuities, fixed annuities, and overall total annuities. While there was little movement in the rankings overall, TIAA-CREF is the new variable annuity leader year-to-date, passing AXA Equitable, and MetLife in this tight race for top VA seller. Prudential Annuities (8th), IDS Life (10th), and Sun Life of Canada (18th) all moved up one position. The top 10 fixed annuity writers remained unchanged. The Hartford, contributing to the sizeable gain in market value adjusted annuity sales, jumped three spots to 15th.
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