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.
Howard S. Drescher, (860) 285-7875, firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Theroux, (860) 285-7787, email@example.com
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