WINDSOR, Conn., Nov. 22, 2010 — Women buy six of every 10 immediate annuity contracts, according to LIMRA’s Guaranteed Income Annuities report.
LIMRA examined more than 55,000 immediate annuity contracts issued in 2008 and 2009 and the people who purchased them to help companies better understand and customize their products to target specific markets and capture more of the unrealized annuitization market, which LIMRA estimates to be $250 billion.
Other LIMRA findings:
- The average age at purchase for an immediate annuity is 73. Immediate annuities purchased with pre-tax money were more likely to be clustered around ages that correspond either to the onset of Social Security benefits or IRS required minimum distributions.
- The average immediate annuity premium was just over $107,000.
- Seven out of 10 immediate annuity buyers purchased lifetime guaranteed income contracts.
- Nine out 10 lifetime income annuity buyers chose payments that were guaranteed for a certain period of time or provided a refund guarantee that enabled beneficiaries to recoup some or all of any remaining premium.
Based on LIMRA’s quarterly annuity sales survey, the majority of immediate annuity sales are made through insurance agents but a growing portion is sold through banks, national full-service, broker-dealers or independent broker-dealers who are dealing with retirees needing to create an income stream.
“One of the biggest obstacles for potential clients to buy an immediate annuity used to be fear of losing control of their money, said Matt Drinkwater, associate managing director, LIMRA retirement research. “Today, our research shows it’s not an all or nothing decision. Two thirds of the contracts allow annuitants to convert a portion of remaining payments to cash, if necessary.”
Many immediate annuity contracts offer the option to increase payouts by a fixed amount or adjusted by inflation. However, LIMRA found that 93 percent of income annuity contracts have no automatic payment increase. LIMRA researchers believe the demand for inflation-protected guaranteed payouts will grow in the coming years with more retirees challenged to address this issue as they live longer.
LIMRA projects that annual fixed immediate annuity sales will increase to more than $12 billion by 2014.
LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.