WINDSOR, Conn., May 18, 2011 — The first quarter of 2011 showed positive growth for variable, fixed and total annuity sales, according to LIMRA's first quarter 2011 Annuity Sales Survey.
Total annuity sales rose 16 percent, reaching $60.0 billion in the first three months of 2011, compared to the first quarter of 2010. Variable annuity (VA) sales jumped 24 percent over the same period last year.
"Strong VA sales, which recorded $39.8 billion in the first quarter, were the main driver of the overall annuity growth," said Joseph Montminy, LIMRA assistant vice president, annuity research. "They benefited from the positive equity market trend and consumers putting money back into the market. In addition to the top three VA companies experiencing record sales for the second consecutive quarter, 16 of the top 20 VA companies improved sales from one year ago which sets a good pace for 2011."
Fixed annuities grew five percent versus first quarter 2010, totaling $20.2 billion. This growth was a result of fixed-rate deferred products, which were up 10 percent compared to prior year.
Book-value sales recovered in the first quarter, growing ten percent year-over-year and 32 percent compared to prior quarter. Interest rate spreads improved making fixed annuities more attractive compared to comparable investment products, like CDs.
Market-Value Adjusted (MVA) sales also increased, up eight percent in the first quarter of 2011.
Indexed annuities remained steady in the first quarter of 2011, up one percent from the prior year. After reaching record levels in the $8 to $9 billion range for most of 2010, indexed annuities settled back to the $7 billion level this quarter.
A list of the top 20 writers of overall total annuities, variable annuities and fixed annuities ranked by first quarter 2011 sales results, as well as the first quarter Annuities Industry Estimates Chart, can be found in the updated Fact Tank.
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.