By Warren S. Hersch
Total annuity sales dipped 8% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the year-ago period, according to a new report.
LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., published this finding in its latest quarterly survey of fixed and variable annuity sales. The sales estimates for the first quarter are based on data from 58 companies, representing 94% of industry sales
Annuity sales in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $54.8 billion, down from $59.5 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2011. Sales of both fixed annuities and variable annuities contributed to the decline.
Variable annuity sales reached $36.8 billion, down 7% from the $39.5 billion posted in the year-ago period. LIMRA attributes the decrease to separate account VA sales, which dipped to $29.1 billion in the first quarter from the year ago period, a 9% decline. Fixed account VA sales edged up slightly, to $7.7 billion from $7.5 billion.
Fixed annuity sales in the first quarter reached $18 billion, off 10% from the $20 billion posted in the first quarter of 2011. The steepest declines were recorded by book value fixed annuities ($5.8 billion in Q1 2012 versus $8.5 billion in Q1 2011, down 32%), fixed-rate deferred annuities ($7.1 billion versus $9.9 billion, a 20% dip), structured settlements ($1 billion versus $1.2 billion, down 17%) and fixed deferred products ($15.2 billion versus $17 billion, off 11%).
Only fixed indexed annuities
enjoyed a gain in the first quarter, rising to $8.1 billion from $7.1 billion one year ago, a 14% rise.
In the first quarter of 2012, the LIMRA report adds, the top 20 annuity providers accounted for $43.4 billion in sales, or 79% of the $54.8 billion industry-wide total.
The top five insurers by sales in the first quarter include MetLife ($5.5 billion), Jackson National Life ($5 billion), Prudential Annuities ($5 billion), TIAA-CREF ($3.4 billion) and AIG Companies ($3.3 billion).
Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com