By Cyril Tuohy
Allianz Life, marketer of the Dominator Plus-branded fixed annuity and the 222, 360, 365i, Endurance, MasterDex and Pro V1-branded indexed annuities, was the top seller of fixed annuities in the first quarter with $1.16 billion in sales, according to Beacon Research.
Hot on Allianz’s heels was Security Benefit Life, which sold $1.10 billion in fixed annuities in the first quarter, Beacon reported. Security Benefit sells annuities under the Security Benefit Choice, Lighthouse Select, Total Interest and Total Value brands.
New York Life, with $1.07 billion in fixed annuity sales, American Equity with $929 million and Jackson National with $743 million rounded out the top five. Results were reported in Beacon’s Fixed Annuity Premium Study, which tracks product-level fixed annuity sales quarterly.
"A key strength of Allianz Life’s fixed index annuities is that they offer the opportunity for increasing income during retirement,” Tom Burns, Allianz Life’s chief distribution officer, said in an e-mail to InsuranceNewsNet. “Americans realize they need to protect their retirement savings and find a way to generate increasing income to help address the rising cost of living in retirement, which is our sweet spot and something other companies don't offer.
For the first time, Security Benefit Life had two of the quarter’s top-selling fixed annuities, with Total Value and Secure Income, both indexed annuities, snatching the No. 1 and No. 3 spots respectively.
New York Life’s Lifetime Income Annuity was in second place, and American Equity’s Bonus Gold was in fourth place followed by Alliance Life’s Endurance Plus, Beacon said. Four of the top five products were indexed annuity products and one was an income product.
“We expect that fixed annuity sales in the coming months will follow the pattern set early in the year,” Jeremy Alexander, president of Beacon Research, said in a statement. “Sales may increase slightly coming off from a record year for indexed and income annuities, but low interest rates will continue to hamper significant growth in the near future.”
Sales of income annuities reached $2.18 billion in the first quarter, up 1.4 percent from the year-ago period, propelled by strong sales in deferred-income annuities. First quarter sales of indexed annuities dipped 4.6 percent to $7.78 billion, compared with a year ago, Beacon reported.
Income annuities brightened an otherwise gloomy sales quarter for fixed annuities pummeled by low interest rates, according to Beacon Research. Total sales of fixed annuities in the first quarter were $14.96 billion, down 11.7 percent from the year-ago period, Beacon said.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at [email protected].
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