Workers expect their defined contribution plans to play a greater role in their retirement income than annuities.
Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 13, 2014- Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 66th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $11.5 billion. In reviewing fourth quarter indexed annuity sales, production was up nearly 15.0% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more than 35.0% when compared with the same period last year. “2013 was the year for setting and conquering all previous sales records!” exclaimed Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc. She added, “This was the fifth consecutive record-setting year at $36.8 billion, topping last year’s record of $8.5 billion by 13.4%. Indexed annuities continue to gain more acceptance in bank and wirehouse distributions, as rates on traditional fixed money instruments remain low and consumers seek-out the guarantees that are inherent in indexed annuities. Plus, more attractive rates on these products are increasing sales in the independent agent distribution as well- it is a win/win for the industry!”
Noteworthy highlights this quarter include Allianz Life persisting in their position as the #1 carrier in indexed annuities with a 20.01% market share. Security Benefit Life maintained its position as the second-ranked company in the market, while Great American, American Equity, and Athene USA rounded out the top five, respectively. Allianz Life’s Allianz 360 Annuity took over as the #1 selling indexed annuity for the quarter.
Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) utilization declined for the second consecutive quarter, while additional experience data pointed to trends in rider elections and income commencement. Moore pointed-out, “It isn’t surprising to see GLWB elections down to 61.9% of eligible sales. Rates on indexed annuities are much more attractive than they have been in years, so salespeople are finally able to focus on accumulation sales again, as opposed to income sales.”
For indexed life sales, 50 insurance carriers participated in Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 95.4% of production. Fourth quarter sales were $430.4 million. When evaluating fourth quarter indexed life sales, results were up more than 31.0% when compared with the previous quarter, and down more than 2.0% as compared to the same period last year. Ms. Moore commented, “Fourth quarter sales propelled 2013 into another record breaking year! This was the fourth consecutive record-setting year for indexed life sales, topping last year’s record by 7.95%!” She remarked, “Outsiders won’t be able to stop their fascination with indexed life as a potential product line, considering sales are up at record levels again. In fact, we STILL have additional carriers that are slated to enter the market within the coming quarter!”
Facts worth noting in the indexed life market this quarter included Pacific Life Companies maintaining their #1 position in indexed life sales, with a 12.94% market share. AXA US moved to the second-ranked company in the market; National Life Group, Aegon, and Minnesota Life rounded-out the top five companies, respectively. AXA US’ Athena Indexed UL was the #1 selling indexed life insurance product for the 11th consecutive quarter. The average indexed UL target premium reported for the quarter was $10,358, an increase of nearly 55% from prior quarter.
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