American International Group roared to the top of first-quarter annuity sales, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey.
Total first-quarter annuity sales increased 4% to $63.3 billion, driven by fixed indexed annuity and fixed-rate deferred sales growth, LIMRA reported earlier this month. AIG led all insurers with nearly $5 billion in sales.
AIG benefited from a surge in fixed annuity business in the first quarter, executives reported earlier this month, even while it continues a plan to split off its Life & Retirement business.
The company's plan for Life & Retirement is into its second year and remains on track, CEO Peter Zaffino said during the insurer's first quarter earning's call, despite rising interest rates. The business segment was recently rebranded as Corebridge Financial and will go public during the second quarter.
In the first-quarter 2021, AIG ranked third in overall sales behind Jackson National Life and New York Life. Jackson and AIG swapped places in the latest quarterly sales report:
LIMRA researchers say changing economic dynamics are behind the annuity sales shifts.
“FIA and FRD sales benefited from rising interest rates and increased market volatility, as investors sought protected growth options,” said Todd Giesing, assistant vice president, LIMRA Annuity Research. “LIMRA is forecasting these products to thrive under current market conditions, growing 5-10% year end.”
Overall, fixed annuity sales rose 14% in the first quarter to $35.2 billion. All fixed products except income annuities recorded positive growth:
• FIA sales were $16.3 billion, 21% higher than first quarter 2021 results. LIMRA is predicting FIA sales to grow as much as 10% by the end of 2022.
• Fixed-rate deferred annuity sales increased 9% in the first quarter, year-over-year, to $15.9 billion. LIMRA is forecasting as much as 7% growth in 2022.
• Immediate income annuity sales were $1.5 billion in the first three months of 2022, equal the results from prior year.
• Deferred income annuity sales totaled $365 million in the first quarter, down 14% year-over-year.
With interest rates expected to continue to rise throughout 2022, LIMRA has forecast as much as 15% growth collectively for immediate and deferred income annuity sales.
Total variable annuity sales fell 6% in the first quarter to $28.1 billion:
• Traditional variable annuity (VA) sales were $18.5 billion in the first quarter, down 11% year-over-year. By the end of 2022, LIMRA has predicted traditional VA sales to grow by as much as 8%.