PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Total 2014 fourth quarter indexed annuity sales came in at $11.9 billion, up 4% when compared to the previous quarter and up 3.5% when compared with the same period last year, according to the recently released Wink’s Sales & Market Report.
Forty-nine indexed annuity carriers participated in the 70th edition ofWink’s Sales & Market Report,representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. The report also confirmed another record-setting year for indexed annuity sales.
“As long as interest rates remain low, these new, nontraditional distributions will continue to force indexed annuity sales upward,” said Sheryl J. Moore, president and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc. “These new outlets helped indexed annuity sales reach a sixth consecutive record-setting year in 2014. That topped last year’s record by more than 21%!”
Noteworthy highlights for the 4th quarter include Allianz Life maintaining its position as the No. 1 carrier in indexed annuities, with a market share of 25.5%. American Equity Companies held on as the No. 2 carrier in the market; Security Benefit Life, Great American Insurance Group, and Athene USA followed up in sales, rounding out the top five. Allianz Life’s Allianz 222 Annuity was the No. 1-selling indexed annuity for the second consecutive quarter.
Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) utilization showed a decline, just as it did in the second quarter of 2014. Proprietary GLWB data provided survey participants with specifics on rider elections and commencement by age. “GLWB election rates continue to seesaw each quarter. Anyone that thinks that the ‘income sale’ is king in this low interest rate environment needs to check out our data,” Moore said.
For indexed life sales, 47 insurance carriers participated in Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 95.2% of production.Fourth quarter sales were $498.1 million.When evaluating fourth quarter indexed life sales, results were up 33.6% when compared with the previous quarter, and up 23.6% when compared to the same period last year.
“Indexed life sales remain strong, despite recent regulatory controversy regarding illustrated rates,” Moore said. “In fact, this was a record-setting quarter for indexed life sales; beating out the prior 4Q 2012 record by nearly 13%!”
Items of interest in the indexed life market this quarter include Pacific Life Companies maintaining its No. 1 position in indexed life sales, with a 14.6% market share. Aegon finished as second-ranked company in the market; National Life Group, Minnesota Life, and Accordia rounded out the top five companies, respectively. Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio’s WRL Financial Foundation was the No. 1-selling indexed life insurance product for the fourth consecutive quarter. The average indexed UL target premium reported for the quarter was $7,749, an increase of nearly 9.0% from the prior quarter.
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Related: Individual life premium grew 2% in 2014 while policy cout fell 2%, according to LIMRA data