According to Insurance News Net, “Fixed Annuities Make a Slow Recovery.” Overall annuity sales stayed flat from March to April after a steady increase at the start of 2010. The total variable and fixed annuity sales from banks in April was $3.3 billion. Although that number was 26% lower than the $4.4 billion sold in April of 2009, the total annuity sales have increased significantly from their low point in January of 2010.
Fixed annuity sales increased 9% to $2 billion, almost doubling the total sales for January. Sales were the highest since October of 2009, although still below last year’s April sales. Traditionally, April bank annuity sales fall below March sales, so it is significant that this year was an exception. Because fixed annuity rates are currently 6 basis points below CDs, the Kehrer-LIMRA Bank Fixed Annuity RateWatch thinks that sales in May will be down.
Variable annuity sales in banks were $1.3 billion in April, compared to $1.4 billion in March. March sales however, were at the highest level for variable annuities since August 2008. Investors shied away from variable annuities in part because their offerings seem to be less attractive than they were in the past. $1.54 was sold in fixed annuities for every dollar of variable annuities sold through banks.