Jackson National & New York Life Sold the Most Annuities In 2013

The total annuity sales for 2013 were released last month and included some surprises and some results that were expected.  Daniel Williams of LifeHealthPro summarized all of the sales results in the article “Top 20 annuity sales leaders for 2013“.  The results are divided into total annuity sales, fixed annuity sales, and variable annuity sales.  Jackson National Life was the top seller in both total annuity sales and variable annuity sales.  They sold $23.2 billion of annuities, $20.9 billion of which were variable annuities.  The top seller of fixed annuities was New York Life with 2013 sales of $6.5 billion.  These sales results came from LIMRA’s Secure Retirement Institute survey.  They represent 95% of all annuity sellers.

2013 was a good year for total annuity sales.  A LIMRA spokesperson gave a few reasons for the increasing success of annuity products.  As interest rates have slowly improved, annuity products have become more attractive to investors.  Insurance companies have also been making continuous improvements and innovations in their annuities.  There has been a lot of growth in annuity sales from the banking and independent broker-dealer channels as well.  This growth has not affected the independent channel which makes up 71% of annuity sales.  This channel saw a 24% sales increase in the fourth quarter of 2013.  The top 20 sellers in total annuity sales were as follows: Jackson National Life, AIG, Lincoln Financial, TIAA-CREF, MetLife, Prudential, AXA, New York Life, Allianz Life, Transamerica, Pacific Life, Nationwide, Security Benefit Life, RiverSource Life, American Equity, Great American, Mass Mutual, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Protective Life, and Symetra Financial.

Fixed annuity sales in 2013 were $84.8 billion, an increase of 17% for the year.  Fourth quarter sales were at the highest level since mid-2009.  The fourth quarter fixed annuity sales of $25.6 billion were an increase of 45% from 2012 to 2013.  Increasing interest rates made for a huge sales increase in fixed-rate deferred annuity sales, which include book value and MVA products.  The top 20 fixed annuity sellers were: New York Life, Allianz Life, Security Benefit Life, AIG, American Equity, Great American, Pacific Life, Mass Mutual, EquiTrust Life, Symetra Financial, Midland National, Jackson National, Lincoln Financial, AVIVA, Genworth, MetLife, Berkshire Hathaway, ING, North American Company for Life and Health, and Fidelity and Guaranty Life.

Over the past couple of years we have seen that variable annuities do not follow the increases 0f the equities markets anymore.  Variable annuity sales were down 1% last year, even though equities markets saw a significant increase.  Sales did increase in the fourth quarter though, so that may signal a new trend for this year.  Variable annuity sales must be managed carefully by insurance companies because of the hits that some of them took over the past 5 years.  Some companies are focusing more on accumulation with their variable annuities, rather than lifetime income guarantees.  The top 20 sellers of variable annuities in 2013 were: Jackson National, Lincoln Financial, TIAA-CREF, AIG, Prudential, MetLife, AXA, Transamerica, Nationwide, RiverSource Life, Pacific Life, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, New York Life, Allianz Life, Ohio National, Fidelity, Protective Life, Northwestern Mutual, Principal Financial Group, and Mass Mutual.

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