According to a LIMRA study, Jackson National Life Insurance Company sold $23.2 billion in annuity sales, representing the top seller of total annuities in 2013.
Most of the Jackson National Life’s annuity sales were variable annuities ($20.9 billion), making it also the top seller of variable annuities in 2013.
New York Life Insurance Company held the top spot for fixed annuity sales in 2013, recording $6.5 billion in fixed annuity sales.
The top 5 variable annuity writers represented 50 percent of the market in 2013 – down 6 percentage points in 2012.
The top 5 fixed annuity writers held 33 percent market share, which is 3 percentage points higher than in 2012.
The research included on the following pages lists the top 20 total, variable and fixed annuity writers, calculated from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s annuity sales survey, which represents 95 percent of the market.
In discussing the success annuities have experienced in 2013 and moving forward, Joe Montminy, assistant vice president, LIMRA SRI Annuity Research, said, "Improved interest rates make the product offerings more attractive and they have benefited from continued product innovation."
Montminy added that, "Another reason (for the success) is the organic growth in the banking and Independent B-D channels. This growth was additive and not at the expense of the independent channel, which saw a 24 percent increase in the fourth quarter and makes up 71 percent of the market."
Total fixed annuities sales grew 17 percent in 2013, totaling $84.8 billion.
Fixed annuity sales were $25.6 billion in the 4Q, the highest they have been since the second quarter of 2009 and up 45 percent compared to last year.
Also, fixed-rate deferred annuities — book value and MVA — had another outstanding quarter, increasing 54 percent in the fourth quarter compared to last year. The improved interest rate environment was the main reason for this substantial increase.
Fixed-rate annuity sales reached $8.5 billion in the fourth quarter. For the year, fixed-rate annuities improved 19 percent to $29.3 billion.
Despite extraordinary 32 percent growth in the equities market in 2013, VA sales were down 1 percent at year-end compared with 2012 and totaled $145.3 billion.
Variable annuity sales marked positive growth in the fourth quarter, up 4 percent to $36.3 billion. Following a trend for the past few years, VA sales are no longer tracking with the equities markets.
Companies continue to carefully manage their VA business. More emphasis on accumulation VA's appears to be an emerging trend. In 2013, more companies introduced these types of products into their portfolios as they shift their focus to tax-deferred products with alternative investment options and indexed-linked VAs.