Annuity sales totaled $54.8 billion in the third quarter, up 13% from the second quarter, but 8% lower than the same period last year, according to a survey by the Secure Retirement Institute.
“Annuity manufacturers and distributors have largely overcome the operational hurdles caused by COVID-19 and social distancing measures, which has helped improve sales of most product lines, compared with second-quarter results,” said Todd Giesing, senior annuity research director at SRI. “However, extremely low interest rates and continued market uncertainty are keeping many investors on the sidelines.”
Total variable annuity sales fell 10% in the third quarter to $23.9 billion, although that was 7% higher than in the second quarter. For the first nine months of 2020, VA sales totaled $70.7 billion, which was down 6% from the same period last year.
SRI is forecasting that VA sales will remain steady in the fourth quarter and reach $89 billion to $94 billion by the end of 2020.
Registered index-linked annuity sales jumped 33% to $6.4 billion in the third quarter, marking the 23rd consecutive quarter of sales growth. Year-to-date, RILA sales were $15.8 billion, up 26% from 2019.
Fixed-indexed annuity sales fell 29% to $13.2 billion in the third quarter, and totaled $41.4 billion year-to-date, down 27%.
Total fixed annuity sales were $30.9 billion in the third quarter, up 11% over the second quarter but 6% below the prior year’s results. In the first nine months of 2020, fixed annuity sales dropped 19% to $88.5 billion; the products represented 56% of the total U.S. annuity market.
Fixed-rate deferred annuity sales were $14.6 billion, up 47% from third quarter 2019. Year-to-date, they totaled $37.2 billion, 2% lower than prior year results.
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