Annuity sales for the second quarter of 2014 rose to $59.9 billion, a 6.8 percent increase from $56.1 billion in the previous quarter and a 9.9 percent increase from $54.5 billion in last year's second quarter, according to the Insured Retirement Institute.
Fixed annuity sales increased to $24.3 billion in the second quarter of 2014, based on data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar. This was a 7.6 percent increase from $22.6 billion in the previous quarter and a 41.6 percent increase from $17.1 billion in the second quarter of 2013.
Variable annuity total sales reached $35.6 billion for the second quarter. This was a 6.2 percent increase from $33.5 billion for the first quarter, but a 4.6 percent decline from $37.3 billion in the second quarter of last year.
Fixed indexed annuity sales hit a new quarterly record of $12.9 billion, representing a 14.8 percent increase from first-quarter sales of $11.2 billion and a 41.5 percent increase from second-quarter 2013 sales of $9.1 billion.
Income annuity sales also rose during the second quarter, topping $3.39 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from nearly $3.29 billion in the previous quarter and a 32.7 percent jump from $2.56 billion for the second quarter last year.
For the entire fixed annuity market, there were approximately $12.5 billion in qualified sales and $11.8 billion in non-qualified sales for the quarter, says IRI.
“These are the highest industry-wide sales we’ve seen in three years, and on the fixed side of the market, the highest in five years,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and CEO.
She noted the market is currently experiencing a surge in the sale of fixed indexed annuities because in addition to offering upside potential with downside protection and access to guaranteed lifetime income, they also can be used by consumers as an alternative to traditional fixed income investments without the interest rate risk.