A majority of financial professionals expects to increase their sales of indexed annuities this year, a product that has seen increasing popularity in recent years, says a study released Thursday by Saybrus Partners Inc.
Eight-three percent expect an increase in indexed annuity sales in the next 12 months and more than half expect sales growth of more than 10 percent, says Saybrus, an insurance solutions provider for financial advisors. Limra Secure Retirement Institute recently reported there was a 13 percent growth in fixed indexed annuity sales in 2015 to a record high of $54.4 billion.
The Saybrus poll was conducted before the Department of Labor announced increased scrutiny of annuity sales when it unveiled new fiduciary rule standards for retirement planners on Wednesday.
“Products with inexpensive fee structures and flexible benefits, like indexed annuities, are surfacing as a more attractive option for advisors to recommend to clients,” says Ed Friderici, managing director for Saybrus Partners. “Given the strong consumer value afforded by these offerings, we are not surprised that our survey respondents reported both strong recent growth and high expectations for indexed annuities sales in the next year.”
When the 104 financial professionals were asked what product type has grown the most by sales volume in the past year, 43 percent said indexed annuities, 20 percent said life insurance, and others cited managed accounts, advisory services and actively managed portfolios, variable annuities and mutual funds.
Fifty-four percent of financial professionals feel indexed annuities are the most important product to offer clients in a correction or bear market, the survey says.
“It’s essential to recommend products that offer both potential for upside as well as principal protection in any market conditions,” says Friderici. “While clients’ portfolios may do well in a favorable economic environment, having diverse products that include protection against losses, income guarantees and enhanced benefits for extended care provide clients with confidence that they will be adequately prepared to address key retirement risks no matter how long they live or how the market is performing.”