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US individual annuities hit record high in Q2 as big names double growth YOY


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US individual annuities hit record high in Q2 as big names double growth YOY

Direct U.S. individual annuity considerations hit an all-time high in the second quarter as several of the top individual underwriters more than doubled their growth rates year over year.

Record industry growth

The U.S. annuities market booked $116.58 billion in total considerations in the second quarter, up 21.7% from $95.79 billion in the second quarter of 2021, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis. The surge in annuity growth was sparked by several macroeconomic developments including the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy, which helped stimulate sales of certain types of individual annuities as the life insurance industry's expansion slowed from its prior pandemic-induced highs.

Individual annuity considerations increased 14.6% to $71.60 billion from $62.47 billion in the second quarter of 2021, making it a record-breaking period for the industry. Second-quarter group annuity considerations also increased year over year to $44.98 billion from $33.32 billion.

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Spike in individual considerations

Several of the largest U.S. individual annuity underwriters saw their considerations increase more than 100% year over year in the second quarter, helping to push the industry to hit an all-time high.

An increased interest in fixed-rate deferred annuities led to the record-breaking quarter, according to LIMRA, a financial services research firm. New York Life Insurance Co. had the largest amount of sales in fixed-rate deferred annuities for the quarter and the first half of the year.

New York Life, which held the largest amount of individual annuity market share at 8% in the second quarter, saw its individual considerations grow 100.6% year over year to $5.64 billion.

Athene Holding Ltd.'s individual annuity considerations grew 111.0% year over year in the second quarter to $3.79 billion. Western & Southern Financial Group Inc. more than tripled its individual annuity considerations with growth of 243.3% to $3.37 billion.

Corebridge Financial Inc., a life and retirement unit of American International Group Inc. — traditionally a large player in the annuity market — went public Sept. 15. This move represented a milestone for AIG, which spoke to the success of the turnaround over the last several years for the insurance giant's core commercial platform.

AIG, despite a 5.6% year-over-year decline in considerations, held the third largest amount of individual annuity market share.

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Growth in group annuities

Athene also saw outsized growth in its group annuity considerations, reporting an increase of 269.2% from the year-ago period. With $5.51 billion in direct group considerations, Athene also landed a spot as the largest holder of group annuity market with a 12% share.

MetLife Inc. followed Athene with the second largest portion of group annuity market share, at 9%. The life insurer grew its group considerations 168.1% year over year to $4.08 billion in the second quarter.

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SNL Image* Read S&P Global Market Intelligence's full-year 2022 outlook for expansion across the life, annuity and accident-and-health lines.
* Read more about why the Corebridge IPO was an option that analysts expected AIG to take.