Annuity sales totaled $59.1 billion in the fourth quarter of2015, up 1% from $58.5 billion during the third quarter of 2015 and 4.4% from$56.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Insured Retirement Institutesaid April 4.
Fixed annuity sales for the quarter were $28.2 billion, up6.6% from the previous quarter and 22.5% from the prior-year quarter. Variableannuity sales decreased to $30.9 billion in the quarter, down 3.6% from theprevious quarter and 8% from the prior-year period.The report is based on data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar Inc.
Fixed indexed annuities sales rose to $16.1 billion in thequarter, an 11.9% increase from the prior quarter and a 32.2% increase from theyear-ago quarter. Income annuity sales reached $3.7 billion for the quarter,representing a 15.8% increase from the previous quarter and a 13.7% increasefrom the fourth quarter of 2014.
"Continued innovation is helping to spur the rapidsales growth of fixed indexed annuities. This includes the development ofproducts with guaranteed lifetime income benefits as well as the introductionof products designed for the broker/dealer channel," said CathyWeatherford, president and CEO of Insured Retirement Institute.
For the full year, industrywide annuity sales were $228.8billion, compared with $229.4 billion in 2014. Fixed annuity sales reached$98.4 billion, up 7.5% from $91.5 billion in the previous year, largelyattributable to the growth in fixed indexed annuity sales which reached $54.6billion in 2015. Variable annuity total sales dropped year over year to $130.4billion from $137.9 billion in 2014.