U.S. Annuity Markets 2020

A Decade of Adaptation

Evaluate. Plan. Act.

  • Enhance strategic planning with an understanding of historical sales by annuity product and five-year projected sales by product type
  • Learn which advisors are licensed to sell variable annuity products and which advisors are actively selling them with segmentations by channel
  • Understand the annuity types in which advisors and insurers see the greatest opportunities
  • Evaluate the factors that advisors consider most important when deciding whether or not to recommend an annuity
  • Explore subadvisory and variable insurance trust (VIT) sales and product development trends


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Report US Investment Consultants 2020 Detail

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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Specialist


Learn how insurers and asset managers can adapt and focus on innovative product development, modernized distribution strategies, and mounting regulatory challenges. This report provides an overview of the many challenges the annuity industry has overcome over the past decade and how insurers can effectively navigate the next five years. It highlights key themes prevalent among wealth management home offices, advisory practices, and end-investors who are prime candidates for annuities.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note from the Author

Registered Index-Linked Annuities (RILAs) Offer a Bright Spot for Sales Growth

Donnie Ethier

Donnie Ethier

Senior Director

Bio →

Donnie Ethier

Donnie Ethier

Senior Director

Donnie Ethier is the head of Cerulli Associates’ Wealth Management practice. The Wealth Management practice is dedicated to helping clients proactively adapt to retail financial advice and planning trends, including the high-net-worth markets. Donnie oversees the practice’s annual research agenda and is a core contributor to consulting engagements, syndicated research, and the U.S. Advisor Edge.

Since joining Cerulli in 2012, Donnie has led several practices and research initiatives including the Wealth Management, High-Net-Worth, and Annuity practices. Prior to joining Cerulli, Donnie held roles at Sun Life Financial and Sun Life Financial Distributors for eight years focusing on market and distribution strategy, product development, competitive intelligence, and professional development.

Full biography here.

Bolstered by inherent product characteristics and educational initiatives undertaken to educate B/Ds and advisors as key growth enablers, RILAs reached a quarterly record of nearly $5 billion in 4Q 2019. Growth shows little sign of abating as large, reputable insurers enter the space with innovative concepts.

We find that RILAs offer the client participation in the returns of mainstream market indices, while protecting the client on the downside, reminiscent of a guaranteed living benefit (GLB), though not as risky for the issuer. We anticipate sales will continue to increase faster than any competing annuity type through 2025. Our report, U.S. Annuity Markets 2020: A Decade of Adaptation, provides in-depth coverage of RILAs while providing our overall outlook on the U.S. annuity market. Connect with us to learn more about this research.

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