U.S. Annuity Markets 2022
Acclimating to Industry Trends and Changing Demand
Evaluate the retail annuity industry from every point of view
- Assess how larger trends across the wealth management industry, including consolidation, financial planning, and advisory business, are impacting product and distribution strategies
- Evaluate how fee-based and fee-only practices are outsourcing annuity recommendations and sales to third-party insurance platforms
- Review updated sales projections by annuity type, including registered-indexed linked annuities
- Size the population of advisors that are licensed and actively selling annuities, by intermediary channel
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This report examines the retail annuity industry, emphasizing annuity distribution, product development, product positioning, and asset management. Perspective is offered from multiple points of view, including investors, advisors, insurance companies, variable annuity (VA) sales professionals, and asset managers.
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A Note from the Author
A Bear Market Leading to Near-Record Annuity Sales
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 The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Advisor Edition.
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.
Annuities sales have been on a tear in 2022, largely due to Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, which have allowed insurers to raise crediting rates on their fixed and indexed annuities. The rate environment, coupled with difficult market and economic conditions, have led to many advisors, and their clients, flocking to annuities for safety.
If the Fed continues raising interest rates, sales of fixed-rate deferred annuities will increase their hot streak. A declining stock market would only add to that momentum because advisors who embrace annuities will continue to seek the safety of fixed annuities. However, Cerulli cautions insurers to avoid a rate war that could negatively impact individual issuers and potentially the perception of the industry. Insurers will need to manage client expectations as far as the kind of returns that they will ultimately achieve.
Though 2022 conditions have boosted overall annuity use and sales, the trends that have been in motion for a over a decade will likely return when markets stabilize. This means, despite renewed interest in the solutions and increasing sales, the challenges that insurers were facing prior to 2022 will persist, including the need to adapt to fee-based financial planning trends.
Learn more in The Cerulli Report—U.S. Annuity Markets 2022: Acclimating to Industry Trends and Changing Demand. Use this report to understand key elements impacting the annuity marketplace, including distribution strategies, product development, advisor and intermediary channel trends, buying behaviors, and asset management opportunities.
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