That’s the word from the Insurance & Retirement Services (I&RS), a business of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC). In the first six months of 2013, more than $85 billion in annuity product transactions were cleared by DTCC’s National Securities Clearing Corp. That’s up from nearly $79 billion in the first half of last year, according to the I&RS Annuity Market Activity Report.
The 2013 numbers reflect a somewhat larger group than last year. For instance, they represent data from 112 insurance companies (43 parent or holding companies), 128 broker-dealer distributors and 3,236 annuity products (mostly variable but some fixed). By comparison, the first-half data from last year covered 108 carriers (43 parent or holding companies), 116 broker-dealers and 3,202 annuity products.
The data should be of interest to independent producers for three reasons. First, they represent transaction activity for a large swath of the annuity market. Second, the broker-dealers participating in the study are, according to I&RS, “strongly concentrated in the non-proprietary channel.” The non-proprietary channel is where a lot of independent producers place their business. Third, the first-half numbers include June, which was a period when annuity inflows actually decreased — by 9.7 percent, according to I&RS, from $7.9 billion in May to $7.2 billion in June. That could be worrisome except that June also saw annuity outflows decrease -- by 11.7 percent, to $6.4 million in June from $7.3 billion in May. That means that the net flows that month were up despite the lower inflows. Perhaps annuity conservation efforts had an effect?