According to a press release of the results, sales of VAs that offered a GLB during calendar year 2004 averaged 87% of total VA sales, increasing to 95% in 2005 and 2006. Such benefits continued to be popular in 2007 and during the first half of 2008, with 96% of total VA sales offering a GLB.
The purchase of GLBs by policyholders also continued to increase, as during calendar years 2004 through 2007, the average election rate of GLBs was 52%, 62%, 63%, and 62%, respectively. During the first half of 2008, the comparable figure jumped up to 69%, according to the results.
Various combinations of four types of GLBs are generally offered in the VA marketplace: guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB), guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (GMWB), guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWB), and guaranteed minimum accumulation benefits (GMAB). Election rates reported by survey participants for GLWBs from 2004 through the first half of 2008 ranged from 61% to 93%, on average, of total sales of VAs that offered a GLWB.
The election rates of GMWBs reported by survey participants for the first half of 2008 averaged about 14%, down from 25% reported for calendar year 2004. An increasing percentage of total VA sales have been offering combination GMWB/GLWBs, but average election rates have declined from 58% in 2005 to 37% during the first six months of 2008.
GMIB election rates decreased, on average, from 49% in calendar year 2004 to 25% during the first six months of 2008. Average election rates of GMABs have decreased from 21% in 2004 to 10% during the first half of 2008.
The portion of total VA sales in which no GLB was elected dropped from 48% during 2004 to 37% to 38% during 2005 through 2007, and to 32% during the first six months of 2007.