IRI: Annuity Buyers Flock to Lifetime Income Guarantees

More than 81% of variable annuity purchasers opted for a lifetime guarantee of income in the first quarter, according to a survey by an insurance trade group.

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) said the most popular lifetime guarantee consumers chose during the quarter was a lifetime withdrawal benefit. About 70% of variable annuity sales were in products that offered the ability to take a set percentage withdrawal from the account for life—down slightly from 78% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The data also revealed that 45.7% of variable annuity sales in the first quarter were sold through the independent broker/dealer channel, followed by banks (17.7%), proprietary agents (15.8%), regional broker/dealers (10.3%), and wirehourses (9.6%).

The research was prepared by Advanced Sales & Marketing Corporation for the IRI, which focuses on annuities, insured retirement strategies, and retirement planning.