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Milliman Survey Confirms Continued Dominance of Guarantees in Variable Annuity Retirement Income Products
Date:1/28/2008

SEATTLE, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from Milliman's third annual Guaranteed Living Benefits (GLB) survey of leading U.S. variable annuity (VA) carriers indicate that nearly 95% of variable annuities offered include some form of GLB.

Total sales of VAs that offered a GLB during calendar year 2005 averaged 87% of total VA sales, stable relative to 2004 results. This figure increased to 93% during 2006, and then up to 95% during the first half of 2007, demonstrating the continued popularity of such benefits.

The purchase of GLBs by policyholders also continued to increase from 2005 to the first half of 2007. On average, during calendar year 2005, the election rate of GLBs was 68% of total VAs that offer any GLB, up from 56% in 2004. The comparable figures for 2006 and the first half of 2007 are 73% and 74%, respectively. A small percentage of VA sales (less than 5%) offer a GLB that is automatically included in the product design. A more recent trend is that nearly 20% of VA sales involve an offer of a "hybrid" GLB. (A hybrid GLB refers to multiple GLBs packaged together, such as a GMAB/GMIB, or GMAB/GMWB.)

The VA marketplace generally offers three types of GLBs. Election rates of the Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit and Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB/GLWB) increased, on average, from 24% in 2004 to 29% in 2005, to 40% in 2006, and to 43% during the first six months of 2007, according to survey participants (relative to total sales of VAs that offered a GMWB/GLWB). Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits continue to be the most popular GLB in the current VA market.

GMWB/GLWBs captured some of the market share from the Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB) whose election rates decreased from 24% in calendar year 2005 to 23% in 2006 and then to 22% during the first six months of 2007. Although election rates for GMIBs have been falling steadily, there is still a strong core of companies and producers that rema
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SOURCE Milliman
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