Fixed Indexed Annuity Industry Mortality Study October 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Press Release

Fixed Indexed Annuity Industry Mortality Study
October 2016

Key Observations

  • 1st ever FIA industry mortality study. With the growth in the FIA market, particularly with GLWB features, Ruark has responded to the industry’s demand for what we believe to be the first FIA industry mortality study.
  • FIA mortality experience is different. Similar to what we have seen in our variable annuity industry mortality studies since 2007, standard annuity mortality tables offer a poor fit to observed FIA experience, tending to understate mortality rates at both ends of the age spectrum. FIA mortality also varies widely across the companies participating in the study.
  • FIA contracts with GLWB have approximately 20% lower mortality. This is an expected selection effect considering the longevity-based benefits provided by GLWBs.
  • Mortality also varies by duration, tax status, and contract size. FIA mortality increases gradually by contract duration, and is significantly lower for qualified contracts with and without GLWBs. However, significantly higher mortality is evident for large contracts.
  • Caution is warranted amidst a changing regulatory landscape. The potential implementation of the “fiduciary rule” may affect the mix of qualified and non-qualified FIA business, and agent and policyholder behavior more broadly. Prudence suggests careful monitoring of experience results and more granular assumption development.

Participating Companies

AIG Life & Retirement
American Equity
Midland National
Pacific Life
Security Benefit

Overview and Methodology

Ruark’s FIA and VA industry studies include policyholder behavior such as surrenders, income utilization, mortality, and annuitizations, which are vitally important to the long-term financial performance of these products. Through the experience study process and discussions with us, participating companies gain a detailed understanding of complex industry results and comparison to their own company results for benchmarking purposes. The 13 participating companies contributed 11 million contract years of data and 165,000 deaths for this study, covering the period January 2007 through September 2015.

About Us

Ruark Consulting has completed dozens of policyholder behavior experience studies for the annuity industry and individual companies since 2007, spanning surrenders, partial withdrawals and living benefit utilization, annuitization, and mortality. We are recognized leaders in annuity risk management, policyholder behavior analytics, and reinsurance brokerage and administration.


Timothy Paris | Chief Executive Officer | 860 866 7786 |

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