Online meeting May 20 - Highlights from 2020 FIA Industry Studies

Thanks to the many of you who joined this online meeting!

Discussion slides are here - Ruark BAAC 20200520 - 2020 FIA Industry Studies.

 

FIA folks, this one is for you.  (And yes, as shown above, GLIB income commencement is sensitive to moneyness).

We thank those of you who have already purchased our 2020 FIA industry studies of policyholder behavior. We have held online meetings with many others over the last couple months to share highlights from our 2020 FIA industry studies including our first-ever FIA mortality table. This meeting on May 20 was intended for those with whom we had not yet had a chance to meet (online). Please let me know if you would like to schedule a separate meeting to aid your purchase decisions.

Lots of data:

  • Total exposure years grew to 23 million, a 21% increase over last year's study
  • Double the exposure years for GLIB contracts past the end of the surrender charge period
  • GLIB exposure constituted 44% of exposure overall, and 49% of exposure in the last 12 study months
  • 39% increase in lifetime income withdrawals, to $5.4 billion
  • The study data comprised over 4 million policyholders from 17 participating companies spanning the 12-year period from 2007-2019, with $296 billion in account value as of the end of the period

Discussion slides are here - Ruark BAAC 20200520 - 2020 FIA Industry Studies.

Kind regards,

Tim

Timothy Paris, FSA, MAAA
Chief Executive Officer
Ruark Consulting, LLC
530 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070
Mobile 860.866.7786
Email timothyparis@ruark.co
Website ruark.co
Connect with me and follow Ruark on LinkedIn®

 


Revised plans for 2020 VA industry studies

To download the discussion slides from April 24, click here.

On behalf of our team we hope that you and your families are doing well.

On April 17, we announced revised plans for our 2020 VA industry studies of policyholder behavior. We made this decision with great thought and care following discussions with most of our VA clients over the preceding few weeks. Thanks to the constructive feedback and enthusiastic support of so many, we believe that this change will not only meet your needs but provide you with far more value than what we were originally planning.

  • Our revised plan is to perform the 2020 VA studies with supplemental data through June 30 2020, target completion in November.
  • In the interim, to aid your annual assumption review process, we will make the industry-only portion of last year’s studies available now if you submit your order form for the 2020 VA studies by June 30. After that, the studies will be subject to an additional 25% charge.

We look forward to supporting you in this important work in 2020 and beyond. Please contact me with any questions - timothyparis@ruark.co.


Online meeting March 23 - Market turmoil: What does it mean for annuity policyholder behavior?

Thanks to the nearly 100 of you who participated in this online meeting!

Given the turmoil in financial markets and hearing the concerns of our annuity company clients and others in recent weeks, we expanded what would otherwise have been our Behavioral Analytics Advisory Council to an open meeting for anyone interested.  Discussion slides are here - Ruark BAAC 20200323.

Our primary focus was the brief report "Market turmoil: What does it mean for annuity policyholder behavior?" published last week (link here) by our COO Eric Halpern. Here we have real FIA and VA data and insights from past times of crisis - monthly policyholder behavior and mortality data going back to 2007 covering about 70% of the market with over $1 trillion of current account values.

With all of this great data, we are uniquely positioned to help you better manage risks, especially now.  Our insights from this data allow us to build more accurate models of policyholder behavior, with potentially less hedge breakage for VA and FIA -- how much is 1% A/E improvement worth to you?  Our predictive analytics techniques use company- and industry-level data to help you improve your pricing, valuation, and risk management models. Our approach is rigorous, transparent, and tailored to each company, allowing for quick implementation and quantification of improvement in financial risk profile from what you can do if limited to your own data.

Links to a brief case study and highlights from our recent work are below:

Let me know if you would like to arrange a call or online meeting to discuss our work products and modeling services.

Please stay tuned as we are planning other ways to keep in touch by phone and online meeting over the next few months.  Let me know if you would like us to add you to our email distribution list.  And you can continue to find updates here on our website, LinkedIn, or social media pages using the links below.

Thanks for your continued support, and we hope that you and yours stay well.

Tim

Timothy Paris, FSA, MAAA
Chief Executive Officer
Ruark Consulting, LLC
530 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070
Mobile 860.866.7786
Email timothyparis@ruark.co
Website ruark.co
Connect with me and follow Ruark on LinkedIn®


Market turmoil: What does it mean for annuity policyholder behavior?

To download the full report, click here.

Executive Summary

We offer insights on expected annuity policyholder responses to recent financial market turmoil, gleaned from our studies of annuity policyholder behavior since 2007.

Variable annuity writers should expect:

  • Greater persistency overall, but elevated surrenders for at-the-money GLWB
  • Greater income utilization, especially for GLWB after the deferral incentive period and “hybrid” GMIB
  • Greater GMIB annuitization elections, especially on traditional “pro-rata” benefit forms

Fixed indexed annuity writers should expect:

  • Greater persistency for GLIB, and lower persistency without GLIB
  • Greater income utilization for GLIB

COVID-19 impact on mortality:

  • Will likely depend on the level of containment among the general population at retirement ages, with potential differences between those with and without living benefit guarantees

Ruark is uniquely positioned to help as risk management takes center stage:

  • We have the data from past times of crisis –monthly policyholder behavior and mortality data going back to 2007 covering about 70% of the market with over $1 trillion of current account values
  • We have developed predictive analytics techniques that use company- and industry-level data to help our clients improve their annuity pricing, valuation, and risk management models. Our approach is rigorous, transparent, and tailored to each company, allowing for quick implementation and quantification of improvement in financial risk profile from what they can do if limited to their own data.

To download the full report, click here.


Ruark Releases 2020 Fixed Indexed Annuity Studies

Increasing data exposure in key areas

Ruark Consulting, LLC today released the results of its 2020 industry studies of fixed indexed annuity (FIA) policyholder behavior, which include surrenders, income utilization and partial withdrawals. Ruark’s FIA studies cover products both with and without a guaranteed lifetime income benefit (GLIB).

“With new data contributors, and rapid growth in the FIA market, data exposures in key areas continue to increase,” said Timothy Paris, Ruark’s CEO. “More data enables us to do more detailed analysis, identify new patterns, and – critically – help our clients achieve meaningful risk reduction in their models.”

Among the notable increases in exposure:

  • Total exposure years grew to 23 million, a 21% increase over the 2019 study
  • Double the exposure years for GLIB contracts past the end of the surrender charge period
  • A 39% increase in lifetime income withdrawals, to $5.4 billion

The study data comprised over 4 million policyholders from 17 participating companies spanning the 12-year period from 2007-2019, with $296 billion in account value as of the end of the period. GLIB exposure constituted 44% of exposure overall, and 49% of exposure in the last 12 study months.

Highlights include:

  • Lifetime income commencement rates are low, 6% overall in the first year following the end of the waiting period and then falling to the 2-3% range in years 3 and later. There is evidence of a spike in utilization after year 10, particularly where the benefit is structured as an optional rider rather an embedded product feature. Age, tax status, and contract size all influence commencement rates.
  • Lifetime income utilization increases sharply when policies are in the money, that is, the benefit base exceeds the account value. After normalizing for age, tax status, and contract duration, contracts that are 25% in the money or more exercise at a 10% rate. In contrast, when contracts with lifetime withdrawal benefits are out of the money, at the money, or modestly in the money, policyholders exercise at a base rate of about 2%.
  • FIA contracts typically offer the opportunity to take 5-10% of account value annually in penalty-free withdrawals, often following a 1-year waiting period. This is the case for contracts with and without a GLIB, though free partial withdrawal frequencies and amounts are somewhat lower on contracts with a lifetime income guarantee.
  • Free partial withdrawal activity is influenced by age and required minimum distributions, as well as contract size and the presence of a waiting period. Notably, withdrawal sizes spike in the year following the end of the surrender charge period, when all partial withdrawals become penalty-free; average withdrawal sizes for contracts without GLIB double to 20% of account value in the year immediately following the end of the surrender charge period.
  • Surrender rates continued to climb in 2019, particularly among contracts past the surrender charge period. The increase is broadly consistent with the rise in FIA sales that has been reported across the industry. While net sales have grown, a certain proportion of the increase in gross sales is likely attributable to exchanges of one FIA product for another.
  • Contracts with a guaranteed lifetime income benefit have much better persistency than those without, and among contracts that have begun taking income withdrawals, surrender rates are even lower. Persistency appears insensitive to nominal moneyness (the relationship of account value to the benefit base), but when an actuarial moneyness basis which discounts guaranteed income for interest and mortality rates is applied, we see that persistency is greater when the economic value is higher, as should be expected.
  • The relationship between surrender charges and surrender rates can be quantified. The study examines the relationship of persistency to the effective surrender charge, that is, the difference between account value and cash surrender value.
  • Surrenders are sensitive to external market forces as well as the absolute level of credited interest rates. Contracts earning less than 2% exhibit sharply higher surrenders than those earning more. As competitive market interest rates increase, so do surrenders, though there is some indication that a higher credited rate tempers the increase. In contrast, equity returns are negatively correlated with surrenders. Where cash surrender values are subject to market value adjustment, surrender rates for policies with a positive market value adjustment exceed those for policies with a negative adjustment. In the aggregate, policyholders act as though a positive MVA is a bonus, rather than a mechanism to make both parties whole, while surrender rates for contracts with negative MVA are similar to those for contracts with no MVA feature.

Detailed study results, including company-level analytics and customized behavioral assumption models calibrated to the study data, are available for purchase by participating companies.


Stat and GAAP: raising the bar for data analysis and policyholder behavior modeling

Whether VM-21 for variable annuities, GAAP LDTI, or the prospect of VM-23 for fixed indexed annuities, regulatory changes are raising the bar for data analysis, use of relevant industry data, and policyholder behavior model development.  Let's discuss how our industry studies, benchmarking, and customized model development services can help you.

Contact:

Timothy Paris

timothyparis@ruark.co

860.866.7786


How much is 1% A/E improvement worth to you?

For deferred annuities, minimizing hedge breakage is a key risk management objective.  Here is a simple example showing how a seemingly modest 1% improvement in actual-to-expected ratios can dramatically reduce hedge breakage, even for small- to medium-sized blocks.  How to do it?  By expanding on your own company's experience data to use relevant industry data and credibility theory to improve policyholder behavior models.

This is what we do.  Our work is not an expense, it is an investment in risk management with quantifiable benefits.  Let's discuss exactly how this can work for you.

Contact:

Timothy Paris

timothyparis@ruark.co

860.866.7786


Case study - modeling FIA GLIB income commencement

Download the case study here:  Ruark - case study - FIA income commencement using credibility theory and PA

Quantifying the benefits of using your company data, industry data, and credibility theory in a predictive analytics context.  This case study is focused on FIA GLIB income commencement but the approach works similarly well for other products, riders, and policyholder behaviors.  Our experience is that the financial benefits can be 1000x greater than the costs.  Let’s discuss exactly how this can work for you.

Contact:

Timothy Paris

timothyparis@ruark.co

860.866.7786


New VA and FIA mortality tables, splits for benefit type and durational anti-selection

I am very pleased to announce that we have released new industry mortality tables for variable annuity (VA) and fixed indexed annuity (FIA) products. Building on the industry studies and tables that we have produced since 2007, the new tables are derived from our 2018 studies of VA and FIA mortality and are an expansion of this work for specific VA rider types and for FIA. They include a table for VA contracts with lifetime withdrawal benefits (“RVAM-LB”); a table for VA contracts without living benefits (“RVAM-DB”); and a table for FIA (“RFIAM”) in aggregate. All are single-life mortality tables.

• The RVAM-LB table incorporates 34 million exposure years and 320,000 deaths on VA contracts with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWB) or hybrid GMIB. The table is calibrated to experience in contract durations 3 and later, with select factors for the earlier durations. This reflects key findings from our 2018 study - GLWB and hybrid GMIB mortality is lower than average at issue and rises to an ultimate level over time.

• The RVAM-DB table incorporates 29 million exposure years and 523,000 deaths on VA contracts without living benefits. The table is a select-and-ultimate table with a 5-year select period. This reflects key findings from our 2018 study - VA contracts without living benefits, primarily with death benefit (DB) only, have higher mortality than average at issue and the magnitude of anti-selection varies by issue age.

• The RFIAM table incorporates 16 million exposure years and 265,000 deaths on FIA contracts, both with and without lifetime income riders. Similar to RVAM-LB, the RFIAM table is calibrated to experience in contract durations 3 and later, with select factors for the earlier durations reflecting lower mortality consistent with findings from our 2018 study.

These new tables are purpose-built for deferred annuities, and are demonstrably better than standard industry tables for VA and FIA valuation -- they reflect not only the effects of age and gender, but also differences by product type and contract duration which are important components of mortality anti-selection.

We are making the new tables immediately available, free of charge, to clients who have already purchased our respective 2018 VA and FIA mortality studies. New purchasers of the these studies will also receive the tables.

Detailed study results, including company-level analytics, benchmarking, and customized behavioral assumption models calibrated to the study data, are available for purchase by participating companies.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more.


EBIG Conference: using predictive analytics to model annuity policyholder behavior

Here is our presentation from session 2B of the EBIG Conference in November 2019.

It includes an exploration of drivers, cohorts, and dynamics for policyholder behavior for VA and FIA based on industry experience data, including changes in recent years and the emergence of long-term data in key areas.

Moreover, we discuss critical elements to developing a sustainable and coherent framework to translate this complex experience data into assumption models.