Annuity Premiums Soar, Surrender Protection Strengthens

Strong premium inflows invested at higher rates drive up asset yields

A new report from AM Best reveals US individual annuity writers saw highest premium growth in decade in 2023. Access the report here.

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Individual annuity premium grew by 22% in 2023 and reached $348 billion, representing the highest growth seen in a decade for U.S. providers, according to a new AM Best report.

The Best’s Special Report, “Annuity Premiums Soar, Surrender Protection Strengthens,” states that annuity products have been attractive for consumers in the last few years, propelled by the rising interest rate environment and crediting rates that generally have been higher than competing products offered by larger national banks. Baby Boomers seeking income and wealth transfer solutions for trillions of dollars in assets is also driving consumer demand. Additionally, surrender benefits rose 32% in 2023; however, according to the report, the share of policies with market value adjustment surrender charges also has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

“Older annuity policies with lower rates were outside of the surrender charge protection, and so with the favorable crediting rates, insurers have been able to sell new annuity products with the higher rates to these customers while also locking them into policies with surrender charges,” said Jason Hopper, associate director, industry research and analytics, AM Best.

As insurers look to capitalize on the favorable environment, newer market entrants have added much-needed capacity to the market, particularly through multiyear guaranteed annuities (MYGA) with their attractive interest rate spreads and shorter durations. With the overall 2023 premium growth, annuity writers posted a 68% year-over-year increase in indexed annuity net premium income to $28.9 billion; 48% growth in fixed deferred annuities; and a 33% increase in premium for variable annuities without guarantees.

“Growth in the annuity market has heightened competition, as many new companies have entered the space, including several new private equity and asset management-backed insurers looking to capitalize on the difference between the cost of liabilities and potential favorable investment returns,” said Erik Miller, director, AM Best.

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About AM Best
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit