Who Owns Annuities?

Who Owns Annuities?

The 2013 Gallup Survey of Owners of Individual Annuity Contracts reports that the Americans who own this retirement savings and income insurance product have moderate incomes. Their median annual household income is $64,000, and 80% have total annual household incomes below $100,000. Most individual annuity owners are retired (65%).  Although their average age is 70, the average age at which owners purchased their first annuity was 51. Individual annuity owners are almost evenly split between females (51%) and males (49%).

Why do Americans own annuities? According to the 2013 Gallup Survey of Owners of Individual Annuity Contracts, annuities are seen as a way to provide their owners with additional retirement income (84%) and as a financial safety net in case they or their spouse live well beyond their life expectancy (87%).

What do owners think about how important tax deferral is to saving for retirement?  Most individual annuity owners believe that they have done a very good job of saving for retirement (88%).  Nine in ten individual annuity owners agree that keeping the current tax treatment of annuities is a good way to encourage long-term savings (90%), and also agree that annuities are an effective way to save for retirement (90%).

Surveys on Annuity Ownership

The Gallup Organization (“Gallup”) periodically surveys owners of non-qualified annuity contracts for the Committee of Annuity Insurers. Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc. consulted with the Committee of Annuity Insurers on this project, including the analysis of results presented in the report.  The results of the Survey of Owners of Non-Qualified Annuity Contracts (the “Survey”) are presented on this web site.

The principal purpose of the Survey is to obtain a profile of the demographic characteristics of owners of non-qualified annuity contracts and to gain insight into their methods for and attitudes toward saving for retirement, including owners’ sources of funds for purchasing annuity contracts and their reasons for purchasing annuities.  Non-qualified annuities are those purchased with after-tax dollars vs. those purchased as part of a formal pension, IRA, or 401(k) program.  Gallup and Greenwald & Associates are confident that, based on the sampling procedures used and other research that Gallup has conducted in this area, the results of this Survey represent the characteristics of owners of non-qualified annuity contracts, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.