Challenger annuity sales jump 69pc

Challenger Life has seen a 69 per cent increase in its annuity sales from its previous quarter, with its March quarter recording $840 million in sales.

In an ASX announcement, Challenger said its retail annuity sales stood at $445 million, while institutional annuity sales jumped from $18 million to $395 million.

Within its retail annuity sales, lifetime annuity sales dropped to $80 million while fixed term sales increased nine per cent to $365 million.

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Chief executive officer Brian Benari said lifetime retirement income annuities is still seeing high demand, and comprised of 18 per cent of total retail annuity sales in the quarter.

"With the third quarter our seasonally quietest period for annuity sales, we've still managed to grow fixed term annuity sales by nine per cent compared with the same period last year," he said.

Challenger's funds management business recorded funds under management of $58.7 billion, a six per cent increase for the quarter. Net flows were $694 million.

This includes financial assets of Fidante Partners boutique funds management business, and the fixed income and commercial property mandates under management in the Challenger Investment Partners business.

Property investments jumped by $329 during the quarter as property transactions that were entered into before December last year were concluded.

Total assets and FUM for the funds management and life annuities business increased six per cent to $60.4 billion for the quarter.

Benari said year-to-date net book growth is at 8.9 per cent, with Challenger looking to reach an 11-13 per cent target for the 2015 financial year.

The results come as Investment Trends research showed 83 per cent of retirement planners were open to using deferred lifetime annuities.

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