Although overall activity in the annuity market has been down over the past 13 months, inflows in May increased by slightly more than 1% to $7.5 billion from $7.4 billion in April, according to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

In the same month, outflows increased by almost 4% to more than $6.4 billion from less than $6.2 billion in April.

The corporation derives its numbers from data on transactions it processes. It handles every back office aspect of a transaction, after it occurs, for the insurance and annuities markets. The accompanying analytic reporting is a service of its subsidiary, National Securities Clearing Corporation.

“We’re the largest company you’ve never heard of,” spokeswoman Crystal Bueno says, adding that its analytics are considered a fair representation of industry-wide activity. “It’s not 100% (of transactions) but it’s pretty close.”

The corporation also found that net flows decreased by more than 12% in May, to $1 billion from more than $1.2 billion in April. In addition, the divergence of inflows between qualified accounts and non-qualified accounts narrowed again in May. Inflows into qualified account types were slightly higher at 58% while inflows into non-qualified account types were at 41%.

In August 2011, the corporation joined forces with the Retirement Income Industry Association to analyze cash flows by association-defined broker/dealer distribution channels and product categories. For the six distribution channels defined by the association, the following are the percentages of inflows processed by the two groups in May:

Independent broker/dealers – 27%

Wirehouses – 17%

Regional broker/dealers – 16%

Bank broker/dealers – 13%

Insurance broker/dealers – 9%

Others – 18%

This story first appeared at Financial Planning

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