United States:
build on strength

The US is the world's largest retirement savings market, with large cohorts of the 78 million baby-boomers1 reaching retirement age each year, creating significant demand for retirement income products. Our strategy in the US is to take advantage of this profitable growth opportunity.

4m
customers

Note

  1. Source: US Census Bureau.

‘Jackson’s strategy remains focused on providing value to its customers and driving shareholder value while operating within a conservative risk management framework. This approach has enabled us to successfully navigate the significant macroeconomic and financial market challenges of the last five years and ensured a continuation of our strong performance in 2012.’

Mike Wells
President and Chief Executive Officer
Jackson National Life Insurance Company

New business profit

New business profit. 2011: £815m. 2012:£873m. +7%.

Total IFRS operating profit

Total IFRS operating profit. 2011: £651m. 2012:£964m. +48%.

2013 financial objective

  • Deliver £260 million of net cash remittance to the Group*
Map of North America

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Financial performance AER   CER
  2012 £m 2011 £m Change %   2011 £m Change %

Note

Comparatives adjusted for retrospective application of the accounting policy change for deferred acquisition costs as discussed in note A5 of the IFRS financial statements.

*The net remittance objective for Jackson was increased from £200 million to £260 million to reflect the positive impact of the acquisition of REALIC.

APE sales 1,462 1,275 15   1,290 13
New business profit 873 815 7   825 6
Total IFRS operating profit note 964 651 48   659 46
Total EEV operating profit 1,610 1,431 13   1,448 11

The United States is the world’s largest retirement savings market. Each year, many of the 78 million ‘baby- boomers’ reach retirement age, which will trigger a shift from savings accumulation to retirement income generation for more than US$10 trillion of accumulated wealth over the next decade1.

This demographic transition constitutes a significant opportunity for those companies that are able to provide the ‘baby-boomers’ with long-term retirement solutions. Jackson takes a selective approach to this opportunity by leveraging its distinctive distribution capabilities and asset liability management expertise to offer prudently priced annuity products.

Despite the challenges faced by the global economy, US equity markets delivered strong gains in 2012. The S&P 500 index increased by 13.4 per cent over the course of the year and market volatility declined notably from the levels experienced in 2011. Interest rates remained historically low with the 10-year treasury rate ending below 180 basis points at year end, while corporate spreads tightened considerably from 2011 year end levels.

The competitive environment continues to favour companies with good financial strength ratings and a track record of financial discipline. Companies that were hardest hit by the market disruptions over the last few years still have to work to regain market share as customers and distributors seek product providers that offer consistency, stability and financial strength. Jackson continues to benefit from this flight to quality and heightened risk aversion.

Note

  1. Source: US Census Bureau.

Jackson’s strategy remains focused on providing value to its customers and driving shareholder value while operating within a conservative risk management framework. This approach has enabled us to successfully navigate the significant macroeconomic and financial market challenges of the last five years and ensured a continuation of our strong performance in 2012.

In 2012, Jackson delivered APE retail sales of £1,424 million, an increase of 14 per cent over 2011. With the addition of a modest level of institutional sales, total APE sales increased by 15 per cent to £1,462 million. These strong sales levels helped to drive annuity net flows higher to £8.8 billion during 2012, a 19 per cent increase over 2011. Although we do not target volume or market share, our ranking climbed to second in variable annuity sales in the US through the third quarter of 2012 (latest information available), while market share increased to 14.0 per cent from 11.4 per cent for the full year 20111.

In March 2012, we launched a new variable annuity product, Elite Access, which has no guaranteed benefits and provides tax efficient access to alternative investments. The rollout of this new product has received a positive reaction from distributors, with close to 100 per cent of them signing up to distribute this product. Single premium sales in the period since launch were £849 million. We are optimistic about the future of Elite Access and will continue to drive product innovation as a way of both meeting the needs of our customers and driving shareholder value.

Jackson continues to be one of the most efficient operators within the US life insurance market. The ratio of statutory general expenses to average assets improved slightly to 41 basis points in 2012 versus 42 basis points in 2011. This efficiency has been delivered while maintaining world class standards of customer service for our customers. In 2012, Jackson was rated as a ‘World Class’ service provider by the Service Quality Measurement Group for the seventh consecutive year.

On 4 September 2012, Jackson completed the acquisition of SRLC America Holding Corp (SRLC) from Swiss Re for a consideration of £370 million which is subject to finalisation of completion procedures. SRLC was the US holding company of REALIC. The acquisition helps diversify Jackson’s sources of earnings by increasing the amount of income generated from underwriting activities. The transaction is expected to add an additional £100 million to Jackson’s IFRS pre-tax profits in the first year, representing stand-alone earnings from REALIC of approximately £115 million, less £15 million of income foregone on the assets sold to finance the transaction. In the four month period since completion, REALIC contributed £67 million to Jackson’s IFRS operating profit while having only a modest impact on statutory capital.

Note

  1. Sources: Morningstar Annuity Research Center (MARC) Third Quarter 2012 Sales Report© and Fourth Quarter 2011 Sales Report©. © Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Jackson’s IFRS pre-tax operating profit in 2012 was 48 per cent higher at £964 million (2011: £651 million)1. This result reflects the strong underlying growth in fee income, and lower deferred acquisition cost (DAC) amortisation. The result also includes four months of REALIC operating profit.

At 31 December 2012, Jackson held £49 billion in separate account assets, compared to £38 billion in 2011. The increase in separate account assets primarily reflects the impact of positive net flows. This resulted in variable annuity separate account fee income of £875 million in 2012, up 29 per cent over the £680 million achieved in 2011.

With corporate spreads tightening during 2012 and continued low levels of absolute interest rates, total spread income, including the expected return on shareholders’ assets, was lower at £757 million, compared to £813 million in the previous year.

Product acquisition costs during 2012 increased slightly compared to 2011, despite the growth in sales as a greater proportion of distributors are opting for asset-based commission. Following the introduction of new DAC guidance in 2012, which was applied retrospectively, acquisition costs are no longer fully deferrable, resulting in IFRS new business strain of £174 million in 2012, compared to £156 million in 2011.

DAC amortisation of £356 million decreased in 2012, compared to £506 million in 2011. This decrease is primarily a result of the negative prior year impact of the reversal of the benefit received in 2008 from the mean reversion formula. Partially offsetting this decrease was higher amortisation due to the higher earnings base in 2012.

Administration expenses increased to £537 million in 2012 compared to £412 million in 2011, with the increase due primarily to higher asset-based commissions paid on the larger 2012 separate account balance, which is classified as an administration expense. This increase was also attributable to larger home office staff due to the growing in-force book, the acquisition of REALIC, and certain non-recurring expenditures.

Jackson continues to actively manage its investment portfolio to mitigate investment risk. Net realised gains on debt securities amounted to £47 million in 2012 compared to gains of £106 million in 2011. This includes a realised loss net of recoveries of £10 million (2011: gains of £10 million) on credit-related sales of impaired bonds. Write-downs on debt securities were £37 million (2011: £62 million). Interest related gains during the period totalled £94 million (2011: £158 million), primarily due to sales of corporate debt.

The net unrealised gain position has improved from £2,057 million at 31 December 2011 to £2,807 million at 31 December 2012 due to the decline in the US Treasury rates and tighter spreads. Gross unrealised losses improved from £246 million at 31 December 2011 to £178 million at 31 December 2012.

Jackson delivered total APE sales of £1,462 million, a 15 per cent increase over 2011. Jackson has achieved these sales levels, while maintaining its pricing discipline, as it continued to write new business at aggregate internal rates of return in excess of 20 per cent.

Variable annuity APE sales of £1,245 million were 14 per cent higher than in 2011. Expressed in local currency most of the increase was accounted for by APE sales of Elite Access, which totalled US$135 million. Excluding the contribution of Elite Access variable annuity APE sales of US$1,837 million were 5 per cent higher than those achieved in 2011 of US$1,749 million. In the course of the year and particularly in the second half of 2012, Jackson implemented various product initiatives to continue to balance value, volume, capital and balance sheet strength.

Fixed annuity APE sales of £58 million were 23 per cent higher than the level of sales in 2011. Jackson ranked seventh in sales of traditional deferred fixed annuities through the third quarter of 2012, with a market share of 3.6 per cent, compared to thirteenth with a 2.1 per cent market share for the full year 20112.

Fixed index annuity APE sales of £109 million in 2012 increased 17 per cent from 2011. Jackson ranked eighth in sales of fixed index annuities through the third quarter of 2012, with a market share of 4.9 per cent, up from a market share of 4.6 per cent in the full year 20113.

Total EEV basis operating profit for the long-term business in 2012 was £1,610 million, compared to £1,431 million in 2011 reflecting increases in both new and in-force business profits. Jackson’s new business profit increased by 7 per cent to £873 million, reflecting active management of sales volumes and mix, higher charges and lower levels of guarantees offered. These actions counteracted the adverse effect of lower long-term yields and tighter spreads. Higher in-force profit was driven largely by higher unwind of discount, due to growth in the underlying book, and larger positive contributions from operating experience variances and assumption changes.

In 2012, Jackson’s life in-force book generated £755 million of underlying free surplus (2011: £748 million) reflecting an increase due to the growth in the business and higher operating variances offset by the impact of low interest rates. Some £281 million was reinvested to write new business (2011: £202 million). The increase in capital consumption was driven by the significant decrease in interest rates which in turn caused a large drop in the valuation rate used to set reserves, resulting in higher strain compared to 2011. Notwithstanding this effect, the fast payback nature of the products, which in 2012 averaged two years across the portfolio (2011: one year) means that returns remain extremely attractive.

Jackson’s RBC level at the end of 2012 was 423 per cent which compares to 429 per cent at the end of 2011. In 2012, capital formation was strong reflecting both the good operating performance, the modest level of impairments and other market value related net gains. This strong capital formation enabled Jackson to remit £249 million to Group and complete the acquisition of REALIC, while supporting its balance sheet growth and growing total adjusted capital from year end 2011 levels.

Note

  1. Comparatives adjusted for retrospective application of the accounting policy change for deferred acquisition costs as discussed in note A5 of the IFRS financial statements.
  2. Sources: LIMRA U.S. Individual Annuities Sales Survey. Third Quarter 2012 and Fourth Quarter 2011.
  3. Sources: AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, Third Quarter 2012 and Fourth Quarter 2011: Copyright © 2012, AnnuitySpecs.com. All rights reserved.
 
 

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