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Our businesses and their performance

United States

Providing an ageing American population with financial strategies for stable retirements

Doris and Doug’s story

In the next few years, Doris and Doug, Jackson annuity holders in their mid-sixties, will be phasing into semi-retirement near Olympia, Washington. Both are lifelong educators – Doris a teacher and college instructor, and Doug the director of a non-profit organisation.

‘We’re not looking for a beach and we don’t plan to sit under an umbrella all day. Doris and I want to work together, write together and continue our life’s purpose – helping people grow and identify their gifts, whether in a classroom, congregation or weekend retreat.

‘Our retirement dream really became a plan when we partnered with our financial professional. As a financial life coach, he connected with our vision, enabling us to maximise our savings and investment resources. With the guarantees offered in our Jackson annuity product, we feel more secure, and ready to focus on people, rather than fight for financial survival.’11

2016 performance highlights

  • Cash remittance of £420 million
  • Total IFRS operating profits of £2 billion – up 7 per cent (20 per cent on an actual exchange rate basis)
  • Variable annuity total net flows of £4.9 billion
  • Strong separate account asset growth – up 11 per cent at US$148.8 billion (£120.4 billion)
  • Awarded ‘Contact Center World Class FCR Certification’ and ‘Highest Customer Service for the Financial Industry’ awards by The Service Quality Measurement Group, Inc. – the 10th consecutive year of recognition for customer service performance in both categories

Jackson continues its long-term disciplined approach to our business, with a sharp focus on delivering products and services that meet the needs of our stakeholders. This discipline has historically enabled us to navigate market disruption, producing positive outcomes amid adversity. The looming retirement crisis for an under-saved generation of retirees, combined with significant regulatory change and political uncertainty, presents an opportunity to redefine the retirement marketplace. Jackson is well positioned to articulate the issues and provide leadership in addressing them, with a focus on creating value for consumers and shareholders.

Barry Stowe
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
North American Business Unit

Barry Stowe

Understanding our markets

American retirement crisis

Significant retirement opportunity

Baby boomer population by age1 (m)

Baby boomer population by age chart

Retirement wave

Median net worth (US$000)2

Median net worth chart


Life expectancy at 653

Life expectancy at 65 chart

Increased longevity

Low VA penetration

Private financial wealth chart

The US is the world’s largest retirement savings market, currently worth a total of US$16 trillion4, and approximately 40 million Americans will reach retirement age over the next decade alone. This transition will trigger the need for an unprecedented shift of trillions of dollars from savings accumulation to retirement income generation.

However, these Americans face unique challenges in planning for life after work. For many members of this generation, a financially secure retirement is at risk due to insufficient accumulation of savings during their working years and the current combination of low yields and market volatility. Employer-based pensions are disappearing and government plans are underfunded. Social security was never intended to be a primary retirement solution and today its long-term funding status is in question. Additionally, the life expectancy of an average retiree has significantly increased, lengthening the number of years for which retirement funding is required.

To overcome these challenges, Americans need retirement strategies that offer them the opportunity to grow and protect the value of their existing assets, as well as the ability to provide guaranteed income that will last throughout their extended lifetimes. Annuities can do just that.

Through its distribution partners, Jackson provides products, including variable, fixed and fixed index annuities, which offer Americans the strategies they need. A variable annuity with investment freedom represents an attractive option for retirees, providing both access to equity market appreciation in a tax-deferred wrapper and guaranteed lifetime income. However, penetration of variable annuity sales into the retirement market remains low, accounting for less than 15 per cent of total US retirement assets.

Driving our business


Many retirees, or soon to be retirees, face a reality of under-saving, having no guaranteed income source and the prospect of living longer than any prior generation. Jackson’s focus is to provide solutions to help address these concerns for the millions of baby boomers currently transitioning to and through retirement.

10,000 baby boomers retire per day on average5

Assisting 4 million customers with their financial needs


Jackson’s products provide needed access to equity market growth, protection of principal, and a way of converting retirees’ savings into retirement income with a degree of certainty. With a long history of disciplined product design and prudent risk management, Jackson has earned, and continues to earn, trust from its key stakeholders.

2 of the top 10 variable annuity contracts by premium6

Perspective II is the #1 selling variable annuity contract6


Jackson’s distribution teams set us apart from our competitors. Jackson’s wholesaling force is the largest, most productive in the industry, supporting thousands of advisers across multiple channels and distribution outlets.

Top 10 broker dealer network7

Largest and most productive VA wholesaling force in the industry

Investment for growth

Jackson continues to invest in technology and innovative products to efficiently and effectively adapt to what our customers and environment require. Jackson has recently launched a fee-based version of our flagship product Perspective and our innovative Elite Access product to allow for penetration into untapped distribution channels.

Corporate Insight Annuity Monitor Awards for excellence in the online and offline experience offered to prospects, clients and advisers

Quickly and efficiently launched fee-based version of Perspective and Elite Access variable annuity products

Open all

Customers and products

Jackson has a proven track record in this market with its market-leading flagship variable annuity product, Perspective. Jackson’s success has been built on its quick-to-market product innovation, as demonstrated by the development and launch of Elite Access, our first investment-only variable annuity, in 2012. By the first quarter of 2013, sales of Elite Access ranked in the top 108 of all variable annuity contract sales in the US, a position it still holds8. Further demonstrating Jackson’s flexibility and manufacturing capabilities, in the past six months, Jackson has launched Perspective Advisory and Elite Access Advisory to serve distributors with a preference for fee-based products.


Jackson’s distribution strength also sets us apart from our competitors. Our wholesaling force is the largest9 in the variable annuity industry and is instrumental in supporting the independent advisers who help the growing pool of American retirees develop effective retirement strategies. Our wholesalers provide extensive training to thousands of advisers about the range of our products and the investment strategies that are available to support their clients. Based on the latest available data, Jackson’s wholesalers achieved gross variable annuity sales that on average were 24 per cent higher than the nearest competitor9.

National Planning Holdings (NPH), an affiliate of Jackson, is a top-10 broker-dealer9 network in the US. NPH serves the three key distribution channels of independent representatives, financial institutions and tax and accounting professionals, through access to industry-leading mutual fund/asset management companies, insurance carriers and thousands of brokerage products. The strength of this network and the market insight it offers, combined with Jackson’s proven manufacturing capabilities, provide a distinct advantage as we continue to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Regulatory landscape

Since the financial crisis in 2008, the industry has continued to manage through an ever-changing regulatory landscape. In April 2016, the US Department of Labor (DoL) released a final version of its Fiduciary Duty Rule (Rules), with initial application starting in April 2017 and full implementation required by January 2018. The Rules would, as currently written, subject many advisers who work with qualified retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts to the fiduciary requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, including obligations to avoid conflicts of interest. Those conflict of interest rules are incompatible with many compensation structures that have historically been permissible. However, with the change in the US administration and the release of various Executive Orders, the final form of the Rules remains unclear.

As a result of the DoL regulatory initiative and the uncertainties regarding the application and implementation of the Rules, the annuity industry saw material impacts on sales in 2016. Sales in the variable annuity industry as of the third quarter of 2016 at US$79 billion10 were down 22 per cent compared with the same period last year. Conversely, sales of fixed index (US$47 billion)10 and fixed annuity (US$45 billion)10 products were higher as of the third quarter of 2016 at 22 per cent and 28 per cent respectively, compared with the same period last year. In recent years, some competitors have begun to offer fixed index annuities with benefits that resemble those of variable annuities, leading to a shift in sales away from variable annuities to fixed index annuities. However, this trend has an uncertain future due to the unexpected inclusion of fixed index annuities within the current rules on par with the treatment of variable annuities. Total annuity industry sales were down approximately 2 per cent10 as of the third quarter of 2016.

Regardless of the outcome of the Rules, the regulatory disruption has challenged the industry to review the ways in which investment advice is provided to American investors. Manufacturers will need to have the ability to provide product and system adaptations in order to support the success of various distribution partners in their delivery of invaluable retirement strategies that investors need.

Investment for growth

From disruption, opportunities can appear. With the tens of trillions of dollars of adviser-distributed assets across distribution platforms that have not historically been a focus, such as the hybrid registered investment adviser channel, there is significant opportunity to reach even more American retirees and serve their needs with annuity products going forward. The industry will need to remain flexible and cost-effective in making changes to products, systems and processes. We continue to ensure that we understand and make the necessary adjustments to support the needs and demands of American retirees into the future.

Jackson and NPH have begun to implement changes necessary to meet the requirements of the Rules. Jackson will continue to evaluate its product offerings in order to meet the long-term needs of investors in search of effective retirement strategies. Additionally, Jackson remains committed to supporting its distribution partners throughout this industry transition.

Jackson’s competitive strengths are even more critical during periods of disruption. Our best-in-class distribution team, our agility and success in launching well designed products, the continued success through many economic cycles of our risk management and hedging programmes and our effective technology platforms and award-winning customer service will provide Americans with the retirement strategies they so desperately need, and will enable us to be positioned to capture additional growth during times of transition and into the future.


  1. US Census Bureau Population division 2014 estimate of population.
  2. 2013 Federal Reserve Board’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances.
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services, ‘Health, United States 2015’, May 2016.
  4. Cerulli Associates – Advisor Metrics 2016.
  5. Social Security Administration, Annual Performance Plan for FY 2012 and Revised Final Performance Plan for FY 2011.
  6. © 2017 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. Morningstar Total Sales by Contract 3Q YTD 2016. Jackson’s Perspective II for base states ranks #1 and Elite Access for base states ranks #9 for Total VA Sales out of 864 VA contracts with reported sales to Morningstar’s quarterly sales survey as of 3Q YTD 2016.
  7. Investment News – April 2016.
  8. © 2017 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. Morningstar Elite Access for base states ranked #10 and #9 for Total VA Sales by Contract at 1Q 2013 and 3Q 2016 respectively.
  9. Market Metrics – Variable Annuity Sales, Staffing and Productivity Report: Q3 2016.
  10. LIMRA/Secure Retirement Institute, US Individual Annuity Participants Report 3Q YTD 2016.
  11. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of Jackson National Life Insurance Company.

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