Talcott Resolution third quarter 2013 core earnings were $204 million, a 6% increase compared with $192 million in third quarter 2012 due to higher U.S. and International Annuity core earnings. Third quarter 2012 included core earnings from the Individual Life and Retirement Plans businesses which were sold in January 2013; these businesses generated third quarter 2012 core earnings of $44 million. Core earnings rose despite the loss of earnings from these sold businesses principally because of lower DAC amortization, lower taxes, and higher limited partnership and other alternative investment income compared with the prior year quarter. Limited partnership and other alternative investment income totaled $22 million, before tax, for the segment in third quarter 2013 compared to $6 million, before tax, in third quarter 2012. These favorable items in the third quarter of 2013 were partially offset by the cost of the 2013 Enhanced Surrender Value (ESV) program, which totaled $11 million, after-tax and DAC, in third quarter 2013.
Third quarter 2013 U.S. VA annualized full surrender rate increased to 20.3% compared with 10.4% in third quarter 2012. The ESV program and other initiatives contributed approximately 6 points to the third quarter 2013 full surrender rate. The increase in the U.S. VA surrender rate reflects the improved moneyness level and aging of the block. At Sept. 30, 2013, approximately 91% of contracts with living benefit guarantees were out-of-the-money. This compares with 74% of contracts at Sept. 30, 2012. Average moneyness of 9% for contracts in-the-money remained relatively flat year-over-year.
U.S. VA account values declined to $61.5 billion at Sept. 30, 2013 from $66.7 billion at Sept. 30, 2012 due to negative net flows of $14.0 billion over the period, partially offset by strong U.S. equity market appreciation.
The Japan VA annualized full surrender rate was 30.8% in third quarter 2013, down slightly from 34.8% in second quarter 2013 but up materially from 3.0% in third quarter 2012. The year-over-year increase in the Japan VA surrender rate was due to the improved moneyness level of the book and a decrease in the percentage of the book subject to surrender charges. At Sept. 30, 2013, approximately 53% of the contracts with living benefit guarantees were out-of-the-money, a substantial improvement from 2% of contracts at Sept. 30, 2012. Average moneyness was 5% for contracts in-the-money at Sept. 30, 3013 compared to 19% at Sept. 30, 2012.