VA sales see first increase in two yearsNews added by ProWEB Media on June 11, 2010
Gary Linnell

ProWEB Media

Joined: December 27, 2005

U.S. variable annuity sales rose for the first time in two years during the first quarter, increasing 3 percent to $31.4 billion, according to Morningstar Inc. and the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI).

The improvement marked the first year-over-year quarterly increase since the first quarter of 2008, when sales rose 1.7 percent to $41.6 billion.

Meanwhile, LIMRA figured total sales of variable annuities and income products slightly higher, at $32.4 billion, although sales in 2009's first quarter were at their lowest levels since the third quarter of 2004.

According to Danielle Holland, a spokeswoman for IRI, eight out of 10 investors who purchased a variable annuity included a "living benefit" guarantee, with the most popular choice being the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit.
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