Variable annuity (VA) sales
ended 2010 on a strong note, rising 16.7% compared with the fourth
quarter of 2009 to $38.5bn, reports financial services organisation

The strong finish helped
boost VA sales for 2010 as a whole by 9.8% to $140.5bn.

“We attribute the growth to
increased confidence in the VA market by consumers, advisors and
the companies themselves” said Joseph Montminy, assistant
vice-president for Limra’s annuity research.

“We saw growth in almost
two-thirds of the VA industry in 2010. Strong growth in the
equities market and continued interest in guarantee income riders
drove fourth quarter VA sales to its highest level in more than two

Across all classes of
individual annuities sales rose 6% during the fourth quarter of
2010 compared with the same period in 2009 to reach

However, for the year as a
whole, total annuity sales declined by 7.3% compared with 2009 to

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The decline was caused
primarily by poor performance in the fixed annuity segment which
after a record-breaking performance in 2009 recorded a 26.9%
decline in sales to $80.8bn in 2010.