What do annuity sales and base runners have in common? Both continue to slide.

While avoiding the tag when sliding into second is lauded in baseball circles, insurers aren't as pleased to see annuity sales on the decline for the fourth consecutive quarter. LIMRA yesterday announced in its U.S. Individual Annuities quarterly sales survey that total annuity sales declined when compared to the same quarter from one year ago. In the first three months of 2010, total annuity sales slipped to $51.4 billion, down 24% from the first quarter of 2009, and 5% below fourth quarter 2009.

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