New York Life Insurance Co. reports that for 2008, it ranked as the No. 1 provider of guaranteed lifetime income annuities in the country according to an industry source.

“Our strong sales growth indicates that more Americans are taking the necessary steps to help protect themselves by entrusting their financial future to one of the nation’s strongest insurance companies,” said Chris Blunt, head of Retirement Income Security for New York Life. “In this rough market, income annuity holders take great comfort in a guaranteed, monthly paycheck that continues throughout their lifetime, no matter what is happening in the markets. Being ranked the top seller of income annuities in 2008 is evidence that retirees and pre-retirees are flocking to the quality, safety and financial security that New York Life, a triple-A rated mutual insurer, provides.”

Earlier this year, New York Life announced that total sales of its income annuities had exceeded $1 billion for the first time, reaching more than $1.2 billion at year-end 2008, and representing an annual growth rate of 55%.

Sales of New York Life income annuities continue on this robust pace in first quarter 2009, reports the insurer.

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