Life insurance sales, driven by whole and universal life products, reached new highs with $39 billion in sales. However, annuity insurers received $198 billion in sales in 2012, a 9-percent decrease from 2011, according to a new Conning report. In the report, “Individual Life and Annuity Distribution and Marketing Annual Analysis and Developments 2013,” Conning attributes part of the decrease in annuity sales to low interest rates affecting the appeal of fixed annuities.

However, the report states that insurer unwillingness to accept new variable annuity sales also had an influence. Yet, through 2015, Conning forecasts an increase in variable annuity sales, albeit at a slower rate than in prior years. Indexed annuities are forecast to continue to increase as consumers and distributors view them as attractive alternatives to traditional fixed annuities. Fixed annuity sales remain challenged by continued low interest rates.

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