Total annuity sales for Q1 2013 were $51.7 billion, a 6-percent decrease, according to the first quarter 2013 “U.S. Individual Annuities Sales” survey from LIMRA. The report includes data from 94 percent of the market, LIMRA said. Variable annuity sales declined 4 percent to $35.5 billion, the sixth-consecutive quarter of declines on a year-over-year basis. However, VA sales were 1 percent higher compared to Q4 2012, according to the report, and variable annuity guaranteed living-benefit election rates were steady at 84 percent for the first quarter.

“VA sales continue to struggle despite sustained equity market gains,” said Joseph Montminy, AVP and director of annuity research for LIMRA. “In addition, all significant fixed-annuity product types declined in the first quarter of 2013. In many ways, the current market is more challenging to many annuity manufacturers than the recent financial crisis.”

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