Annuity sales is still big business, but interest rates are having an effect on fixed products, reports LIMRA, an industry trade group. Total annuity sales increased eight percent in 2011, when compared to 2010, and reached $240.3 billion, according to LIMRA's fourth quarter 2011 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey, which captured data from 94 percent of the market.

“While we saw significant growth in the first half of 2011, third- and fourth-quarter annuity sales fell quarter-over-quarter, tempering the double-digit growth seen at the mid-year mark,” said Joseph Montminy, LIMRA AVP, annuity research. “In this economic environment, VA companies are carefully managing the risks associated with their guaranteed living benefit riders, which has had an impact on overall sales trends.”

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