NU Online News Service, March 10, 2005, 3:15 p.m. EST

The combined net assets of U.S. variable annuities rose to $1.1 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter 2004.[@@]

The figure was up by more than 7% from $1 trillion in the same quarter a year earlier, according to the National Association for Variable Annuities, Reston, Va..

However, total VA premium flow, or total sales, fell 1.5% in the quarter to $31.3 billion from $31.8 billion a year earlier, according to data from NAVA and the Variable Annuity Research and Data Service, Atlanta, a division of Morningstar Inc.

Net flows of $8.2 billion in the quarter fell 38% percent from the fourth quarter 2003 level of $13.3 billion.

Total premium flow, or total sales, for the full year of 2004 was $129.7 billion, up 2.5% from $126.5 billion in 2003.