Driven by record sales of variable annuities, individual U.S. annuity sales had a record year in 2006 reaching $236.2 billion, up 9% over 2005, according to LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn. For the fourth quarter of 2006, individual annuity sales were $58.9 billion, growing 9% compared to the same quarter in 2005. Variable annuity sales were up 17%in the fourth quarter to $41.3 billion and up 17% in 2006 reaching $160.6 billion. This is the sixth straight quarter in which variable annuity sales increased when compared to the same quarter from a year ago.
Fixed annuity sales were down 4% for the quarter declining to $17.6 billion. At $75.6 billion, fixed annuities are down 5% for 2006 compared with calendar year 2005. Indexed annuity sales fell 15% from the fourth quarter of 2005 with sales of $5.5 billion.
Contributing to the decline in fixed annuity sales was an 11% decline in book value deferred annuity sales. Sales of market value adjusted annuities continued to show improvement compared to the same quarter from a year ago with sales increasing 80%, although they make up a much smaller segment of the fixed annuity market.