NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions (formerly the National Association of Variable Annuities) announced March 28 that total VA sales for 2006 were $157.3 billion, representing an 18.2% increase from 2005′s sales of $133.1 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2006 alone, net assets of U.S. variable annuities increased 5.1% to $1.36 trillion, compared to year-end 2005 VA net assets of $1.18 trillion.

In the fourth quarter, 59% of sales, or premium flow, was in qualified plans, NAVA reported, with 40.9% in non-qualified plans. Net flows–the sum of new sales minus surrenders, withdrawals, exchanges, and benefit payments–for 2006 were $29.76 billion, an increase of 45.4% from net flows of $20.47 billion in 2005.