NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, announced 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. Net flows for 2006 were $29.76 billion, an increase of 45.4% from net flows of $20.47 billion in 2005…

The American Council of Life Insurers announced its support for a bill that would provide special tax treatment for income received by retirees from annuities. In particular, the bill would provide a 50% deduction on income up to $40,000 received from an annuity, or $20,000 annually. Senators Kent Conrad (D-South Dakota) and Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) introduced the bill–the Retirement Security for Life Act of 2007 (S. 1010)–in late March…

NASD released an updated investor alert–Investing with Borrowed Funds: No “Margin” for Error–warning investors about the risks associated with trading on margin. Since the previous NASD alert on the topic in 2003, the amount of debt taken on by investors to buy securities reached a record high of $321.2 billion in February 2007. Besides explaining the risks involved with margin, such as firms forcing the sale of securities in accounts to meet a margin call, selling securities without contacting the account holder, the alert provides some basic facts about purchasing securities on margin and where to turn for help…

Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. launched a redesigned Web site, www.cadaretgrant.com, in late March that includes information about the company’s compliance, trading, operations, marketing, and cashiering departments. Visitors to the homepage also are given the option to “Take 5″ and watch Cadaret, Grant’s five-minute technology video highlighting how the firm helps its advisors grow their businesses. The main site also links to an existing password-protected private site for Cadaret, Grant advisors…

Jackson National Life Insurance Co. recently added several enhancements to its existing family of variable annuities, in the form of new investment options sub-advised by Franklin Templeton Investments, Credit Suisse Asset Management, and Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (PIMCO). Each features a distinct, long-term asset allocation strategy…

Transamerica Insurance & Investment Group, a marketing unit of Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, promoted Marty Flewellen to chief sales officer. He is responsible for the sales and distribution of life insurance and financial services products through the organization’s general agents, national accounts, specialized production sources, and aggregated brokerage organizations.