Worksite sales of voluntary employee benefits rose to more than $4.7 billion in 2006, up 8% from the 2005 total, Eastbridge Consulting Group estimates.

The 2006 performance represents a striking improvement over performance during the previous 3 years, when annual worksite sales growth rates ranged from 1% to 3%, according to Eastbridge, Avon, Conn.

Eastbridge says sales at the top 15 companies in the business grew 10%, with those companies accounting for about 75% of total sales.

Most worksite benefits carriers that reported any sales growth showed double-digit increases.

Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga., retained the largest market share, at just over 31%.