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Fixed annuities continue to dominate

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For the second quarter in a row, fixed annuities outsold variable annuities $35.6 billion to $30.7 billion, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Annuities First Quarter 2009 Sales Report.

“The last time fixed annuities outsold variable for two consecutive quarters was in the first half of 1995,” said Joe Montminy, research director for LIMRA’s annuity research, in a press release. “Consumers, still leery of the volatile stock market and looking for secure, competitive guaranteed rates of return, continued to invest more money into fixed annuities for their retirement income needs.”

With a 74 percent increase, fixed annuities propelled overall individual annuity sales to a six percent gain reaching $66 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

Sales of variable annuities experienced its fourth quarter of double-digit declines, dropping 27 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Sales increased for all fixed deferred annuity product-types in the first quarter 2009, led by a 200 percent increase in market value adjusted (MVA) products. Sales of book value products, the largest fixed annuity product-type, were double sales from the first quarter of 2008.

Indexed annuity sales increased 21 percent. Compared to the same period of last year, sales of structured settlements were down six percent and fixed immediate annuities grew 12 percent.