Net flows of cash into variable annuities reached $5.1 billion during the first quarter, down from $7.2 billion in the first quarter of 2008, according to a survey by NAVA Inc.

NAVA, Reston Va., reported these figures in its first quarterly report on the VA market of 2009.

VA net assets fell to $1.1 trillion by the end of the quarter, down from $1.4 trillion a year earlier.

Total sales also fell from $42 billion last year to $30 billion in the period.

Sales were comprised of $21 billion in qualified sales and $9 billion in non-qualified.

According to NAVA, 42.1% of total assets were in equity, while 27.6 % were in fixed accounts.