WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) on Feb. 25 announced fourth quarter results for the variable annuity industry. The net assets of United States variable annuities posted a double-digit increase in year-to-year quarter comparisons for the first time in eight quarters, advancing at a rate of 20.2%. The last time this comparison posted a double-digit increase was in September of 2007, at a rate of 15.3%.
“The surge in variable annuity assets is a clear indicator that we are indeed on a solid road to recovery,” said President and CEO of IRI, Cathy Weatherford. “While the road ahead may be a bumpy one, the stability and strength of insured retirement strategies is clearly apparent. More now than ever, older Americans are looking for dependable, trusted sources of retirement income that will withstand unpredictable fluctuations in the stock market. Annuities stand alone in guaranteeing lifetime income throughout retirement.”
Variable annuity sales for the fourth quarter were $31.9 billion, up slightly from $31 billion in the previous quarter. Fourth quarter 2009 net sales were $2.9 billion, compared to third quarter net sales of $2.8 billion. There were $21.9 billion in qualified sales and $10 billion in non-qualified in the fourth quarter. Total 2009 sales were $125.1 billion, compared to $154.8 billion in 2008.