U.S. sales of fixed annuities topped $19.4 billion in the second quarter, according to a new report.

Beacon Research, Evanston, Ill., reports that fixed annuity sales dipped 30% in the second quarter from the year-ago period, although they increased 18% compared to the first quarter.

Estimated year-to-date sales ($35.9 billion) were also 43% below the first half of 2009.

Estimated second-quarter 2010 sales of indexed and income annuities were the highest in the study’s 8-year history, Beacon says.

By product type, estimated results were:

–Indexed: $8.2 billion;

–Book value: $7.2 billion

–Fixed income: $2.4 billion; and

–Market value-adjusted (MVA): $1.5 billion.

Results for all four product types improved over the previous quarter, says Beacon. Income annuities advanced 31%, MVAs were up 29%, indexed annuities increased 25%, and book value annuities grew 6%.

Compared to second quarter 2009, income and indexed annuities also were ahead by 10% and 0.4%, respectively.

But MVA sales fell 57%, and book value results dropped 48%.

There were no quarter-to-quarter quarter changes in top five company rankings, which were as follows:

–New York Life Insurance Co.: $1.7 billion

–Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America: $1.7 billion

–Aviva Life and Annuity Co.: $1.6 billion

–Western National Life Insurance Co.: $1.3 billion

–American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co.: $1 billion

By product type, Western National replaced New York Life as the quarter’s dominant issuer of book value annuities, says Beacon. American National led in MVA sales, replacing Hartford.

Credited rates fell during the second quarter, with top rates on multi-year guarantee annuities dropping from more than 4% to 3.75%, Beacon says.

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