The pace of variable annuity product changes slowed in the third quarter, according to the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI).

Insurers filed 62 material changes to variable annuity products in the third quarter, down from 87 changes in the third quarter of 2009, according to IRI, Washington.

Insurers issued 19 new benefits and 9 new products during the latest quarter, and they made 10 fee changes.

IRI found that 9 of the 11 new living benefits released in the third quarter were guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits.

All told, 20 new contracts were issued in the quarter. Among them was a new long term care benefit rider from a unit of Lincoln National Corp., Radnor, Pa. (NYSE:LNC). The rider will pay a monthly amount for long term care expenses up to 3 times the initial purchase amount.

- Trevor Thomas