IRI logoFollowing the Insured Retirement Institute’s announcement on Aug. 17 that variable annuity sales increased 23% in the first quarter of 2011, the organization announced that second quarter annuity sales are up again.

The organization said Wednesday that second-quarter sales increased 10% from the second quarter of 2010 to over $60 billion. Sales increased from the first quarter as well, rising 4%.

IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford was confident about the rest of 2011.

“The second quarter data definitively show that this year will indeed be a record setting one for the industry,” she said in a statement. “This expansive growth not only demonstrates the growing interest in insured retirement strategies, but also reflects the long-term confidence that investors are increasingly placing in these products.”

Variable annuities rose slightly from the first quarter, increasing by 2% to $40 billion. Compared to second-quarter 2010 sales, variable annuities are up 15%.

Fixed annuity sales rose almost 8% over first quarter sales to over $20 billion, while year-to-year sales were flat.