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Windsor, CT, August 25, 2006 — Individual annuity sales hit a U.S. record in the second quarter at $62.2 billion, a 10 percent increase over the same period in 2005, according to LIMRA International. Sales for the first half of 2006 were up 10 percent over first half 2005, reaching $119.3 billion.

"The record sales are due to strong growth in variable annuity sales, which were up 24 percent for the quarter at $42.7 billion, the highest quarter ever," said Eric Sondergeld, corporate vice president and head of LIMRA's Retirement Research. Year-to-date, VA sales grew 22 percent, reaching a total $81.8 billion.
 

Fixed annuity sales continued to decline, down 13 percent for the quarter. At $37.5 billion, fixed annuities are down 11 percent for the first half compared with 2005. Equity indexed annuities marked a fourth straight quarter of decline, down 18 percent from second quarter 2005.

While still representing a small segment, sales of income annuities showed solid growth through the first half. Variable immediate annuities were up 37 percent to $202 million and fixed immediate annuities were up 12 percent to $2.9 billion.

Among distribution channels, financial planners and independent broker-dealers showed the strongest total sales growth at 41 percent through the first half, followed by stockbrokers and career agents at 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Banks increased variable sales 28 percent but declined 24 percent in fixed sales for a net decline of 2 percent.
 
CONTACT:
Howard S. Drescher, (860) 285-7875, hdrescher@limra.com
Catherine Theroux, (860) 285-7787, ctheroux@limra.com

About LIMRA International
LIMRA International is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA International at www.limra.com

Media Contacts

Catherine Theroux

Director, Public Relations

Work Phone: (860) 285-7787

Mobile Phone: (703) 447-3257

ctheroux@limra.com

Brooke Lacey

Public Relations Specialist

Work Phone: (860) 298-3920

Mobile Phone: (413) 530-6184

blacey@limra.com