Sales of annuities rose 10 percent in the second quarter over the same period last year and were up 4 percent over the previous quarter, according to the Insured Retirement Institute.
"The second quarter data definitively show that this year will indeed be a record setting one for the industry," IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said in a press 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."
Annuities are investment products sold by life insurance companies. A fixed annuity offers a guaranteed rate of return; a variable annuity offers greater potential for returns but is riskier than a fixed annuity.
Sales of fixed annuities remained flat year-over-year at $20.4 billion, but were up 7.9 percent over sales in the previous quarter.
Variable annuity sales for the second quarter totaled $40 billion, up 15 percent form the second quarter 2010 and up 2 percent from the first quarter of this year. Sales of variable annuities reached the highest level since second quarter of 2008.