Total sales of annuity products reached $219 billion in 2012 — the lowest level since 2005 — according to LIMRA, which released its top 20 list of annuity sellers Thursday.

Variable annuity sales hit $147 billion, and fixed annuity sales weighed in at $73 billion, LIMRA reported.

"Unlike historical trends, VA sales (down 7 percent in 2012) did not follow equity market growth, which increased 13 percent" in 2012, Joseph Montminy, assistant vice president and director of LIMRA Annuity Research, told AdvisorOne. "VA sales performance in 2012 was clearly influenced by companies' strategic management of their books of business—removing some products from the market, limiting additional contributions into existing contracts and revising features/pricing on GLB riders."

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2023. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.