Second-quarter annuity sales jumped 9.9 percent to nearly $54.5 billion from $49.6 billion in the first quarter.

On the flip side, although the Insured Retirement Institute reported that annuity sales are up, they are still slightly down, 1.4 percent, from the $55.3 billion in sales in the second quarter of 2012.

Fixed-annuity sales rose to their highest quarterly level since the fourth quarter of 2011, topping $17.14 billion. That was an increase of 14.6 percent from just under $15 billion in the first quarter and up 0.2 percent from the $17.1 billion in the second quarter of 2012, according to Beacon Research.

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