Fourth quarter 2013 U.S. annuity sales are up 17.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a report by The Insured Retirement Institute.

Increased fixed and variable annuity sales during the fourth quarter pushed industry-wide sales to $59.3 billion, up 3.1 percent from the prior quarter's sales of $57.5 billion and up 17.2 percent from fourth quarter 2012 sales of $50.6 billion.

For the year, annuity sales increased 4.2 percent to $220.9 billion from $212 billion the previous year.

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