Guaranteed living benefits are driving sales of variable annuities, Milliman found, with 96% of those sold in 2008 including GLBs, up from 87% that had GLBs in 2004.

Existing policyholders also gravitated to GLBs, with 69% purchasing them in 2008, up from 52% in 2004.

There are four types of GLBs: guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIBs), guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (GMWBs), guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) and guaranteed minimum accumulation benefits (GMABs). GLWBs have been gaining in popularity, accounting for 93% of all GLB sales. Conversely, GMWBs have been decreasing in popularity.

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