Sales of variable annuities increased 3% in the fourth quarter to $32.6 billion from the previous quarter, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Annuities quarterly sales survey, in a quarter that saw overall annuity sales drop.

“The last time VA sales were at this level was in 2003, at the end of the last financial crisis,” LIMRA research director Joe Montminy said. “While we are seeing VAs slowly recover, the recovery is slower than expected.”

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