Variable annuity assets in the U.S. reached an all-time record of $1.5 trillion in 2010, with fourth-quarter sales rises 18% year-over-year to $37.6 billion, the Insured Retirement Institute announced Monday.

“The annuity industry ended 2010 on strong and secure footing, with fourth quarter sales reaching the highest levels of the entire year,” said IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford. “Variable annuity assets reached record levels, definitely demonstrating to consumers the value and significance that this investment can play in their overall retirement savings strategy.”

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