Year-over-year annuity sales are up overall, but variable annuities are still in negative territory.

Industry-wide annuity sales reached $56.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Insured Retirement Institute, which compiled data from Morningstar and Beacon Research. This is up 13.1% compared with the first quarter of 2013, when sales totaled $49.6 billion, but down from the fourth quarter of 2013, when total annuity sales hit $59.3 billion.

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