Variable annuity net new sales are expected to surge in the coming years after taking a dive in 2012, according to research firm Cerulli Associates.

So far, progress has been marginal, but Cerulli believes things are going to change. In a recent report, the group states that variable net new sales will reach $22 billion by 2018, an increase from 2012 by 57%. The company points to new product development and reinvestment among insurers in other business lines as the main causes of expected growth.

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