New York Life Insurance has hired 100 staff to support sales of fixed annuities through the banks, on the heels of sales in this channel increasing 130% in 2008.

The number of internal sales specialists increased by 100%, regional wholesalers by 30%, retirement income specialists by 50% and other service staff by 40%.

“Sales of New York Life’s fixed annuities in the bank channel have surged, up 130%, and sales of income annuities almost doubled in 2008, fueling the need for growth in sales support,” said Andrew Reiss, vice president and national sales manager for New York Life’s bank channel. Combined, income annuity sales through all channels toped $1.2 billion in 2008. “Now more than ever, consumers are conscious of the need for a safe place to grow their retirement income.”

While the entire fixed annuity market did well in 2008, Reiss said, New York Life did exceptionally well—becoming the No. 1 provider of guaranteed lifetime income annuities—by adding new banks to its distribution. “New York Life is well positioned to continue on this robust pace and meet the growing demand from bank clients for prudent retirement options,” he added.

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