Low Rates Haven't Stopped Annuities Sales

Many retirees crave the certainty that lifetime contracts provide
Illustration by Laurie Rollitt

Sales of immediate annuities hit a record $8.3 billion last year, according to data collected by the industry group Limra; in the late 1990s, they averaged less than a third of that. That alone wouldn’t be newsworthy, except that investors typically shun this type of financial product, which provides retirees with a secure stream of payments, when stocks are on their way up.

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