With the equity markets’ recent woes in the past, variable annuity sales perked up in 2010, according to the Insured Retirement Institute in Washington, D.C.

According to data compiled for IRI by Morningstar Inc., new sales were $136.6 billion in 2010, up 10.3% from 2009, when new sales totaled $123.9 billion. What’s more, assets reached an all-time high of $1.5 trillion, finally lifting the variable annuity industry above the pre-crisis levels of the third quarter of 2007.

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