Total sales of fixed annuities across all channels rose 18% from the previous quarter to $19.4 billion in the second quarter, according to a report by Beacon Research, which tracks fixed-annuity sales.

“This is a nice increase, primarily due to spread advantages over Treasuries and CDs,” fixed annuities main competitors, says Jeremy Alexander, CEO of Beacon Research in Evanston, Ill. “Rates were more attractive to both consumers and carriers,” the latter of which buys bonds to cover guarantees on fixed annuities. When the spread between yields on fixed annuities and bonds is low, insurers often lower rates on their products to make them less attractive, because there isn’t much incentive to guarantee a fixed annuity rate is you’re only making 25 basis points or so profit on the bonds you buy to cover those guarantees.

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