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Insurance companies say they are happily nurturing a recent surge in sales of variable annuity contracts, fueled in part by low interest rates and by an aging generation of baby boomers planning for retirement. They say the future looks rosy too, with lively sales activity expected to continue over the next decade.
According to the Life Insurance Marketing Research Association's national figures (based on a survey of 36 insurance companies), variable product sales are 81 percent ahead of 1991 through the second quarter of this year.
Similarly, at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., variable annuity sales are up 84 percent for the year through September, compared to the same period in 1991.
Hancock's sales projections show that "the annuities marketplace will continue to grow at double-digit rates beyond the year 2000," said Joseph W. Buckley Jr., vice president and profit center manager of the retail annuities division.
And based on year-end projections, The New England has seen a …