Variable annuity redesign led by US innovation

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The mix of transparently priced guarantees and a wide range of underlying investments made variable annuities (VAs) one of the success stories of the life insurance sector in North America and Japan. US-based insurance industry lobby group, Limra, estimated sales in the country peaked at more than $265 billion (£184 billion) dollars in 2008.

But the high level of consumer interest in this product in the years leading up to the financial crisis also set off an arms race among insurers to offer

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