Life-changing deals

Variable annuities


US life insurers have reaped decent rewards from sales of variable annuity products in recent years. Total sales of these products, which are in effect equity mutual fund-like investments in a tax-deferred wrapper, amounted to $160 billion last year in the US alone.

Increasingly, these products are sold with embedded riders - contractual features guaranteeing a lump-sum or income payments for the insured person or their beneficiaries, irrespective of underlying investment performance.

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