After boasting double-digit growth last year, total variable annuity sales fell 6% in the first quarter to $28.1 billion, according to Limra’s U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey.

Traditional variable annuity (VA) sales were down 11% year-over-year to $18.5 billion in the first quarter. Registered index-linked annuity (RILA) sales, which had consistently been enjoying double-digit growth, grew only 5% to $9.6 billion in the first quarter.

Last year, VA sales in the fourth quarter, helped by strong equity market growth, jumped 17% from the prior year to $32.3 billion. Total VA sales in 2021 were $125.6 billion, 27% higher than the prior year. Traditional VA sales also recorded 13% growth from 2020 to $21.7 billion in the fourth quarter. For the year, sales totaled $86.6 billion, up 16% from 2020. That, Limra noted, ended nine years of decline.

Variable annuities are sometimes compared to mutual funds because they offer similar investment features. The rate of return changes with the stock, bond and money market funds that you choose as investment options.

The top 10 issuers and their respective first-quarter sales are as follows:

10. New York Life $1.283 billion
Founded in 1845, New York Life is one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. It also is the largest mutual life insurance company in the U.S.