According to an article on Bloomgberg.com, variable annuity sales fell the most in 12 quarters. MetLife and other carriers scaled back their sales due to the low interest rate environment as well as stock market volatility. Because variable annuities offer guarantees while at the same time allowing the client to invest in the equities, they are particularly risky for insurance carriers. Some variable annuity carriers like Hartford are offering buyouts to clients with income riders. It will be interesting to see the future of variable annuities as we continue to stay in a low interest rate environment which will limit the guarantees offered while also raising the fees for the offerings.