Rates paid on annuities sold through banks dropped sharply in August, to an average of 5.05%.

It was the second consecutive monthly decline. The average was 5.13% in July and 5.17% in June.

The bonus rate paid to new investors also slid, to 5.90%, from 6.01% in July, and 6.02% in June.

Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J., calculates the a\erage rates by surveying top annuity companies.

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