Since the last installment of our quarterly Annuity Product Update, four new products have been introduced to the market by Annuity Monitor firms and two firms have released new annuity investment fund options. Here is a look at the products that were released over the last three months by the annuity issuers we track:
Lincoln Financial – New Lincoln ChoicePlus Assurance and American Legacy Fund Options
Lincoln Financial launched seven new Lincoln ChoicePlus Assurance fund options and four new American Legacy fund options in late May. The new investment options seek to reduce exposure to market risks and enable clients to create a more diversified portfolio. The eleven new options are made up of asset allocation options, as well as individual asset class options, and are managed by several well-known asset managers, including BlackRock, Dimensional, Fidelity, MFS and SSgA.
MetLife – Shield Level Selector Single Premium Deferred Annuity
MetLife introduced the new Shield Level Selector annuity on May 1, 2013. The highly customizable annuity allows clients to allocate the purchase payment to a number of Shield Options. Each Shield Option is a combination of a level of protection (Shield Rate), index option, term length and either a Maximum Growth Opportunity or Step Rate option. The Shield Rate is the amount of protection clients will realize if index performance is negative at the end of the selected term – 1, 3 or 6 years in length – and include rates of 10%, 15%, 25% and 100%. The Maximum Growth Opportunity is the maximum percentage clients can earn for the term. The Step Rate, available with the Shield 10 or Shield 100 level of protection, enables clients to lock in a pre-determined percentage of growth when the index is either flat or up at the end of the term.
Nationwide – Destination Architect 2.0 Variable Annuity and Lifetime Income Track Benefit Rider
Nationwide unveiled the new Destination Architect 2.0 variable annuity and Lifetime Income Track benefit rider in mid-May. Key features of the new Destination Architect 2.0 annuity include aone-year enhanced death benefit rider, aSpousal Protection Feature (SPF), over 100 investment options and no surrender charges. The Lifetime Income Track rider features guaranteed lifetime income without annuitization, an annual step-up feature on the income benefit base, a joint option that allows income payments to continue for the contract owner’s spouse, lifetime withdrawal percentages based on the owner’s age and rider duration and underlying investment options with a maximum equity exposure of 70 percent and a minimum equity exposure of 40 percent.
Pacific Life – Pacific Choice Variable Annuity
Pacific Life introduced the Pacific Choice product to its line of variable annuity products at the very beginning of the second quarter. Key features of the new annuity include three withdrawal charge options – 0, 3 or 5 years – an optional stepped-up death benefit and guaranteed lifetime income choices.
Prudential – New Asset Allocation Portfolios
Prudential introduced six new asset allocation portfolios to its line of variable annuity investment choices in late May. The new asset allocation portfolios include the BlackRock iShares ETF Portfolio, Defensive Asset Allocation Portfolio, Franklin Templeton Founding Funds Plus Portfolio, Goldman Sachs Multi-Asset Portfolio, Prudential Growth Allocation Portfolio and RCM World Trends Portfolio.