METLIFE introduces, simple, lower-cost variable annuity
New product includes immediate lifetime withdrawals; automatic payment increases if positive market performance; diversified and professionally managed investments; and easy, three-page application
NEW YORK. — MetLife announced today the launch of its Simple SolutionsSM Variable Annuity (Simple Solutions) which is designed primarily for individuals who are nearing or in retirement. The product will be offered through banks, providing a new vehicle for financial advisors at those banks to help clients turn retirement assets into a stream of withdrawals they cannot outlive.
“The goal in creating Simple Solutions was to give individuals and the banks which serve them an easy-to-understand, lower-cost variable annuity with solid basic benefits,” said Kevin Crowe, managing director, Bank Channel with MetLife. “Bank representatives may traditionally sell fixed annuities, but this variable product offers additional benefits their clients may need, all packaged in an easy-to-explain product with a simple application.”
Simple Solutions addresses both the retirement income and safety considerations that motivate many of today’s retirees and soon-to-be retirees, aged 60-80. The new product offers:
* Guaranteed lifetime withdrawals of up to 6% of the initial investment, depending on the age of the client. These withdrawals will not decrease, regardless of market performance.
* Automatic annual increase in available guaranteed lifetime withdrawals if the market performs well with the ability to lock in these increases even if the market declines later.
* Three asset allocation portfolios and a money market portfolio managed by MetLife Advisers, LLC, two of which are sub-advised by American Funds. The portfolios provide an easy way to automatically diversify investments.
* Lower cost annuity: no front-end sales charge; annual $30 account fee waived for account values of $50,000 or more; 1.00% Mortality and Expense and Administration Charge; Lifetime Withdrawal Guarantee rider charge of 1.00% for Single Life version (maximum charge on step-up is 1.60%) or 1.20% for Joint Life version (maximum charge on step-up is 1.80%); and investment management fees ranging from .59%-1.12%.
“With only one income protection benefit, four investment options and a simple, three-page application, Simple Solutions is an easier variable annuity to explain,” said Crowe. “We designed this product to reach the bank clients who might not otherwise have a chance to look at what a variable annuity can do for them. So far, the response from financial institutions has been positive.”
Features in Detail
Built-In Lifetime Withdrawal Guarantee
Many variable annuities offer a variety of living and death benefit riders from which to choose. Simple Solutions has one rider built into the product. The Lifetime Withdrawal Guarantee rider enables individuals to take lifetime withdrawals of up to 6% of their initial investment each year if withdrawals begin after age 76. If a client begins withdrawals between ages 65 and 75, the individual may take up to 5% of their initial investment. If the client begins withdrawals before age 65, they may take up to 4% of their initial investment. The resulting withdrawal amounts are guaranteed to either remain the same or increase. Market declines will not cause a decrease.
If the client begins withdrawals prior to age 59˝, the individual can withdraw up to 4% of their initial investment each year until they have received at least every dollar invested. In this situation prior to age 59˝, lifetime withdrawals are not guaranteed.
Professionally Managed, Automatically Diversified Investments
Simple Solutions offers three diversified asset allocation portfolios managed by MetLife Advisers, LLC. This makes diversifying easy. The American Funds Balanced Allocation Portfolio and American Funds Moderate Allocation Portfolio offer target equity exposure of 65% and 50%, respectively, and combine the unique portfolio management process of American Funds with MetLife Advisers, LLC’s asset allocation experience. These portfolios invest directly in American Funds Insurance Series® funds. The MetLife Defensive Strategy Portfolio offers a target equity exposure of 35%, invests in portfolios from multiple investment managers and is managed by MetLife Advisers, LLC with Wilshire Funds Management serving as a consultant. Each of these three asset allocation portfolios is built using holdings-based analysis to offer maximum diversification. They are actively managed and rebalanced quarterly to help keep the client’s investment strategy on track. The BlackRock Money Market Portfolio is also available.
The Simple Solutions variable annuity is issued by MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company, 5 Park Plaza, Irvine, CA 92614 and in New York only by First MetLife Investors Insurance Company, 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166 (collectively and singly, MetLife Investors). Withdrawals of taxable amounts are subject to ordinary income tax and if made before age 59˝, may be subject to a 10% Federal income tax penalty. Withdrawals will reduce the living and death benefits and account value. Withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges. Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company. Prospectuses for the product and the investment portfolios are available at http://www.metlifeinvestors.com. The contract prospectus contains information about the contract’s features, risks, charges and expenses. The investment objectives, risks and policies of the investment options, as well as other information about the investment options, are described in their respective prospectuses. Please read the prospectuses and consider this information carefully before investing. Product availability and features may vary by state. Please refer to the contract prospectus for more complete details regarding the living and death benefits.
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