METLIFE INCREASES COMPOUNDING INCOME BASE COMPONENT TO 6% ON GMIB PLUS/PREDICTOR PLUS RIDER WITH VARIABLE ANNUITIES
NEW YORK, February 27, 2007
MetLife announced today that it increased the compounding income base component to 6%, up from 5%, on its enhanced Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit riders (GMIB PlusSM and Predictor PlusSM). The 6% compounding income base (known as the annual increase amount*) is used to calculate future minimum income payments, and gives customers the ability to generate potentially increased lifetime income payments, regardless of market conditions.
"Since the launch of MetLife’s GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider, we have continued to make enhancements designed to improve on the flexibility and benefits inherent in this optional living benefit rider," said Lisa S. Kuklinski, vice president and actuary, Individual Annuities, MetLife.
"More and more, Americans are worried about having enough money in retirement, and by increasing the compounding income base to 6%, we are helping our customers achieve higher levels of guaranteed income. This can help them preserve their lifestyle during retirement," Kuklinski added.
The GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider, originally launched in 2005, is designed to offer guaranteed income for life. With the rider, the contract owner has the choice of receiving income based upon the rider (the higher of the 6% compounding income base prior to the owner’s 86th birthday or the highest anniversary value income base prior to the owner’s 81st birthday) or the regular provisions of the contract, whichever would produce more income.
In addition to the 6% compounding income base, the GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider continues to allow customers to:
- Accumulate potentially more retirement income in down markets. The 6% compounding income base initially equals the customer’s initial purchase payment and, beginning immediately, compounds at 6% regardless of what happens in the market. The income base will compound until either the contract anniversary prior to the contract owner’s 86th birthday, or until he or she begins taking lifetime income payments under the rider or the regular provisions of the contract, whichever is earlier.
- Withdraw 6% each year of the beginning of the year income base, instead of 5%, starting immediately to maintain their income base. While the GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus is designed for a customer to annuitize, it has the flexibility to allow customers to make withdrawals adjusted on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Withdrawals up to 6% reduce the compounding income base on a dollar-for-dollar basis. If withdrawals exceed 6% in a calendar year, they will reduce the income base on a proportionate basis.
- Lock-in and protect their retirement income in up markets. If the account value increases due to market gains, customers may increase the 6% compounding income base each year up to the current account value. If customers elect an automatic step-up option, the increase will occur automatically over the next 7 contract anniversaries if the account value has increased above the income base. With each step-up, the 10-year wait to exercise the GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider also resets and the rider charge may increase.
GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus is available at contract issue (through age 75) with MetLife variable annuities for an annual additional charge of 0.80% of the highest income base (up to a maximum of 1.50% upon optional step-up). The rider must be exercised by the contract anniversary prior to the owner’s 86th birthday. GMIB Plus is available with variable annuities issued through MetLife Investors. Predictor Plus is available with variable annuities sold by the MetLife and New England Financial sales forces.
* In the prospectus and GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider, the Highest Anniversary Value income base is referred to as the Highest Anniversary Value or the Highest Account Balance at each Contract Anniversary, the 6% Compounding income base is referred to as the Annual Increase Amount and the Income Base is defined as the greater of the two.
Variable annuities are offered by prospectus only, which is available from a registered representative. A customer should carefully consider the product’s features, risks, charges and expenses, and the investment objectives, risks and policies of the underlying portfolios, as well other information about the underlying funding choices. Amounts allocated to the variable investment options of an account balance are subject to market fluctuations, and when withdrawn or annuitized, may be worth more or less than their original value. The principal value and rate of return in a variable annuity will fluctuate due to market conditions. Therefore, at any point in time, the value of the annuity contract may be worth more or less than the owner’s actual investment in the contract. There is no guarantee that any of the variable options in this product will meet their stated goals or objectives. This and other information is available in the prospectus, which a customer should read carefully before investing. Product availability and features may vary by state. All variable annuity product guarantees, including those associated with GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider, are based on the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company. Withdrawals and income payments are subject to ordinary income taxes. Withdrawals before age 59½ may be subject to a 10% penalty tax.
About MetLife Investors
The MetLife Investors group of insurers, together with its other affiliated insurance companies offer individual life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance products and services through third party intermediaries including wirehouses, independent planners, broker dealers and banks. Products are distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company, Irvine, CA.
MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc.(NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com.
The information in this press release is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This press release supports the promotion and marketing of insurance products. Customers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
Like most annuity contracts, those contracts issued by MetLife and its affiliates contain fees, surrender charges, and holding periods and terms for keeping the contract in force. Customers should consult their qualified tax or legal professional before making an investment decision.
Prospectuses for MetLife’s or any of its affiliated insurance companies individual variable annuities and the underlying investment options can be obtained by contacting an authorized MetLife, MetLife Investors or New England Financial representative. MetLife’s variable annuities are issued and distributed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 200 Park Avenue New York, NY 10166, MetLife Investors variable annuity products are issued by MetLife Investors Insurance Company, and MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company (subsidiaries of MetLife, Inc.), 5 Park Plaza, Irvine, CA, 92614 and distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company, and New England Financial variable annuities are issued by New England Life Insurance Company (a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc.) and distributed by New England Securities, 501 Boylston Street Boston, MA, 02116.