METLIFE LAUNCHES FORWARD-THINKING RETIREMENT INCOME STRATEGY
– New variable annuity features offer more guaranteed income and help provide more consistent returns over time –
NEW YORK, May 2, 2011 – MetLife today launched its optional Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit Max (GMIB Max) and Enhanced Death Benefit Max (EDB Max) variable annuity riders with Protected Growth Strategies. These new offerings are purpose-built by MetLife to help provide clients more guaranteed income and more consistent returns over time.
“Many of today’s investors are confused and skeptical,” said Robert E. Sollmann, Jr., executive vice president and head of Retirement Products, MetLife. “Despite the market recovery, many people continue to be worried that volatility could compromise their future retirement security. It’s led many to sit on the sidelines. We are very excited about our strategy for giving investors the confidence to put their retirement savings to work in the market.”
Even as the stock market rebounded earlier this year, 75% of Baby Boomers and 88% of financial advisors say that they remain concerned about market volatility, according to a recent MetLife poll. In addition, 54% of Baby Boomers cited 10% or less as their comfort zone for volatility (defined as sharp swings in value up or down over brief periods), and one-fourth of Boomers were only at ease with swings of 5% or less.
The GMIB Max and EDB Max riders with Protected Growth Strategies offer clients a combination of forward-thinking investment strategies along with flexible benefits. The GMIB Max and EDB Max offer clients 6% compounded growth and 6% withdrawals per year of the benefit base and the same real-life flexibility as MetLife’s popular GMIB Plus and Enhanced Death Benefit riders, both of which will continue to be offered. Clients can adapt to changing circumstances by starting and stopping withdrawals at any time, without losing the compounding feature. These riders also provide flexibility and choice for surviving spouses.
Clients who elect the GMIB Max and/or EDB Max may invest in one or more of the four Protected Growth Strategy portfolios and/or an intermediate government bond portfolio. The Protected Growth Strategies are designed to manage risk while identifying opportunities for growth. These portfolios do so through investment strategies similar to those utilized primarily by institutions and endowments.
“The Protected Growth Strategies are professionally managed investment portfolios that are specially designed to reduce risk and provide protection against extreme market swings. Each portfolio is customized and well-diversified, employing a wide range of investments seeking to help clients make steady progress toward their retirement goals,” said Elizabeth M. Forget, senior vice president, MetLife.
“Over the past 18 months, MetLife has invested significant resources in the research and development of GMIB Max and EDB Max with Protected Growth Strategies, leveraging the firm’s expertise in risk management and commitment to the retirement income marketplace,” she added.
The Protected Growth Strategies are advised by leading asset management firms and include:
- AllianceBernstein Global Dynamic Allocation Portfolio, sub-advised by AllianceBernstein, L.P.
- AQR Global Risk Balanced Portfolio, sub-advised by AQR Capital Management, LLC
- BlackRock Global Tactical Strategies Portfolio, sub-advised by BlackRock
- MetLife Balanced Plus Portfolio, advised by MetLife Advisers, LLC with an overlay sleeve sub-advised by PIMCO
Clients also have the ability to invest in the Pyramis® Government Income Portfolio, sub-advised by Pyramis Global Advisors.
“Combining four forward-thinking investment approaches with MetLife’s demonstrated risk management expertise and flexible benefits, our new offering is designed to help people live more comfortably and retire more confidently,” Sollmann concluded.
GMIB Max is available for 1.00% of the benefit base as an annual charge deducted from the account value. Upon an optional step-up of the benefit base, the charge may increase up to a maximum of 1.50%. EDB Max complements GMIB Max since the benefit base is determined in the same manner under both riders. EDB Max is available for 0.60% of the benefit base for issue ages 69 or younger or 1.15% of the benefit base for issue ages 70-75 as an annual charge from the account value. Upon an optional step-up of the death benefit base, the charge may increase up to a maximum of 1.50%.
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
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The above descriptions of the Max riders and the Protected Growth Strategies are only brief summaries. Detailed descriptions of the terms of the riders and portfolios appear in the related prospectuses. Variable annuities are offered by prospectus only, which is available from a registered representative. A client 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 value 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 prospectuses, 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 Max and EDB Max, are based on the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company.
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 these annuity riders and portfolios. Clients should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
MetLife, its agents, and representatives may not give legal or tax advice. Any discussion of taxes herein or related to this document is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Tax law is subject to interpretation and legislative change. Tax results and the appropriateness of any product for any specific taxpayer may vary depending on the facts and circumstances. You should consult with and rely on your own independent legal and tax advisors regarding your particular set of facts and circumstances.
Withdrawals of taxable amounts are subject to ordinary income tax and, if made before age 59½, 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.
Variable annuities other than Preference Premier® are issued by MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company on Policy Form Series 8010 (11/00); 5 Park Plaza, Suite 1900, Irvine, CA 92614 and in New York, only by First MetLife Investors Insurance Company on Policy Form Series 6010 (02/02); 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166. The Preference Premier variable annuity is issued by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on Policy Form Series PPS (07/01); 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166. Preference Premier is offered through MetLife Securities, Inc. and New England Securities Corporation; both at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. All products are distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company; 5 Park Plaza, Suite 1900, Irvine, CA 92614. All are MetLife companies.
Pyramis is a registered service mark of FMR LLC. Used under license.