What is an annuity?An annuity is a long-term financial product designed for retirement purposes. It can help those approaching or those already in retirement make the most of their retirement assets. In simplest terms, an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company that lets you pursue the accumulation of assets on a tax-deferred basis. If you are buying an annuity to fund a qualified plan or IRA, you should do so for the annuity's features other than tax deferral. That's because tax deferral is not an additional benefit of the annuity. References throughout this material to tax advantages, such as tax deferral and tax-free transfers, are subject to this consideration. Different annuities offer different investment options that have the potential to grow and insurance features that offer some protection. Annuities are not suitable for everyone, but may be a good choice for those who want an income stream throughout their retirement.
How does MetLife Shield Level Selector differ from other annuity products?All annuities are different. They’re designed to meet the needs of different types of investors. MetLife Shield Level Selector was specifically designed by MetLife to give you more flexibility in choosing a balance between protection and growth potential. With it, you can choose to protect your Account Value at 10%, 15%, 25% or 100% of index loss at the end of a Term while maintaining corresponding growth potential. Your account value will be reduced by any negative performance beyond the level of protection. If you do not elect Shield 100 or the Fixed Account, you could conceivably see a risk of substantial loss if the index declines more than your level of protection.
Shield 100 is not available in NY, TX or CA.
Is there a purchase payment minimum?Yes, there is a $25,000 minimum for non-qualified and qualified contracts. The MetLife Shield Level Selector is a Single Premium Deferred Annuity and you can only make one Purchase Payment.
What Terms are available? What happens after each term?1-, 3- and 6-year terms are available; all terms offer different levels of protection and index options. At the end of each term, you have the flexibility to choose one or more new Shield Options or remain in your current choices or choose the Fixed Account, if available. The Fixed Account may not be available in all states. After the initial term (1, 3 or 6 years), renewal rates are declared on the corresponding Contract Anniversary for the new term. Renewal rates and available Shield Options may differ from new business rates and Shield options. MetLife may substitute any index at any time.
Are there any required fees?There are no annual or daily contract fees with this product with the trade-off that you may not be able to take full advantage of positive index performance in good markets.
What happens if a withdrawal is taken?You have the flexibility to withdraw your Account Value at any time. Starting in the second year, you may withdraw up to 10% of your Account Value each year without penalty. After six years, you’ll have full access to your Account Value with no Withdrawal Charges.
What is the Withdrawal Charge schedule?Withdrawal Charge: 6 Years - The withdrawal charge is applied on amounts withdrawal in excess of the Free Withdrawal Amount in a Contract Year.
|Charge per Withdrawal||9%||8%||8%||7%||6%||5%||0%|
|(New York Only)||7%||7%||6%||6%||5%||5%||0%|
What happens if a withdrawal is taken during the term?If you take a withdrawal before the end of your Term, your Investment Amount will be reduced by the same percentage that the withdrawal reduces your interim value.
What is an ‘interim value’?This is the value we assign on any Business Day prior to the Term End Date for each Shield Option. During the Transfer Period, the Interim Value of each Shield Option will equal the Investment Amount in that Shield Option. After the Transfer Period, the Interim Value of that Shield Option is equal to the Investment Amount in the Shield Option, adjusted for the Index Performance of the associated Index and subject to the applicable Accrued Shield Rate, Accrued Cap Rate or Accrued Step Rate. The Interim Value is the amount that is available for annuitization, death benefits, withdrawals and Surrenders.
What are the tax benefits?Yes, MetLife Shield Level Selector is a tax-deferred annuity, which means you don’t have to pay taxes on earnings until you withdraw them or they are distributed. With tax deferral, your annuity has the potential to compound and accumulate faster because any earnings remain in your contract.
If you are buying an annuity to fund a qualified retirement plan or IRA, you should do so for the annuity’s features and benefits other than tax deferral. In such cases, tax deferral is not an additional benefit of the annuity. References throughout this material to tax advantages, such as tax deferral and tax-free transfers, are subject to this consideration.
What flexibility do I have to change my Shield level of protection or index?After the initial Term (1, 3 or 6 years), renewal rates are declared on the corresponding contract anniversary for the new Term. You may transfer from a Shield Option to another Shield Option and, if available, the Fixed Account, only during the 5 calendar day period following a Contract Anniversary coinciding with the end of the Shield Option Term.
Renewal rates and available Shield Options may differ from new business rates and Shield Options. Indices may be changed at MetLife’s sole discretion and the use of an Index may be terminated by MetLife at any time.
Are death benefits available?
Yes. The standard death benefit equals the Account Value at death. There is also an optional Return of Premium death benefit which pays the greater of your purchase payments (reduced proportionately for withdrawals) or your Account Value. If you choose the optional Return of Premium Death Benefit, you will receive a lower Maximum Growth Opportunity or lower Step Rate (but no more than 60% lower) and in no event lower than the contract minimum for the life of the contract.
Shield 100 Shield Options are not available in CA, NY or TX. The Fixed Account is not available in all states. Please contact your financial professional for details.
The prospectus for the MetLife Shield Level SelectorSM annuity issued by a MetLife insurance company (MetLife) is available from MetLife. The contract prospectus contains information about the contract’s features, risks, charges and expenses. Clients should read the prospectus 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 optional Return of Premium Death Benefit. MetLife reserves the right to substitute any index at any time.
MetLife Shield Level Selector is a long-term investment designed for retirement purposes and has limitations, exclusions, charges, termination provisions and terms for keeping it in force. There is a risk of substantial loss of principal for losses beyond the Shield Rate you select, because you agree to absorb all losses that exceed your chosen Shield Rate. Please refer to “Risk Factors” in the contract prospectus for more details. All contract guarantees, including the optional death benefit and annuity payout rates, are backed by the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by the broker/dealer from which this annuity is purchased, by the insurance agency from which this annuity is purchased or any affiliates of those entities, and none makes any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company. Similarly, the issuing insurance company and the underwriter do not back the financial strength of the broker/dealer or its affiliates. Please contact your financial professional for complete details.
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. Some broker/dealers and financial professionals may refer to the 10% Federal income tax penalty as an “additional tax” or “additional income tax,” or use the terms interchangeably when discussing withdrawals taken prior to age 59½. Distributions of taxable amounts from a non-qualified annuity may also be subject to the 3.8% Unearned Income Medicare Contribution tax that is generally imposed interest, dividends, and annuity income if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds the applicable threshold amount. Withdrawals will reduce the living and death benefits and account value. Withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges.
MetLife Shield Level Selector Single Premium Deferred Annuity is issued by MetLife Insurance Company USA on Policy Form L-22494 (09/12) and in New York, only by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on Policy Form ML-22494 (09/12) (collectively and singly, “MetLife”). This product is distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company (member FINRA). All are MetLife companies. www.metlife.com/shield