MetLife Expands Distribution of Deferred Income Annuity

MetLife has renamed its Personal Income Builder deferred income annuity to Longevity Income Guarantee (LIG), and has made it available through MetLife Investors, the company’s independent distribution arm.

LIG is designed to help clients maximize, protect, and guarantee income for life in retirement, MetLife said in a news release. Lisa S. Kuklinski, vice president and actuary, Individual Annuities, MetLife, said incorporating longevity in the name was to more closely align the solution to the risk offset in people’s minds.

LIG is available in two versions – Flexible Access Version (FAV) and Maximum Income Version (MIV), and either version can be funded through a lump-sum payment or incremental purchase payments (a minimum of $2,500 initial purchase payment with $500 subsequent payments).

The Flexible Access Version offers a death benefit to named beneficiaries should the owner die before taking the LIG income. Beneficiaries will receive a death benefit equal to purchase payments compounded at 3% annually.

The FAV also includes current income options to suit individual needs, such as payments for life and that of a spouse or partner, or payments for life guaranteed for a specified number of years, in addition to liquidity in the form of a one-time partial or full withdrawal from the contract within 60 days following the income start date, according to the announcement. The income option can be selected when income starts, and is not locked in on the issue date.

The product also offers clients the option of beginning to take income between age 50 to 85 after a two-year waiting period. Like the income option, the income start date is not locked in on the issue date. The client can start income whenever the need arises, subject to the above constraints.

The Maximum Income Version contrarily, does not offer a flexible start date, death benefit, or liquidity, and is an option for individuals who can meet their retirement needs before age 85, but do not need a death benefit or a flexible withdrawal option within their annuity contract. Future income payments are based on annuity purchase rates available on the day a client makes a purchase payment into LIG.

Elizabeth M. Forget, senior vice president, MetLife, responsible for marketing and product management for MetLife Investors, said in the release: “LIG is an exciting addition to our suite of annuity offerings to third party distributors, because it offers clients the ability to “buy’ guaranteed lifetime income today that will begin at a certain date in the future. Knowing how much income they’ll receive and when they’ll receive it helps clients establish an income planning time horizon so they know how long their assets need to last. This can help clients and their advisers plan more efficiently.’

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