MetLife Rolls Out Deferred Annuity

Shield Level Selector, a single premium deferred annuity, was launched by MetLife to address protection from loss, and help with growth opportunities.

Investors can customize levels of protection, maintain growth opportunities and flexibly allocate purchase payments. Shield Level Selector addresses the need for a tax-deferred investment with some protection during the accumulation phase.

Designed for investors seeking tax-deferred growth potential and some protection, Shield Level Selector allows investors to transfer some or all downside risk to MetLife while still maintaining the opportunity for growth potential. Investors can select the level of protection they want, based on their risk tolerance.

The first level, Shield 10, protects against the first 10% loss (that is, if the index is down 12%, MetLife absorbs the first 10% index loss and the investor’s account value goes down only by 2%).

“Investors know they need to grow their retirement assets, but are wary of the market,” said Elizabeth Forget, senior vice president at MetLife. “In a recent survey, we found that over one-third of consumers would feel more comfortable investing if they were protected from a loss of up to 10%.” More than two-thirds would be motivated to put their money back to work with a downside cushion of up to 25%, according to Forget.

Shield Level Selector features include:

  • A variety of Shield Options, each consisting of a level of protection, index and term. Investors can elect to have MetLife absorb the first 10%, 15%, 25% or 100% of index loss.
  • Investors can link potential earnings to five index options, up to a predetermined Maximum Growth Opportunity: S&P 500 Index, Russell 2000 Index, NASDAQ-100 Index, MSCI EAFE Index and/or the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index. Shield Level Selector does not invest directly in any index.
  • Step Rate options let investors lock in a predetermined percentage of growth if the index is either flat or up at the end of the term.
  • One-, three- and six-year terms. (Not all indices or terms are available with each level of protection.)
  • A standard death benefit or an optional Return of Premium Death Benefit.

“Shield Level Selector gives investors the flexibility to make informed decisions about how to allocate a portion of their retirement assets,” Forget said. “They can choose from different levels of protection, indices, and time frames. Then, at the end of each term, they can revisit their choices and adapt to changing market conditions based on their personal risk tolerance.”

More information on MetLife Shield Level Selector is here.