Security Benefit Bulks Up VA Options

The investment lineup of Security Benefit Corporation’s EliteDesigns variable annuity has been expanded by 71 fund options to help advisers manage market volatility.

Advisers have been asking for investment options that address volatility and tax efficiency, said Michael K. Reidy, vice president and national sales manager of the RIA and independent broker-dealer advisory channel at Security Benefit.

The addition of fixed-income, asset-allocation, global/international and alternative portfolios from fund managers like Dimensional Fund Advisors and JPMorgan, and new underlying funds from existing partners like Guggenheim Investments will provide flexibility for advisers, Reidy said.

The investment subaccount additions bring the total number of variable account options for the low-cost, fee-only EliteDesigns Variable Annuity to 269.

Other managers of the portfolios are Fidelity Investments, Ibbotson Investments, Innealta Capital, Pioneer Investments, Putnam Investments and Western Asset Management. EliteDesigns gives advisers and their clients a choice of 38 nationally known asset managers investing across 36 Morningstar categories.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer these brand-new portfolios from investment firms that advisers respect,” Reidy said. He cited Dimensional Fund Advisors, which has more than $250 billion in assets under management, as the fund family to which advisers were most committed for three years running, according to a Cogent Research ranking.

The expansion is timely in light of impending increases to personal income tax rates and the current investment environment, Reidy noted. As investors, particularly those in the top tax brackets, look for cost-effective means to mitigate tax hikes, he feels EliteDesigns may make it easier for advisers to offer a customizable solution that could also help investors reach long-term investment goals.

EliteDesigns combines tax deferral with a fee structure well below that of the average variable annuity and imposes no surrender charges, redemption fees or trading limits (trading rules apply to certain subaccounts).

The increased number and variety of EliteDesigns’ nontraditional and low-correlated investment options, such as the more than 50 alternative strategies, will be useful in creating meaningful strategic and tactical asset allocations that better address investors’ loss aversion in the current post-crisis environment, Reidy said.

More information about EliteDesigns is here.

Security Benefit is a Guggenheim Partners company and provider of retirement savings and income vehicles.