NU Online News Service, March 20, 7:13 p.m. – GE Financial, Richmond, Va., is introducing a new variable annuity, the GE Retirement Answer annuity, through a sister company, GE Life and Annuity Assurance Company.

The fees and expenses for GE Retirement Answer are an annualized asset-based charge of 1.50%, and a portfolio management expense, currently 0.54%, which are deducted from assets in each sub-account daily.

Thirty companies have signed 60-day marketing agreements, GE Financial says.

The companies include large regional securities brokerage firms; the securities distribution arms of banking companies such as Wachovia Corp., Charlotte, N.C.; and H&R Block Financial Advisors Inc., an affiliate of H&R Block Inc., Kansas City, Mo.

The product will be available to more distributors in May, GE Financial says.

Both GE Financial and GE Life are affiliates of General Electric Company, Fairfield, Conn.