NU Online News Service, May 2, 1:50 p.m. – The ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam, says its U.S. operations are introducing a new ING SmartDesign Multi-Rate Index Annuity contract.

The annuity appears to be the first indexed annuity available exclusively to registered representatives, ING says.

The annuity is a single-premium, modified guarantee deferred annuity that comes with a choice of three asset allocation strategies.

Each account offers a choice of a five-year, seven-year or 10-year term.

Investors can also choose between an account that offers a guaranteed, fixed interest rate for the term and an account with earnings tied to the performance of the S&P 500 index over the term.

A third account, the “annual indexed” account, ties earnings to the annual performance of the S&P 500 index. For this account, ING credits earnings each year, rather than waiting till the end of the term.

Investors can put assets for the same annuity in more than one account, but each account must have the same term, ING says.

The annuity is written by Golden American Life Insurance Company and distributed by Directed Services Inc.