NU Online News Service, June 27, 1:20 p.m.– Peoples Benefit Life Insurance Company, Valley Forge, Pa., will be giving purchasers of the Vanguard Variable Annuity the ability to pick from a menu of three different “unbundled” death benefit options.

Peoples Benefit, a unit of AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands, says the options will include an accumulated-value death benefit option, a return-of-premium option, and an annual step-up option.

The accumulated-value option would give annuitants purchasing it the right to leave beneficiaries the accumulated value of the annuity at the time of the annuitant’s death. The mortality and expense risk charge would be 0.20% of the contract assets.

The return-of-premium option would let the annuitant leave beneficiaries the sum of all contributions, less any partial withdrawals, if the sum of all contributions was greater than the annuity’s accumulated value. The charge for this option would be 0.25% of contract assets.

The annual step-up option would let annuitants leave beneficiaries the annuity’s highest accumulated value recorded on any contract anniversary up to the annuitant’s 80th birthday, less any partial withdrawals, if that value was higher than the sum of all contributions or the accumulated value at the time of the annuitant’s death. The charge for this option would be 0.32% of contract assets.

In addition to paying the mortality and expense risk charge, annuitants will pay a 0.10% administrative charge and management expense charges ranging from 0.18% to 0.51%, Peoples Benefit says.

Peoples Benefit sells the Vanguard Variable Annuity contract through The Vanguard Group, Valley Forge, a large mutual fund company.