NU Online News Service, July 26, 4:15 p.m. – Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Simsbury, Conn., is moving to bring skittish investors back to variable annuities by introducing the Principal First principal-guarantee rider.
The rider protects cash invested in Hartford’s variable annuities, assuring investors that they will get back at least as much as they put in, Hartford says.
Investors can pay to protect some of their investment gains as well as the initial principal after the fifth contract year, Hartford adds.
The rider comes with a number of restrictions, such as a limit on withdrawals — investors lose the principal guarantee if they withdraw more than 7% of the amount invested in any one year.
But Hartford is hoping the rider will appeal to VA investors who want some protection even when the stock market performs poorly.
“It will help investors who want to have confidence in the safety of an investment to get back into the equity markets,” says Bruce Ferris, a vice president of Hartford’s investment products unit.