NU Online News Service, May 9, 2003, 12:15 p.m. EDT – Scudder Investments, Chicago, is making versions of its Scudder Wealthmark and Scudder Wealthmark ML3 variable annuities available in New York state.

Scudder has worked with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company of New York, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, to develop the New York versions of the annuities.

Manulife New York will issue and administer the annuities, which are flexible-payment, deferred contracts that combine fixed and annuity features, Scudder says.

New York customers can choose between two Guaranteed Retirement Income Benefit riders. The riders, which cost 0.30% and 0.45% of assets, provide contractholders with a guaranteed minimum income stream for life regardless of how the investment options perform.

The guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of Manulife New York, Scudder says.

The minimum initial purchase payment for the Scudder Wealthmark annuity is $2,000 for annuities purchased for retirement accounts and $5,000 for other contracts.

The minimum initial payment for the Scudder Wealthmark ML3 annuity, which has a three-year withdrawal charge, is $10,000.

Scudder is a unit of Deutsche Bank A.G., Frankfurt.