NU Online News Service, June 17, 2003, 10:48 a.m. EDT – Manulife USA, Boston, has updated the Guaranteed Retirement Income Program, an optional rider sold with its Venture family annuities.

The rider guarantees that, as long as a holder keeps assets in the annuity, income will grow at least 5% per year, or 3% per year up to age 85 for buyers who are 76 or older. The rider is supposed to protect customers against market losses while giving them a chance to enjoy some gains if the market goes up.

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Bloomfield Hills, Mich., backs the guarantees.

The new version of the rider, GRIP III, lets investors take small, regular withdrawals of cash for current needs without reducing the value of the future guaranteed lifetime income, Manulife USA says.

The cost of the rider is 0.50% of the income base per year.

Manulife USA is a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto.