NU Online News Service, Feb. 23, 2004, 9:45 p.m. EST – Minnesota Life Insurance Company, St. Paul, Minn., says it now feels comfortable offering a variable annuity income guarantee option.[@@]

The insurer has introduced a guarantee option for its MultiOption Advisor variable annuity. The option increases the value of the benefits that Minnesota Life will guarantee at least 5%.

If the value of an annuity is up more than 5% on an anniversary, then customers who buy the income guarantee option can lock in the anniversary value.

The cost of the guarantee option is 0.5% of the value of the variable investments within the annuity, Minnesota Life says.

Minnesota Life is responsible for backing the option guarantees.

Many other insurers introduced income guarantee options years ago. Minnesota Life says it decided to enter the VA income market now because the market now appears to be more rational.