NU Online News Service, April 20, 2004, 5:11 p.m. EDT – Manulife USA, Boston, has introduced the Triple Protection Rider for use with its Venture family of variable annuities.[@@]

Account holders who buy the rider get 3 layers of protection.

One layer is a “graded death benefit” option that starts by guaranteeing the contract’s purchase payments. When a customer makes a payment, the payment will increase the death benefit by 10% of the amount of the payment for the first 5 years after the payment is made.

A second layer of protection, an “annual step-up” option, will lock in the highest contract value on any contract date through age 80.

A third layer of protection, an “enhanced earnings death benefit,” will provide an additional 50% of contract earnings in excess of 150% of payments, Manulife says.

The maximum issue age for the T-Pro rider is age 70 or younger. Customers cannot use the rider together with other optional Manulife VA living benefit or death benefit riders.

Manulife USA, which has its official headquarters in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is issuing the rider and backing the rider guarantees. The company notes that withdrawals may cut the guaranteed amounts.