NU Online News Service, July 8, 2004, 2:45 p.m. EDT

Protective Life Insurance Company, Birmingham, Ala., is introducing a variable annuity aimed at consumers who are saving for retirement.[@@]

The new ProtectiveRewards annuity offers an annual mortality and expense risk charge of 0.95%.

Rewards for long-time contract owners include a 2% persistency reward on the eighth contract anniversary; a 0.2% annual reward that will be paid on every contract anniversary from year 9 to year 15; and a 0.4% annual reward that will be paid on every contract anniversary from year 16 until the annuity begins paying out benefits.

The annuity will reward long-time holders who annuitize by paying a one-time 2% bonus to any holder who starts collecting benefits on or after the 10th contract anniversary, Protective Life Insurance says.

The annuity also provides a Minimum Annuity Value Benefit that guarantees a “minimum value upon annuitization on the seventh contract anniversary,” Protective Life Insurance says.

Protective Life Insurance, a unit of Protective Life Corp., is responsible for paying the persistency rewards and making good on other contract promises.