NU Online News Service, Nov. 29, 2004, 5:35 p.m. EST

A Northeastern insurer is adding to its variable annuity menu.[@@]

New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corp. has introduced the LifeStages Premium Plus Elite variable annuity, a product that offers an upfront premium credit, a new fee structure and a variety of investment options.

The product gives policyholders an advance premium credit equal to 3% to 5% of the policyholder’s total accumulated premiums, with the percentage increasing as the total accumulated premiums rise.

The product also offers a level-fee structure for mortality and expense risk and administrative costs. This means the fee is unaffected by any potential investment growth or loss, in effect guaranteeing that customers will not pay extra if they realize any gains on their policy, NYLIAC says.

Investment choices range from a conservative fixed account to aggressively managed funds.

The LifeStages VA contract also offers a guaranteed death benefit.

New York Life set a minimum premium requirement for a non-qualified LifeStages policy at $5,000.

NYLIAC is a unit of New York Life Insurance Company, New York.