NU Online News Service, Jan. 20, 2005, 3:25 p.m. EST

A Carmel, Ind., company is offering one new life product with a guaranteed interest rate and a second product with a return tied to the performance of either stocks or fixed-income securities.[@@]

The company, Conseco Inc., says its Conseco Insurance Company unit has started marketing the AssetBuilder and AssetBuilder Plus universal life products.

The AssetBuilder product is aimed at consumers who want to build up cash over many years. The second product offers an annual interest rate guarantee of 2%.

The AssetBuilder Plus product is similar in many respects, but it is a UL policy with fluctuating crediting rates. Purchasers can choose between tying policy performance to the performance of the S&P 500 stock index and the performance of a basket of fixed-income securities.

AssetBuilder Plus purchasers who choose the S&P 500 option get an annual rate guarantee of 2%, and purchasers of the fixed-income option get a guaranteed rate of 2% along with the possibility of receiving an interest rate bonus of 0.5 percentage points starting in the 16th policy year.

Purchasers of the products can buy a rider that guarantees the death benefit up to age 85.

Both products allow holders to make partial withdrawals once a year.