NU Online News Service, March 7, 2005, 4:51 p.m. EST

A Lansing, Mich., insurer has changed a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit feature.[@@]

The insurer, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, a unit of Prudential P.L.C., London, is selling the GMWB option, the LifeGuard 5 benefit, with its new Perspective L Series flexible-premium deferred variable annuity.

The underlying annuity is Jackson National’s first “L-share” variable annuity contract.

An L-share contract gives investors more control over their assets by offering a shorter withdrawal period than a typical B-share contract offers, Jackson National says.

The contract offers a menu of about 50 investment options.

Jackson National says it has beefed up the LifeGuard GMWB feature by including a provision that allows for the withdrawal of the required minimum distribution on certain qualified contracts without affecting the contract holder’s ability to receive a lifetime income stream.

The GMWB benefit gives purchasers the ability to receive a guaranteed lifetime income stream through systematic withdrawals equal to 5% without having to annuitize the contract, even if the contract value reaches 0, Jackson National says.