John Hancock has added a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit rider for its Venture family of variable annuities.[@@]

The new, optional Principal Plus For Life rider lets purchasers withdraw up to 5% of their initial payment each year for 20 years, regardless of market performance.

For annuity holders who are at least 65, the rider can guarantee payments for the life of the owner, according to Hancock, Boston.

The new rider also provides a bonus that adds 5% per year in any of the first 10 contract years during which no withdrawals are taken, up to age 80. The bonus feature can guarantee up to 150% of clients’ original payments, Hancock says.

An optional “step-up” feature lets rider purchasers increase the amount of assets protected by the rider every 3 years.

The annual cost of the rider is 0.4% of an “adjusted guaranteed withdrawal balance.” Hancock says.

Hancock is now a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto. John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is the Hancock insurance unit that is responsible for backing up Venture annuity product guarantees, Hancock says.