Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has cut the cost of a death benefit rider sold with 2 deferred variable annuities. [@@]

The company lowered the cost of its optional annual ratchet death benefit feature for both its Transitions Select and Evolution deferred VA contracts by 0.10%, to an annualized current charge of 0.40%.

The charges are imposed on the daily value of assets invested in each fund, after fund expenses are deducted.

MassMutual, Springfield, Mass., says such charges will not exceed 0.90% of asset value.

Both new and existing contract owners are eligible for the reduced charges.

An annual ratchet death benefit on a VA is equal to either the contract value, to total premium payments minus previous withdrawals or to the contract value as of a date specified in advance.

MassMutual offers the benefit at contract issue with both Transitions Select and Evolution and also on any contract anniversary with Transitions Select.