An insurer is trying to make variable annuities a better buffer against inflation.

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, has introduced the Purchasing Power Protector living benefit rider for its Penn Freedom, Pennant Select and Enhanced Credit Variable Annuities contracts.

The rider guarantees inflation protection on lifetime withdrawals that will increase annually in step with increases in the U.S. Consumer Price Index, Penn Mutual says.

The current annual charge for the rider is 0.65% of the average monthly lifetime withdrawal base for a single contract and 0.85% for a joint contract, Penn Mutual says.

Penn Mutual is responsible for backing the inflation protection guarantee and other contract guarantees.