A large insurer is giving purchasers of an income protection product more protection against inflation.

A unit of MetLife Inc., New York, is increasing the “compounding income base component” of its GMIB Plus and Predictor Plus guaranteed minimum income benefit riders to 6%, from 5%.

The riders guarantee purchasers access to a lifetime stream of retirement income.

The compounding income base, also known as the riders’ “annual increase amount,” now guarantees a 6% increase in base retirement income each year for purchasers who meet the rider requirements.

MetLife introduced the GMIB riders in 2005. Purchasers get an annual income base increase of at least 6% if investments in the underlying annuities do poorly. If the investments do well, income will grow faster than the guaranteed rate.

The riders are available with MetLife variable annuities at contract issue through age 75.

The annual charge for the riders ranges from 0.80% of the highest income base up to a maximum of 1.50% of the highest income base, MetLife says.

MetLife Investors Insurance Company, MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company and New England Life Insurance Company are responsible for backing the product guarantees.