An insurer has unveiled a variable annuity feature that will permit owners to postpone using guaranteed withdrawal rights.

The Wellesley, Mass., U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, has introduced the Income ON Demand “income storage benefit.”

The option, available with most Sun Life Financial Masters variable annuity contracts except the Masters Access contract, permits Financial Masters holders to defer part or all of the annual withdrawals permitted under the benefit and to “store” withdrawals in the contract for future use, Sun Life says.

Storing withdrawal capacity can help a VA holder increase total withdrawal capacity during a year when a holder needs more income, Sun Life says.

If a VA holder puts off making withdrawals for 10 years and weak investment returns have depressed the account value to a level lower than amount of the total first-year purchase payments, the option can restore the account value to the sum of the first-year purchase payments, Sun Life says.

The annual charge for the option will be 0.65 percentage points for 1 annuity holder and 0.85% for couples that want the option to continue for the longer lived spouse once 1 spouse dies.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.) issues the annuities and the income storage option outside New York. Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York issues the annuities in the New York and is applying for permission to sell the income storage option in that state.

Sun Life Assurance and Sun Life Insurance are responsible for backing Financial Masters contract guarantees.