A Northwestern life insurer says it is adding a variable annuity contract that can maximize a purchaser’s net returns.

Symetra Life Insurance Company, Bellevue, Wash, says its new Symetra Focus Variable Annuity includes Vanguard index investment options, exchange-traded funds and other low-cost investment options.

Because the average cost of the investment options is low, the average total cost of investing in the annuity is about 1.6%, which is considerably lower than the industry average, Symetra says.

Keeping costs low can increase the share of contract returns that goes to the holder, Symetra says.