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Fidelity Unveils Retirement Income Options

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A giant money manager has come out with a family of mutual funds and a deferred variable annuity aimed at consumers who are planning for retirement.

Fidelity Investments, Boston, says the 11 new Fidelity Income Replacement Funds mutual funds will come with a Smart Payment Program service.

The service will help investors decide how much to contribute each month to fund a specified level of retirement income, Fidelity says.

The funds are “target date” funds aimed at investors who expect to retire sometime between 2016 to 2036. The most conservative fund will be for investors who think they will retire in 2016, and the most aggressive fund will be for investors who want to wait until 2036 to retire. The other funds are for investors who expect to retire in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2032 or 2034.

Fidelity will be selling the target-date funds directly to investors as well as through advisors.

Expense ratios range from 0.54% to 0.65%.

Fidelity notes that the contribution recommendations will produce the desired income only if the fund’s investment strategy works as intended.

For investors who want to protect their principal, Fidelity is introducing the Fidelity Growth and Guaranteed Income variable annuity.

The annuity contract does not offer a guaranteed minimum death benefit.

There are no initial sales charges or annual maintenance fees, and the annual annuity charge is 1.25%, Fidelity says.

The surrender fee for investors who go over the contract withdrawal limit during the first 5 contract years is 2%.

Investors can choose between the Fidelity VIP Balanced portfolio, which will invest 60% of assets in stock and 40% in debt securities, and the Fidelity VIP Funds Manager portfolio, which will allocate 60% of assets to stock, 35% to debt securities and 5% to money market funds.

The contract does offer a guaranteed withdrawal amount, and Fidelity will increase the guaranteed amount during any year in which the annuity investment portfolios do well.

Fidelity is issuing the annuity through Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company in most of the country and through Empire Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company in New York.

The insurance companies are responsible for backing the product guarantees.

Fidelity also has added an income products section to its consumer Web site and, it is promoting new income planning tools it has added to its advisor site.