In yet another testament to the rising popularity of annuities, Hartford, Connecticut-based The Phoenix Companies has launched Phoenix Portfolio Advisor Variable Annuity, an innovative low-cost, no-load annuity sold through the company’s distribution partners, including wirehouses, regional broker/dealers, and financial institutions.
The new annuity was developed through a strategic alliance Phoenix formed last October with Jefferson National Life Insurance Company to develop low-cost annuities specifically for the growing number of fee-based advisors among Phoenix’s distribution partners, Phoenix said in a statement. The Phoenix Portfolio Advisor, the first product developed through the alliance, will have a flat insurance fee of $20 a month–significantly lower than the typical variable annuity insurance fee of 1.35% of asset value, the company said.
Phoenix Portfolio Advisor offers a number of enhancements over traditional variable annuities, not least more than 170 investment funds from 20 top independent money managers, including several low-cost providers such as Fidelity and T. Rowe Price. Advisors and clients who want to diversify their holdings can use any of a number of asset allocation options available through the annuity, and the flat monthly insurance fee allows assets to grow faster on a tax-deferred basis, the company said.
Clients who prefer additional insurance protections can purchase an optional living benefits rider, such as the guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit. A living benefit rider provides clients in retirement flexible, guaranteed income for life, regardless of investment performance.
The product is also user-friendly, and features tools that allow clients to transfer assets between funds, view their transaction history, develop a customized asset allocation model, and search, review and track data about the investment options that are available.