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Phoenix Unveils VA Combination Rider

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An insurer says a new variable annuity option can provide a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit, a guaranteed minimum accumulation benefit and a guaranteed minimum death benefit.

The Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, says the new Phoenix Retirement Protector rider GMWB feature can guarantee access to annual withdrawals of 5%, 6% or 7% of the base amount, or access to 7% withdrawals for a specified period.

The GMWB benefit base can increase through automatic step-ups or annual 6.5% compound roll-ups, along with a 10-year roll-up period reset if no withdrawals are taken, Phoenix says.

The GMAB feature guarantees the return of first-year premiums paid after a 10-year waiting period, Phoenix says.

The death benefit guarantee, which is an optional feature, can increase the death benefit amount in a weak market if the covered person dies before age 85 and the contract value has not been reduced to 0, Phoenix says.

The GMDB benefit base is calculated using methods similar to those used to calculate the GMWB benefit base, and it can increase through automatic step-ups or 6.5% compound roll-ups, Phoenix says.

The fee for the new rider ranges from 0.85% to 1.70% of the benefit base or the contract value, whichever is greater, for the single-life version.

The GMDB option costs an additional a 0.30% of the benefit base or the contract value.

Phoenix says it also is updating its Phoenix Flexible Withdrawal Protector guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit rider

The revised rider, which will replace an old GMWB rider, can offer a guaranteed income amount equal to 5%, 6% or 7% of the benefit base and is based on the age at first withdrawal, Phoenix says.

The benefit base used to determine the guaranteed income amount can increase through automatic roll-ups of 6.5% or automatic step-ups to reflect investment market gains, Phoenix says.

A new feature guarantees that the benefit base will be at least double the amount of first-year premiums paid when withdrawals are postponed until the end of the roll-up period or the youngest covered person’s 70th birthday, Phoenix says.

A new optional extended care enhancement feature can double the income amount available during nursing home confinement of 180 days or longer, Phoenix says.

Both the new Phoenix Retirement Protector Rider and the Phoenix Flexible Withdrawal Protector GMWB rider will be sold with most Phoenix VA contracts, the company says.

Customers can buy only one rider per contract.

Customers who use the riders must invest their assets using one of 13 asset allocation programs.

The fee for the revised rider will range from 0.5% to 1.35% of the benefit base, or the contract value, if the contract value is greater, for the single-life version.

The extended care enhancement option costs an addition 0.2% of the benefit base or contract value.

Phoenix writes the riders and the underlying annuities through Phoenix Life Insurance Company, East Greenbush, N.Y., and PHL Variable Insurance Company, Hartford.

The issuing companies are responsible for backing the product guarantees.


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