Great-West Financial has entered the low-cost variable annuity market with Smart Track II. Its latest product has no administrative or distribution fees and there is no cost for the income protection guarantee until savings are shifted to the income segment.
According to the company, total costs for this VA are lower than the average variable annuity with similar features. Depending upon the death benefit selected, Smart Track II’s mortality and expense charge is 1 percent, or 1.2 percent of the annuity account value. Fund charges range from 0.46 percent to 1.7 percent of assets.
“With Great-West Smart Track II, clients can control their fees and the guaranteed annual amount they receive because they choose when – and how much money – to move to their income segment,” said Chris Bergeon, vice president of Financial Institutions Markets for Great-West, in a statement. “What’s more, the guarantee fee is assessed only on the assets they move to the income segment.”
Smart Track II also includes a hedge against inflation. Owners can increase the amount of annual guaranteed income they receive via favorable fund performance or increases in the 10-year Treasury if they have money in the income-focused segments.
The commission-based product is available through banks and independent broker-dealers.