According to a recent report, 47 percent of investors are concerned about market volatility.1
At the same time, 60 percent want their income amount to be able to grow with the market and 55 percent want to be able to adapt their income plans if their needs change.2
As a result, many of these investors are turning to their financial advisors to help solve these challenges.
These days, investors may be looking for a better balance between growth potential and market protection. “Annuities can play a critical role in helping clients not only invest for retirement, but also insure for retirement by providing opportunities for growth and guaranteed lifetime income,” according to Elizabeth Forget, executive vice president, MetLife Retail Retirement & Wealth Solutions.
In other words, your clients should have a portion of their retirement savings allocated to a guaranteed income solution in addition to traditional investments.
MetLife recently announced the launch of its new FlexChoice guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) rider, which, for an additional charge, is available with the company’s flagship variable annuities. This optional feature is designed to provide clients with guaranteed lifetime income, as well as the opportunity to benefit from potential market growth, while offering flexibility should their financial needs change.3
“People have expectations and plans for retirement but often things happen and life unfolds in unexpected ways,” said Forget.
FlexChoice features three important benefits.
First, FlexChoice provides guaranteed lifetime income,4 even if markets decline or the account value is reduced to zero.
Clients can choose to receive either a level income guarantee for life (FlexChoice Level), or receive higher income in earlier years of retirement with a lower guarantee in later years (FlexChoice Expedite).
Second, FlexChoice offers a flexible investment fund lineup that provides clients with the opportunity to benefit from market growth in a risk-managed way.
The MetLife Protected Growth Strategies are a suite of risk-managed portfolios that are designed to provide more consistent returns over time by including a wider range of asset classes and a greater focus on risk. “These are specially designed portfolios that are tailor-made for today’s markets,” said Forget.5
In addition, clients can help grow their retirement income with FlexChoice through two important features:
1. Annual Compounding: The client’s Benefit Base is used to determine the maximum amount of withdrawals they can take annually, as well as the future lifetime income payments. It compounds at 5 percent for the first 10 contract years in years no withdrawals are taken, regardless of what happens in the market or to the client’s account value.
2. Automatic Step-Ups: Clients can also capture market gains through Automatic Step-Ups, which increases their Benefit Base if their account value increases and is greater than their Benefit Base on any contract anniversary prior to their 91st birthday.6
Finally, FlexChoice provides real-life flexibility. Clients’ circumstances, choices, and needs may change over time, which means their retirement plan may need to change as well. FlexChoice offers a number of flexible features including:
1. Spousal flexibility: For married couples, FlexChoice offers significant flexibility.
a. It provides the ability to receive income for one or two lives, at no additional charge, and does not require clients to make this decision at purchase.
b. If the owner passes away, the surviving spouse can continue to receive the same benefits from the rider including receiving life-time income.7