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Brighthouse Financial Launches Its First Annuity

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Brighthouse Financial, a unit of MetLife Inc. that’s on track to become a separate company, has introduced the first annuity it has created since it began to operate under its own name.

Brighthouse Financial today launched the Shield Level 10 annuity, an index-linked, single-premium deferred annuity with no annual fees.

The product is part of the Shield Level Selector family of annuities. Brighthouse Financial inherited that family of annuities from MetLife, which is based in New York. 

(Related: Brighthouse Financial Unveils First Major TV Commercials)

Brighthouse Financial now runs MetLife’s retail life and annuity operations.

MetLife has been making plans to spin Brighthouse Financial off as a separate company since July 2016, partly because of concerns about efforts by federal financial services regulators to designate it as a systemically important financial institution, and partly because of a belief that separation could give both companies more flexibility.

Brighthouse Financial has its own headquarters offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it has been running a major advertising campaign to introduce the public to its name and logo.

In April, the unit put its brand name on a number of MetLife annuity products that were already available for sale.

The new Shield Level 10 annuity gives purchasers a choice of three investment index options: the S&P 500 Index, the Russell 2000 Index or the MSCI EAFE Index. The holder can adjust the index option choices every year.

A built-in feature protects a 10% Shield Rate gain from index loss.

The contract also includes a return-of-premium death benefit.

The product comes with a six-year withdrawal schedule. Starting in the second contract year, a consumer can withdraw up to 10% of the account value each year without penalty.

Brighthouse Financial says it will start by distributing the annuity through Wells Fargo Advisors.

— Read Low Yields Squeeze Annuity Renewal Rates on ThinkAdvisor.


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