The U.S. Department of Labor may be trying to postpone implementation of its own fiduciary rule standards, but insurers continue to add annuity products designed for a world in which advisor fees may eventually crowd out insurance agent commissions.
Brighthouse Financial Inc. contributed to the flow of new fee-based annuity products this week.
Brighthouse introduced the Brighthouse Shield Level Selection 3-year and 6-year annuity contracts. The company also introduced the Brighthouse Shield Level Select Access Annuity.
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The 3-year and 6-year products come with no annual fee. The three-year version comes with a three-year surrender charge schedule, and the six-year version comes with a six-year surrender charge schedule. A return-of-premium death benefit is a standard product option.
The Access annuity contract is a simplified Shield Selector product designed specifically to meet the needs of fee-based advisors, Brighthouse says.
The Access annuity has no annual product fee and no surrender charges. Purchasers will have to pay the advisor for advisory services.
Brighthouse will be offering all three annuities through independent distribution partners.
Brighthouse, a company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, previously was the individual life insurance and annuity arm of MetLife Inc. It completed efforts to become a separate, stand-alone company Aug. 4, the company says.
Symetra Adds Two Contracts
Symetra Life Insurance Company has introduced the Symetra Advisory Edge contract and the Symetra Advisory Income Edge contract.
Both contracts are indexed annuities aimed at fee-based planners.
Symetra, a Bellevue, Washington-based carrier, says the contracts give users access to a JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5 Index option as well as an S&P 500 Index option.
The Advisory Income Edge contract offers a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit.