Prudential Financial Inc. is getting closer to the launch date for a new annuity contract that will be sold directly to consumers, and not through financial professionals.

The Newark, New Jersey-based insurer mentioned the new Guaranteed Income for Tomorrow contract, or GIFT contract, in a financial report filed with securities regulators.

A copy of the report is available here.

(Related: Prudential Jumps Into Indexed Annuity Market)

In a discussion of major annuity products, Prudential says the GIFT contracts will be “a deferred income annuity, which initially will be distributed through direct response solicitation through our group insurance business.”

Prudential has been distributing variable annuities through financial professionals associated with its Prudential Advisors broker-dealer unit, and with other broker-dealers, the company says.

Prudential has been planning the GIFT contract launch for more than a year. The company first applied for a trademark for the name in August 2016.

In the financial report, Prudential also gave an update on how close the company’s adjustable-rate products with guaranteed minimums are to the guaranteed minimums.

Prudential ended 2017 with guaranteed minimum crediting rates of 3% or more on $30.5 billion in adjustable-rate account value, up from $29 billion with guaranteed rates of 3% or higher a year earlier.

But only $27.5 billion of those high-rate assets are actually at the minimum crediting rate, down from $28.2 billion a year earlier. That means Prudential may, if necessary, be able to save money by cutting the rates for the high-rate products that are still paying more than the guaranteed minimum.

Prudential noted that being able to cut a crediting rate and cutting the rate are two different things.

“Although we may have the ability to lower crediting rates for those contracts above guaranteed minimums, our willingness to do so may be limited by competitive pressures,” Prudential says.

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