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Symetra Adds Annuities With Built-In Guarantees

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Symetra Life Insurance Company is adding two single-premium indexed annuity contracts that protect the purchasers against loss of account value.

The Bellevue, Washington-based insurer has introduced the Symetra Stride and Symetra Edge Elite contracts, which are both filed as non-variable annuities.

Both contracts feature crediting rate options linked to the performance of Putnam Investments’ new Putnam Dynamic Low Volatility Excess Return Index.

(Related: 3 Ways to Bridge Retirement Conversation Gaps)

Symetra is the U.S. arm of Sumitomo Life Insurance Company of Osaka.

Some annuity issuers have pulled back from offering annuities with account value guarantees in recent months, because of concerns about low interest rates and stock market and bond market volatility.

Andrew Farrell, a senior vice president at Symetra, said in a comment about the new products, which was included in the product launch announcement, that Symetra is always looking for ways to mold its products to meet the needs of distribution partners and retirement customers.

“Fixed indexed annuities continue to offer the principal protection and growth potential many preretirees and retirement customers are looking for in today’s volatile market conditions,” Farrell said.

The two new contracts offer purchasers access to credit options linked to the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5 Index and the S&P 500 index as well as to the new Putnam index.

The new Putnam index reflects the performance of low-risk U.S. stocks, U.S. Treasury bonds and cash.

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Index designers have tried to develop an index rule set that will keep the index volatility level at 5%.

One of the two new products, the Symetra Stride annuity, comes with access to an optional Signature Withdrawal Benefit guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit rider.

Purchasers ages 50 and older can buy the rider and use it to establish a lifetime income stream.

A contract owner can change the amount of the lifetime withdrawal at any time.

The contract has a 10-year withdrawal charge schedule.

Symetra is offering that contract to independent financial professionals and insurance producers.

Symetra is distributing the other product, the Symetra Edge Elite annuity, through broker-dealers. Purchasers of that contract can choose between a five-year or seven-year withdrawal charge period.

The Symetra Edge Elite contract comes with built-in account value protection, but the company is not promoting lifetime income benefits riders for purchasers of that contract at this time.

— Read Were Your Clients Protected in The Stock Market Crash of 2020?on ThinkAdvisor.

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