GUARDIAN ADDS NEW ANNUITY RIDER TO BENEFIT INDIVIDUALS SEEKING GUARANTEED LONG-TERM RETIREMENT PAYMENTS
Launches Annuity Industry’s First 15-Year, 300% Cumulative Guarantee Living Benefit Rider
NEW YORK, September 29, 2008 — Guardian has added a new guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit rider to its variable annuities designed for individuals who want to invest more for retirement and supplement their retirement income. The new rider will be available with variable annuities issued by The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company (GIAC), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
The optional rider, which is available with The Guardian Investor Asset BuilderSM and The Guardian Investor Income AccessSM Variable Annuities, offers the potential for quarterly step-ups, a 7% annual minimum guarantee, a 200% cumulative guarantee and a 300% cumulative guarantee. The rider also includes age-banding, which guarantees annual withdrawal percentages based on an individual’s age (or age of younger spouse if spousal version) when withdrawals begin. Specifically, GIAC is offering the following rider options:
• Guardian Target NowSM – Designed for an individual or couple who intend to start taking withdrawals in fewer than 10 years from when they purchase an annuity. It includes quarterly step-ups that provide investors the potential to increase their guaranteed annual withdrawal amount when the account value rises.
• Guardian Target 200SM – Designed for an individual or couple intending to delay taking withdrawals for at least 10 years after purchasing an annuity, but planning to start taking guaranteed annual withdrawals before the 15th anniversary of the contract. It includes a number of potential opportunities for the guaranteed annual withdrawal amount to increase, such as quarterly step-ups, a 7% minimum annual guarantee for the first 10 contract years (if there are no withdrawals in the previous contract year and no more than one withdrawal since contract issue) and a 200% cumulative guarantee after 10 years (assuming no withdrawals during the 10-year period).
• Guardian Target 300SM – Designed for an individual or couple intending to delay taking withdrawals for at least 15 years after purchasing an annuity. In addition to the quarterly step-ups, a 7% minimum annual guarantee and 200% cumulative guarantee described earlier, it includes a 300% cumulative guarantee after 15 years (assuming no withdrawals during the 15-year period).
“People are living longer and need the security that they won’t outlive their finances. Having supplemental long-term retirement payments enables individuals to plan for the future. This new rider was added to assist people in planning for the long term so they don’t have to worry as much about adequate savings once they are retired,” said Margaret W. (Meg) Skinner, Executive Vice President of Guardian’s Individual Products Distribution.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average lifespan of someone living in the U.S. is 78. What’s more, the Census Bureau says that the number of people 100 years or older in the U.S. has grown 60% since 1990 and is expected to continue to increase in coming decades. With life expectancy on the rise, people are looking for ways to supplement their income as they live longer lives, and an annuity with a living benefit rider is just one option.
GIAC’s Asset Builder and Income Access are variable annuities and long-term investment vehicles designed for retirement purposes. They offer a combination of investment features to help individuals accumulate and manage assets before and during retirement. GIAC variable annuities offer professional investment management from a variety of well-respected firms, tax-deferral on any investment earnings, and optional living benefits that can provide lifetime withdrawal amounts while assets are invested for the future. They also offer a choice of annuity options that can provide guaranteed payments for life.
Withdrawals of taxable amounts will be subject to ordinary income tax and possible mandatory federal income tax withholding and, if taken prior to age 59½, a 10% IRS penalty may also apply. Withdrawals affect the variable annuity’s death benefit, cash surrender value and any optional living benefits and may be subject to surrender charges. Withdrawals have the effect of reducing the variable annuity's death benefit, cash surrender value and any optional living benefits, including Guardian Target Now, Guardian Target 200 and Guardian Target 300.
The annual cost of Target Now is 0.40% (maximum 1.00%) for the single version, 0.60% (maximum 2.00%) for spousal version; Target 200 is 0.70% (maximum 2.50%) for single version, 1.00% (maximum 3.50%) for spousal version; Target 300 is 0.95% (maximum 2.50%) for single version, 1.35% (maximum 3.50%) for spousal version of the adjusted Guaranteed Withdrawal Balance. Depending upon the performance of the underlying investment options, the selection of a rider may result in higher contract expenses for which no additional benefit is received. The adjusted Guaranteed Withdrawal Balance is the greater of total premium payments made or the Guaranteed Withdrawal Balance on the day preceding deduction of the rider fee, plus any increase caused by the application of the 7% annual minimum guarantee, the 200% cumulative guarantee or the 300% cumulative guarantee.
All contract benefits and annuity payment guarantees are backed solely by the strength and claims-paying ability of GIAC. For GIAC variable annuities, operating expenses for the investment options are estimated to be from 0.35% to 3.59% in 2008; actual charges will depend upon the variable investment options selected. Mortality and expense risk charges range from 1.00% to 1.55% of the net asset value of the variable investment options, depending on the variable annuity contract chosen. The annual administrative expense is 0.20% of the net asset value of the variable investment options. If the accumulation value in the contract is less than $100,000 on the contract's anniversary date, there is an annual contract fee of $35. The maximum potential declining surrender charge is 8%. Surrender charges are specific to each variable annuity; refer to each variable annuity's prospectus for more information. Additional charges will apply if any additional contract riders are selected. Product availability and features may vary by state.
Founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY (Guardian) is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. As of December 31, 2007, Guardian and its subsidiaries had $41.3 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory basis). With close to 3,000 financial representatives and 80 agencies nationwide, Guardian and its subsidiaries protect individuals, small business owners, and their employees with life, disability, health, long-term care, critical illness and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities, and other financial products and trust services. Specializing in the small to mid-size business market, Guardian's Group business unit serves more than 120,000 employers, 6 million employees, and their families.
For more information about Guardian, please visit: www.GuardianLife.com.
Annuities are issued by The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC), a Delaware corporation, and distributed by Guardian Investor Services LLC (GIS). GIAC and GIS are located at 7 Hanover Square, NY, NY 10004. GIAC and GIS are wholly owned subsidiaries of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY.
Variable annuities and their underlying investment options are sold by prospectuses only. Prospectuses contain important information, including fees and expenses. Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing or sending money. You should consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and charges of the investment company carefully before investing. Prospectuses contain this and other important information and can be obtained by contacting your financial professional or calling 800-221-3253.
Variable annuities and their underlying investment options are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or depository institution, nor are they insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), The Federal Reserve Board, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) or any other agency. They involve investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Investment return and principal value may fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
SOURCE:The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Web site: http://www.guardianlife.com