May is the typical month for insurers to launch changes to their annuity line up.

On Monday, MetLife announced two annuity riders with four investment options designed to minimize volatility: GMIB Max or EDB Max variable annuity riders with Protected Growth Strategies. Clients who want stock portfolios invested like institutional and endowment funds, combined with guaranteed income and a death benefit, might take a look at the combination. The product offers 6% compounded growth and clients can start and stop withdrawals at any time.

The underlying “Protected Growth” stock portfolios include:

· AllianceBernstein Global Dynamic Allocation Portfolio, sub-advised by AllianceBernstein, L.P.
· AQR Global Risk Balanced Portfolio, sub-advised by AQR Capital Management, LLC
· BlackRock Global Tactical Strategies Portfolio, sub-advised by BlackRock
· MetLife Balanced Plus Portfolio, advised by MetLife Advisers, LLC with an overlay sleeve sub-advised by PIMCO

Clients also can choose the Pyramis Government Income Portfolio, sub-advised by Pyramis Global Advisors.   

These professionally managed portfolios “are specially designed to reduce risk and provide protection against extreme market swings. Each portfolio is customized and well-diversified, employing a wide range of investments seeking to help clients make steady progress toward their retirement goals,” said Elizabeth M. Forget, senior vice president, MetLife, in a press release.

The guarantees could reassure investors skeptical about the market recovery. Even as the stock market rebounded earlier this year, 75% of Baby Boomers and 88% of financial advisors say that they remain concerned about market volatility, according to a recent MetLife poll. “Many people continue to be worried,” said Robert E. Sollmann, Jr., executive vice president and head of Retirement Products, MetLife. “It’s led many to sit on the sidelines. We are very excited about our strategy for giving investors the confidence to put their retirement savings to work in the market.”



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