Scudder Investments has introduced two new variable annuities underwritten by Travelers Life and Annuity Co. and The Travelers Insurance Co. The Scudder Advocate Rewards annuity offers a 4.5% bonus on purchases, while the Scudder Advocate Advisor is a C-share annuity with no surrender charges.

Both also offer a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit for 40 basis points, to protect the principal, as well as enhanced death benefit riders and flexible annuitization options. Investors must select these riders at issue and cannot cancel them.

"Scudder Investments is pleased to have joined forces with Travelers Life & Annuity to develop and distribute these variable annuity products," said Kevin Hogan, director of the insurance products Group for Scudder Investments. "Travelers Life & Annuity’s long history of financial strength and success in the market, combined with Scuddder’s strong distribution network and marketing capabilities, creates an opportunity for each company to expand its core business."

Scudder has transitioned its annuity underwriting from Allmerica Financial due to poor ratings. In addition, because Allmerica’s reserves had dropped, the firm agreed with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance in September 2002 to stop underwriting new business. Moody’s Investor Services rates Travelers Aa1, its second-highest rating.

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