Filed Under:Annuities, Variable

Great-West Financial debuts new low-cost VA

News from Genworth, Aon Hewitt

Great-West Financial has entered the low-cost variable annuity market with Smart Track II. Its latest product has no administrative or distribution fees and there is no cost for the income protection guarantee until savings are shifted to the income segment.

According to the company, total costs for this VA are lower than the average variable annuity with similar features. Depending upon the death benefit selected, Smart Track II’s mortality and expense charge is 1 percent, or 1.2 percent of the annuity account value. Fund charges range from 0.46 percent to 1.7 percent of assets.

“With Great-West Smart Track II, clients can control their fees and the guaranteed annual amount they receive because they choose when – and how much money – to move to their income segment,” said Chris Bergeon, vice president of Financial Institutions Markets for Great-West, in a statement. “What’s more, the guarantee fee is assessed only on the assets they move to the income segment.”

Smart Track II also includes a hedge against inflation. Owners can increase the amount of annual guaranteed income they receive via favorable fund performance or increases in the 10-year Treasury if they have money in the income-focused segments.

The commission-based product is available through banks and independent broker-dealers.

 

Genworth has been cited for superior customer service in the life and long-term-care insurance arena. DALBAR, a financial services market research firm, noted that Genworth was the only firm in the life insurance and LTCI industry to stand out as a leader in customer service in 2013.

DALBAR recently named Genworth as one of its 2013 Annuity Service award winners.

Specifically, DALBAR noted that when policyholders called Genworth, they were greeted “with respect and a high degree of professionalism” 93 percent of the time versus the industry average of 45 percent. Further, when policyholders inquired about the intricacies of their insurance policy, Genworth reps proactively offered to review the details of their coverage 98 percent of the time compared to the industry average of 81 percent.

 

Aon Hewitt has introduced SimPlus Savings, which it touts as a comprehensive solution that plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries can utilize to delegate certain fiduciary obligations and oversight as well as the ability to outsource administrative functions related to defined contribution (DC) plans.

 

Through SimPlus Savings, plan sponsors can access a variety of services for their DC plans, including implementation of investment strategy, the selection of plan investment menus and plan investment management. SimPlus Savings also features administration solutions, such as plan recordkeeping, daily operations and transaction processing, and participant services (including online investment advice, managed accounts, brokerage and customer service).

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