Brighthouse Financial adds to Shield Level annuity suite with new product
Brighthouse Financial, Inc. announced today the expansion of its flagship Brighthouse Shield® Level Annuities suite with the launch of Brighthouse Shield Level Pay PlusSM Annuities, which are designed to help strengthen clients’ retirement portfolios by providing a stream of guaranteed lifetime income.1,2
Shield Level Pay Plus annuities also offer clients opportunities to participate in market growth combined with a level of protection against market volatility — both key design features of Shield® Level annuities.
“The financial impact of longevity has made guaranteed lifetime income an important consideration for retirees who want to help secure their financial future,” said Myles Lambert, chief distribution and marketing officer, Brighthouse Financial. “By providing a permanent source of retirement income, Shield Level Pay Plus annuities are built to add a measure of certainty to clients’ retirement lifestyles.”
According to the Social Security Administration,3 about one in three 65-year-olds will live to at least age 90 and about one in seven 65-year-olds will live to at least age 95. Not surprisingly, many investors express strong interest in annuities that provide guaranteed lifetime income. A recent study4 from the Alliance for Lifetime Income, in partnership with CANNEX, found a significant majority (85%) of investors are interested in owning an annuity that guarantees lifetime income or already own one.
Shield Level Pay Plus annuities are index-linked annuities, which are a type of annuity that allows clients to participate in growth opportunities up to a certain percentage by tracking the performance of one or more market indices, rather than investing directly in the markets, while providing a level of protection in down markets.
Other key features of Shield Level Pay Plus annuities include:
Two versions of an income rider
Clients have the flexibility to choose between two versions of a built-in income rider,5 depending on their specific risk tolerance and income needs. Both versions of the rider use a Benefit Base6 which is multiplied by the applicable withdrawal rate to determine the stream of lifetime income. The choice of two versions of the rider means clients can decide how they want their Benefit Base, which initially equals the purchase payment, to build value. The Benefit Base cannot go down because of market losses, but it can grow.
For clients who want to participate in the growth opportunities equities can provide, the Market Growth version of the income rider offers the potential to build benefit amounts faster than some other guaranteed income products. For clients who prefer the comfort and reliability of guaranteed growth of the Benefit Base, no matter the market conditions, the Market Growth with Rollup version of the income rider can be a valuable portfolio addition.7
The features of a Shield Level Pay Plus annuity are provided in a way that will not heavily impact a client’s portfolio because of higher fees and costs. With no base contract fees, clients pay an annual charge of 1.50%,8 which is a lower fee than some traditional variable annuities that have an income rider – and can help clients keep more of their money working for them.
Flexibility to suit individual needs and goals
Shield Level Pay Plus annuities continue Brighthouse Financial’s history of building flexibility into each of its products to suit clients’ individual needs and goals. In addition to the product’s flexible features mentioned above, Shield Level Pay Plus annuities are designed to provide married couples of any gender with advantages that not all similar products may offer. These advantages include the ability for clients to choose which income option they prefer when they are ready to start taking income, rather than having to choose single or joint life income at contract issue.
Shield Level Pay Plus annuities enhance Brighthouse Financial’s portfolio of products that are designed to help people protect what they’ve earned and ensure it lasts. In addition, Shield Level Pay Plus annuities reflect Brighthouse Financial’s ongoing focus to help meet the evolving needs of clients as the company continues to deliver on its mission to help people achieve financial security.
“Financial security, especially in retirement, is top of mind for many people and their families today. Brighthouse Financial specifically designed Shield Level Pay Plus annuities to help meet the need for reliable retirement income, and we are very pleased to add this new product to our suite of Shield Level annuities,” concluded Lambert.
Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (Brighthouse Financial) (Nasdaq: BHF) is on a mission to help people achieve financial security. As one of the largest providers of annuities and life insurance in the U.S.,9 we specialize in products designed to help people protect what they’ve earned and ensure it lasts. Learn more at brighthousefinancial.com.
1 Guaranteed lifetime income depends upon staying within the parameters of the rider.
2 Early or excess withdrawals may affect the amount or ability to receive lifetime income. All guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company. If the account value reduces to zero due to a non-excess withdrawal, or if there are insufficient funds to deduct the rider charge, lifetime income payments will be calculated using the applicable lifetime guarantee rate. If the account value is reduced to zero due to early or excess withdrawals, lifetime income payments will not be received.
3 Retirement Information for Medicare Beneficiaries. Social Security Administration, January 2022.
4 Alliance for Lifetime Income and CANNEX Protected Retirement Income and Planning Study, 2021.
5 The income rider is referred to as the Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) Rider in the prospectus.
6 Benefit Base is referred to as the GLWB Base in the prospectus. The Benefit Base may be reduced by early and excess withdrawals. The Benefit Base cannot be withdrawn as a lump sum or paid as a death benefit and is not the amount that is guaranteed to be returned to you if you surrender your contract. See the prospectus for more details.
7 The Benefit Base will not increase by the Rollup Rate if a withdrawal is taken in a contract year.
8 The rider fee rate is multiplied by the Benefit Base and is considered the rider charge. This amount is deducted from your account value for the prior contract year on each contract anniversary.
9 Ranked by 2021 admitted assets. Best’s Review®: Top 200 U.S. Life/Health Insurers. AM Best, 2022.