DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Historically low interest rates and concerns that we may enter an inflationary period are breeding hesitance among consumers who want stability in their retirement savings, but are reluctant to commit money. To meet the challenges of the current environment, ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company (ING USA) today introduced an Interest Rate Benchmark Strategy, another way to earn interest credit within the company's indexed annuity products.
An indexed annuity provides consumers with longer-term retirement funds an opportunity to potentially surpass many fixed-income alternatives with interest-crediting linked, in part, to the performance of one or more market indexes or benchmarks. As an insurance product, it may come with benefits such as minimum withdrawal guarantees and death benefits in exchange for a minimum, predetermined lock-up period where funds would not be available without a surrender charge.
"Unfortunately, many consumers are parking their long-term money in short-term savings vehicles because they're paralyzed by the current rate environment. This new crediting strategy addresses the concerns about low rates and the possibility that they will rise in the near future," said Chad Tope, president of ING Annuity and Asset Sales at ING. "This is very different from any other strategy on the market, and adding it to our current indexed products will allow consumers the opportunity to take advantage if rates rise."
With the addition of the ING Interest Rate Benchmark Strategy, the ING Secure Indexed Annuity platform now offers three core ways for consumers to pursue an interest crediting strategy. The new strategy will complement existing indexed strategies and fixed-rate crediting strategy available on the products.
The ING Interest Rate Benchmark Strategy bases interest credits on an increase, if any, during the contract year in the 3-Month LIBOR Interest Rate multiplied by a predetermined factor (the Interest Rate Benchmark Participation Multiplier). That increase can rise up to a stated cap, with a floor of zero crediting should rates remain the same or fall. The Interest Rate Benchmark Credit Cap and Interest Rate Benchmark Participation Multiplier are declared in advance, guaranteed for one year, and may change annually for each contract. This strategy tends to credit more interest than other indexed or fixed-rate strategies during a period when interest rates are rising.
Annuities are issued by ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company (Des Moines, IA), member of the ING family of companies. ING Annuity and Asset Sales is a department name within ING's U.S. operations.
Fixed-index annuities are insurance contracts that, depending on the contract, may offer a guaranteed annual interest rate and earnings potential that is linked to participation in the increase, if any, of an index or benchmark. All guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company, which is solely responsible for all obligations under its policies. Contract Form Series: IU-RA-3110
ING U.S. is a part of Dutch-based ING Groep NV. In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 15 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit ing.us.