About a month ago, a report from the Insured Retirement Institute indicated the promise behind annuities for satisfying an upcoming generation's retirement needs. This past week, a few insurers have acted upon it.

Nationwide Financial enhanced its lineup for variable annuity and variable life insurance products, including 15 new fund options to provide advisors with greater asset class selection options for their clients. These changes were effective May 1.

Allstate addressed these concerns by expanding its retirement product suite as well. IncomeProtectorSM and Allstate GrowthProtectorSM annuities were launched in 40 states on Monday, April 30. These new fixed indexed annuities are expected to be available in 49 states by year-end 2012.

Both Allstate Protector annuities have a purchase payment bonus. For as long as the annuity contract is in force, the bonus remains part of your contract value and your IncomeProtector income base. Therefore, it is used to determine your "guaranteed lifetime income benefit," or the income payments you eventually will receive. A bonus is fully vested after 10 years.

Nationwide's focus is with variable annuities products, saying it will begin offering the following options from Dimensional Fund Advisors for its variable life products: VA Global Bond Portfolio, VA US Large Value Portfolio, VA US Targeted Value Portfolio, VA International Value Portfolio, VA International Small Portfolio and VA Short-Term Fixed Portfolio.

Nationwide is also providing advisors with access to actively managed target volatility funds for both variable life insurance and annuity products. According to Nationwide, these funds include Goldman Sachs' VIT Global Markets Navigator Fund and AllianceBernstein's VPS Dynamic Asset Allocation Portfolio.




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