NEW YORK--The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC) announced today that it will reintroduce its Guardian Advantage group variable annuity, a funding vehicle for qualified retirement plans.  GIAC intends to initiate new sales by June 1. This decision has no impact on Guardian's other defined contribution products including 401(k) PLUS with The Park Avenue Portfolio.

"Guardian Advantage's current customers will not see any changes in their products or service experience," said Dennis Manning, CEO, Guardian.  "They can be comfortable in the knowledge that we will continue providing them with the high level of service that they have become accustomed to well into the future."

"We have identified a new selling model that allows us to re-enter the group annuity 401(k) market in a way that makes sense for both Guardian and its customers," said Dennis Mosticchio, Vice President, Group Pensions, Guardian.  "It has also allowed us to develop attractive new features that will ensure our product is more competitive than ever."

In re-entering the market, Guardian made two significant changes.  First, the company entered into an exclusive strategic marketing and distribution alliance with Distribution Partners, LLC, to wholesale The Guardian Advantage group annuity contract.

Second, Guardian is looking to make significant upgrades to online education, portfolio modeling, and risk assessment tools available to plan participants.  The goal is to provide plan sponsors with opportunities to give their participants access to third party investment management tools and services.

Over the last year, Guardian made several enhancements to the product including the addition of new funds to the investment options available under the contract, multiple website enhancements and new software upgrades and releases.  New clients will also benefit from these improvements.

Annuities, mutual funds, and variable annuities and their underlying investment options are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or depository institution, nor are they insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Association, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency.  Mutual funds and variable annuities involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal amount invested.


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