Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) announced today that its member companies are marking another first with the introduction of a product named VAROOM. VAROOM — Variable Annuity for Roll Over Only Money — is issued by Integrity Life Insurance Company (Cincinnati, Ohio) and National Integrity Life Insurance Company (Goshen, New York), collectively known as the Integrity Companies, and distributed by Touchstone Securities, Inc.
VAROOM, the first variable annuity to make available individual exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as subaccount options, offers:
- Industry-Leading ETF Providers: VAROOM offers investors and their representatives access to 19 subaccount options (18 individual ETFs and a money market portfolio) from iShares and Vanguard.
- Investment Flexibility: VAROOM offers representatives the opportunity to build a portfolio of ETF-based subaccounts customized to the investor’s needs. Until now, ETFs were available in variable annuities using a fund-of-funds structure only. VAROOM allows investors and their representatives to pick and choose among individual ETF subaccounts representing a spectrum of equity, fixed income, international and alternative asset classes.
- Cost Efficiency: The ETF subaccounts in VAROOM track indexes. This results in relatively lower cost because passive fund management generally incurs fewer expenses than active management. VAROOM also offers a new optional living benefit rider that not only rewards investor patience by increasing the deferral percentage each full calendar year withdrawals are not taken, but also bases charges on the account value, and not the benefit base.
“VAROOM has the potential to change the way consumers and their representatives perceive value within a variable annuity,” said Mark E. Caner, president of W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc., Western & Southern’s wholesale distribution subsidiary serving financial institutions, broker-dealers and independent financial professionals. “VAROOM is the first variable annuity to offer subaccounts investing in individual ETFs. It also is the first variable annuity to give representatives the ability to build client portfolios using individual ETFs from iShares and Vanguard.”
With the introduction of this new variable annuity, issued by the Integrity Companies as an IRA for tax-qualified rollovers, Western & Southern aims to help workers who have changed jobs or have rollover accounts and wish to take a more proactive role in positioning their assets for retirement income.
“VAROOM is exclusively for the $365 billion qualified rollover market(1) — representing assets consumers have worked hard to save in 401(k)s, 403(b)s and IRAs,” said Caner. “The American population age 65+ will double to 81 million over the next 30 years.(2) Western & Southern is offering a first-of-its-kind retirement product solution for persons with one or several retirement plans to consolidate.”
In 2004, Western & Southern, through the Integrity Companies, was the first to offer a variable annuity with ETFs as investment options in fund-of-funds portfolios. Now VAROOM offering individual ETFs in subaccounts is a next step in the evolution of the Integrity Companies’ variable annuities.
“The reception from banks, broker-dealers and independent advisors across the country has been enthusiastic. We are excited about VAROOM’s potential and anticipate growing demand,” Caner said.
For more details on VAROOM, visit the website geared to helping representatives introduce it to their clients at GoVAROOM.com. For general information, go to www.wsfinancialpartners.com/portal.php
(1) Spectrem Group, “High Balance Rollover 2010,” September 16, 2010.
(2) Stanford Center on Longevity, “New Realities of an Older America,” 2010.
Important information. Please read.
VAROOM is a flexible premium variable annuity available to age 80 for a minimum contribution of $25,000 and a maximum contribution of $1 million. An annual contract charge of 1.75 percent applies to subaccount assets. The Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit is available at issue for an additional charge for ages 45-80. The annual charge — 0.60 percent for the basic allocation strategy and 0.80 percent for the self-style allocation strategy — applies daily to subaccount assets and can increase to a maximum of 1.50 percent. A premium-based withdrawal charge applies to amounts withdrawn in excess of the free withdrawal provision for the first five years after each premium is received. The charge is 7 percent for premium years one and two, then declines by 1 percent a year, to 4 percent in premium year five and 0 percent thereafter.
A variable annuity is a long-term financial vehicle designed for retirement purposes. An insurance company accepts premiums and provides future income or a lump sum to the contract owner by contractual agreement. Contract limitations, fees and charges include, but are not limited to, mortality and risk expense charges, administrative fees, surrender charges, additional fees for optional benefits and underlying fund expenses. Withdrawals also may be subject to charges, and may reduce annuity contract benefits and values. Refer to the product and fund prospectuses for full details.
VAROOM is issued and guaranteed by Integrity Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati, OH, and National Integrity Life Insurance Company, Goshen, NY, and is distributed by Touchstone Securities, Inc. Payment of benefits under the annuity contract is the obligation of, and is guaranteed by, the insurance company issuing the annuity. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the insurer. There is no guarantee of the investment performance or safety of the variable investment options in this variable annuity. Integrity operates in all states except ME, NH, NY and VT where National Integrity operates. Variable annuities are suitable for long-term investing. Earnings and pre-tax payments are subject to income tax at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% IRS penalty tax. Interest rates are declared by the insurance company at annual effective rates, taking into account daily compounding of interest. Product approval, availability and features may vary by state. See your financial professional for details and limitations. For use with contract series ICC10 INT-15 1011, INT-15 1011, ICC10 NIL-15 1011 and NIL-15 1011 NY and rider series ICC10 IR.32 1011, IR.32 1011, ICC10 IR.33 1011, IR.33 1011, ICC10 IR.34 1011, IR.34 1011, ICC10 NR.32 1011, NR.32 1011 NY, ICC10 NR.33 1011, NR.33 1011 NY, ICC10 NR.34 1011 and NR.34 1011 NY.
The tax advantages of VAROOM exist solely through its qualification as an IRA. VAROOM is subject to all laws governing IRAs, including, but not limited to, age and contribution limits, early and late IRS withdrawal penalties and required minimum distributions. Integrity and National Integrity do not offer tax advice. For specific tax information, consult your attorney or tax advisor. ETFs similar to those offered as subaccounts in VAROOM are available for direct purchase outside of an annuity, without the additional fees and benefits associated with an annuity. Investment return and principal value of an investment in a variable annuity will fluctuate, so units, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (BlackRock). Vanguard is a trademark of The Vanguard Group, Inc.
An investor should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment found in the product and fund prospectuses. For prospectuses containing complete information, visit WSFinancialPartners.com or call 800.325.8583 (Integrity) or 800.433.1778 (National Integrity). Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing or sending money.
Since its inception in 2000, iShares has become the global product leader in exchange-traded funds with over 460 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 19 exchanges worldwide. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high-net-worth individuals. iShares is a line of business of BlackRock, a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide.
Vanguard, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is one of the world’s largest investment management companies and a leading provider of company-sponsored retirement plan services. Vanguard manages more than $1.5 trillion in U.S. mutual fund assets. Vanguard offers more than 170 funds to U.S. investors and more than 60 additional funds in non-U.S. markets.
About W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc.
W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc. (www.wsfinancialpartners.com) distributes fixed, variable and immediate annuities and life insurance products from Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company and National Integrity Life Insurance Company, all member companies of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. Variable products are distributed through Touchstone Securities, Inc.* Marketing through a national network of broker-dealers, financial advisors, independent agents and financial institutions, W&S Financial Group Distributors assists financial professionals in helping individuals invest for, live in and manage risk during retirement. For more information, visit www.wsfinancialpartners.com/mediacenter/.
*A registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.
About Western & Southern Financial Group
Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) is a Cincinnati-based diversified family of financial services companies with assets owned, managed and under our care in excess of $49 billion as of Sept. 30, 2010. A Fortune 500 company, Western & Southern has received Standard & Poor’s AA+ Very Strong rating (one of the eight highest-rated life insurance groups in the world), A.M. Best’s A+ Superior rating, Fitch’s AA Very Strong rating and Moody’s Aa3 Excellent rating, all with a Stable outlook. With a heritage dating to 1888, the group’s affiliates include The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company; Western-Southern Life Assurance Company; Capital Analysts Incorporated;(1,2) Columbus Life Insurance Company; Eagle Realty Group, LLC; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.;(1) Fort Washington Savings Company;(3) IFS Financial Services, Inc.; Integrity Life Insurance Company; The Lafayette Life Insurance Company; National Integrity Life Insurance Company; Touchstone Advisors, Inc.;(1) Touchstone Securities, Inc.;(2) and W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc. For more information, visit www.westernsouthern.com. Western & Southern is the title sponsor of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open tennis tournaments.
(1) A registered investment advisor.
(2) A registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.
(3) Member FDIC.
Ratings refer to the claims-paying ability of the insurance company and not to the safety, stability or performance of any investment product.
SOURCE Western & Southern Financial Group