NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers, is taking Whole Life insurance to a new level with the introduction of the Index Participation Feature (IPF).1,2 This patent-pending feature allows Whole Life policyholders to link a portion of their cash value to the performance of the S&P 500 Price Return Index,3 subject to a cap and floor – a feature that no other Whole Life insurance carrier offers in the market today.
With the IPF, policyholders can allocate a portion of their paid-up additions’4 cash value, choosing an allocation from zero to 100 percent. When a policyholder allocates money to the IPF, dividends5 on these paid-up additions are adjusted based on the performance of the S&P 500 Index, subject to a 12.5% percent cap and a 4% guaranteed floor – ensuring that the policy’s downside exposure is limited. In addition, the IPF allows policyholders to change their IPF allocation for future index periods, providing flexibility over time.
“Guardian is delivering a fresh, new perspective on Whole Life insurance and taking it to the next level,” said Michael Ferik, Executive Vice President, Individual Life and Wealth Management, at Guardian. “The IPF is an innovative rider that individuals and their financial advisors have been looking for during this low interest rate environment. It offers a unique opportunity for index-linked upside potential, while still supporting the robust guarantees6 that policyholders have come to expect with Whole Life. And best of all, clients can change their IPF allocations as their needs change, so they are never locked in.”
The IPF is available on select Guardian Whole Life policies and is available solely at the time of sale. Financial professionals can learn more about Guardian’s IPF rider and the next generation of Whole Life insurance at: www.NextGenWholeLife.com.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) is one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers, with $6.8 billion in capital and $1.3 billion in operating income (before taxes and dividends to policyholders) in 2014. Founded in 1860, the company has paid dividends to policyholders every year since 1868. Its offerings range from life insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, and investments for individuals to workplace benefits, such as dental, vision, and 401(k) plans for businesses. The company has approximately 6,000 employees and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 70 agencies nationwide. For more information about Guardian, please visit www.guardianlife.com.
1The Index Participation Feature (IPF) is a rider available with select Guardian participating Whole Life policies. With the new IPF, policyholders can now allocate between 0% and 100% of the cash value of paid-up additions (PUA) to the IPF each year. The IPF provides an adjustment to the dividend paid under the policy. This adjustment, subject to the cap rate (currently 12.5%) and floor (currently 4%), may be positive or negative based on index performance. Adverse market performance can create negative dividend adjustments which may cause lower overall cash values than would otherwise have accrued had the IPF not been selected. While the adjustment provided by this rider is affected by an external index, it does not participate in any stock or equity investment of the external index.
2Whole Life riders may incur either an additional premium or cost. Riders may not be available in all states.
3The S&P 500 price return index is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (“SPDJI”) and has been licensed for use by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”); Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Guardian. The Index Participation Feature (“Product”) is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, or their respective affiliates, and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such Product nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of the S&P 500 price return index.
4Paid-up Additions (PUA) are purchases of additional insurance (death benefit) that have a cash value. These purchases are made with dividends and/or a rider that allows the policyholder to pay an additional premium over and above the base premium. This creates the growth of death benefit and cash values in a participating Whole Life policy. Adding large amounts of paid-up additions may create a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC). A MEC is a type of life insurance contract that is subject to last-in-first-out (LIFO) ordinary income tax treatment, similar to distributions from an annuity. The distribution may also be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty on the gain portion of the policy if the owner is under age 59 ½. The death benefit is generally income tax free.
5Dividends are not guaranteed. They are declared annually by Guardian’s Board of Directors.
6All Whole Life insurance policy guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
Financial information concerning The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, as of December 31, 2014, on a statutory basis: Admitted Assets = $45.3 Billion; Liabilities = $39.6 Billion (including $34.9 Billion of Reserves); and Surplus = $5.7 Billion.