Jackson National Life Insurance Company has launched LifeGuard Freedom, a new optional guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit expected to provide investors with guaranteed annual withdrawals and the opportunity to increase their retirement income.

LifeGuard Freedom is available for an additional cost within the company’s Perspective family of variable annuities, as well as its Retirement Latitudes variable annuity (VA).

LifeGuard Freedom and its companion benefit, LifeGuard Freedom with Joint Option, are claimed to enable contract holders to establish a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal stream of up to 7%, and receive a 7% benefit increase each year during the first 10 years of the contract, when no withdrawals are taken in that year.

LifeGuard Freedom also offers annual step-ups that automatically lock in any gains each year based on the highest adjusted quarterly contract value, which provides the opportunity for investors to increase their level of income during their retirement years.

Both of Jackson’s new LifeGuard Freedom guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (GMWB) replace the company’s LifeGuard Advantage, LifeGuard Ascent and LifeGuard Ascent with Joint Option GMWBs for contracts issued on or after March 31, 2008.

In addition to the LifeGuard Freedom benefits, Jackson has added SafeGuard Max, a new optional GMWB available at an additional cost, which allows contract holders to withdraw up to 10% of their guaranteed withdrawal balance (GWB) annually, based upon the age at which they take their first withdrawal.

Clifford Jack, executive vice president and chief distribution officer for Jackson, said: Through our commitment to manufacturing products that are highly customizable and provide long-term value, Jackson has consistently offered a broad selection of benefits and features that can help advisers and their clients build personalized retirement income solutions.

The innovation and flexibility of Jackson’s optional VA living benefits helped the company achieve strong results in 2007, with $9.1 billion in total VA sales – a 29% increase over 2006.