The US division of Sun Life Financial has launched Retirement Income Escalator, a new variable annuity benefit.

The new guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit provides two ways to maximize guaranteed lifetime income, depending on the customer’s needs. This living benefit is available for an additional charge with Sun Life Financial Masters variable annuities.

The current charge for this option is 0.75% of the withdrawal benefit base for a lifetime guarantee for one individual, and 0.95% for joint life coverage. This charge is assessed quarterly, and deducted from contract value. The new benefit features: 7% annual bonus, guaranteed lifetime withdrawals with age tiers and automatic annual step-ups.

Van Leer, senior vice president and general manager of retail insurance and annuities at Sun Life Financial, said: Retirement Income Escalator allows customers to create an income plan that fits wherever they are in their lives – planning for or already enjoying their retirement. This feature gives them a way to structure retirement income that is reliable and secure, and helps make the most of their money.