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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fidelity Branches Out in Retirement Income

by: Marie Glancy

As part of its crescendoing efforts in the retirement income sphere, Fidelity has introduced a new series of portfolios for annuities. The Variable Insurance Product (VIP) FundsManager Portfolios, "funds of funds" offerings investing in a mix of stock, bond, and money market funds, were launched Wednesday.

The new VIP set includes four separate portfolios, each named according to the percentage it seeks to invest in equity. The VIP FundsManager 20% Portfolio, for example, has a target asset allocation incorporating 20 percent equity exposure, while other products aim for 50, 70, and 85 percent. The portfolios will be managed by Scott Kuldell, who is currently involved with the company's Retirement Plan Manager, a discretionary mutual fund wrap program in defined contribution plans.

Once the new portfolios debut with Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company, Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company will distribute them to third-party insurance companies for use in their annuity products.

In a statement, William Loehning, executive vice president at Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, noted the increasing length of the average retirement and rising health care costs. "Insurance companies are seeking flexible investment options for annuities to help investors improve their retirement readiness and supplement income in retirement," he said. "We're committed to offering insurance companies across the company access to some of the best funds in the business," he added.  

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