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MetLife Enhances GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus for Variable Annuities; Annual ''Step-Ups'' Allow Access to Potentially More Money Now and Later.

NEW YORK -- MetLife announced today that its enhanced Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (called GMIB Plus or Predictor Plus) rider will now allow customers to take advantage of market gains annually, rather than every three years. If the account value increases due to market gains, customers may increase the 5% compounding income base, which is used to calculate future minimum income payments, each year up to the current account value.

The GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider, originally launched in 2005, is designed to offer guaranteed income for life, while prior to electing the guaranteed income for life option, allows dollar-for-dollar withdrawals of the 5% compounding income base up to 5% annually. With the annual step up option, if the account performs well, customers may choose to increase the amount they receive via immediate dollar-for-dollar withdrawals, as well as the amount they are guaranteed to receive for life. The previous version allowed step-ups every three years. The new annual step-up applies to new contracts issued on and after February 27, 2006.

"At MetLife, we haven't changed the underlying guarantees and benefits of the GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus, we just added more flexibility with the annual step-up," said Lisa S. Kuklinski, vice president, Individual Annuities, MetLife. "If the account value performs well every year, then our customers can simply increase the future income stream every year."

"The market can be unpredictable, but our customers want to feel confident and secure that they will have sufficient income during the different stages of their life, and the flexibility to take advantage of market gains each year to meet their needs," added Elizabeth M. Forget, chief marketing officer, MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company, one of the MetLife-affiliated insurance companies that offers retirement and investment products through third party intermediaries including brokerages and banks. "The enhanced rider allows our customers to lock-in a higher current income, if needed, as well as an increased future minimum lifetime income stream."

Choosing to Elect the Step Up

If the account value increases, customers may increase the component of the income base that grows at 5% annually every year up to the current account value. The higher income base component is then used to calculate future minimum income payments, and, prior to exercising the rider, also gives customers the flexibility to take larger dollar-for-dollar withdrawals of the 5% compounding income base up to 5% annually. With each step-up, the 10-year wait to exercise the rider benefits resets.

If the market does not perform well and the account value decreases after the 10th anniversary of purchasing the contract, customers can receive their initial principal amount (adjusted for withdrawals) in lieu of guaranteed lifetime income payments. The GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider will terminate if this option is elected. The initial principal amount consists of only payments made within the first 120 days after the contract has been issued. Withdrawals are determined for the length of the entire contract.

A variable annuity is a long-term savings and investment vehicle designed specifically for retirement and may fit into a customer's overall retirement strategy. Customers should keep in mind that variable annuities contain both investment and insurance features, and they will pay certain fees, including an annual asset-based separate account charge. Customers will pay investment management fees and expenses for the amounts they invest in the eligible investment choices, administrative charges and will pay ordinary income tax on taxable amounts they withdraw. Withdrawals taken before age 59 1/2 may incur an additional 10% federal income tax penalty on income withdrawn. Withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges, and will reduce their contract value and death benefit.

GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus is available at contract issue (through age 75) with MetLife variable annuities for an annual additional charge of 0.75% of the income base (up to a maximum charge of 1.50% upon optional step-up). GMIB Plus is available with variable annuities through MetLife Investors. Predictor Plus is available with variable annuities sold by the MetLife and New England Financial sales forces.

Variable annuities are offered by prospectus only, which is available from a registered representative. A customer should carefully consider the product's features, risks, charges and expenses, and the investment objectives, risks and policies of the underlying portfolios, as well other information about the underlying funding choices. Amounts allocated to the variable investment options of an account balance are subject to market fluctuations, and when withdrawn or annuitized, may be worth more or less than their original value. The principal value and rate of return in a variable annuity will fluctuate due to market conditions. Therefore, at any point in time, the value of the annuity contract may be worth more or less than the owner's actual investment in the contract. There is no guarantee that any of the variable options in this product will meet their stated goals or objectives. This and other information is available in the prospectus, which a customer should read carefully before investing. Product availability and features may vary by state. All variable annuity product guarantees, including those associated with GMIB Plus/Predictor Plus rider, are based on the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company.

MetLife, a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) is a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to millions of individual and institutional customers throughout the United States. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. offers life insurance, annuities, automobile and homeowner's insurance and retail banking services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement and savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. Outside the U.S., the MetLife companies have direct insurance operations in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com.

The information in this press release is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This press release supports the promotion and marketing of this annuity rider. Customers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Like most annuity contracts, those contracts issued by MetLife and its affiliates contain fees, surrender charges, and holding periods and terms for keeping the contract in force. Customers should consult their qualified tax or legal professional before making an investment decision.

Prospectuses for MetLife's or any of its affiliated insurance companies individual variable annuities and the underlying investment options can be obtained by contacting an authorized MetLife, MetLife Investors or New England Financial representative. MetLife's variable annuities are issued and distributed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 200 Park Avenue New York, NY 10166, MetLife Investors variable annuity products are issued by MetLife Investors Insurance Company, MetLife Investors Insurance Company of California and MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company (subsidiaries of MetLife, Inc.), 5 Park Plaza, Irvine, CA, 92614 and distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company, and New England Financial variable annuities are issued by New England Life Insurance Company (a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc.) and distributed by New England Securities, 501 Boylston Street Boston, MA, 02116.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 27, 2006
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