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Shield your retirement saving with this personalized tool

7 min read


MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs. The following is a sponsored post that explores the benefits of the MetLife Shield Level SelectorSM a single premium deferred annuity issued by MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (“MetLife”),1 a new product designed for protection-minded clients. For more information, visit

More than ever, today’s investors – of all generations — are looking for ways to grow their savings while minimizing risk. Over the past few years, with the volatility of the market, investors are seeking protection for their assets.  And while they also strive for much-needed growth, they can be optimistic but can’t assume it will always be there.

Advisors need to be able to present investors with options that can both help protect their retirement savings and provide the opportunity for growth — with the ability to personalize their strategy. That’s why MetLife has introduced a new annuity product that provides all three of these criteria:  a way to help reduce risk, and the opportunity for growth potential along with options to suit different needs.

Help protect and grow your retirement savings

The MetLife Shield Level Selector annuity enables investors to protect a portion of their retirement assets and still receive the potential growth without actually investing in the market. The investor can choose one or more of the available Shield Options, each consisting of a level of protection (the “Shield Rate”),2 index and term.

The investor selects a level of protection which can minimize or eliminate future index losses. Investors can choose from four different levels of protection – Shield 10, Shield 15, Shield 25 and Shield 100.

Those numbers mean that MetLife will absorb the first 10%, 15%, 25% or 100% of index loss, respectively. Because the client’s account value will be reduced by any negative index performance beyond the elected level of protection, there is risk of substantial loss if they do not elect the Shield 100.

The account value is not invested directly in any index; the index is simply the benchmark for calculating index performance.3

The account value can be allocated to one or more Shield Options, each with either a 1-year, 3-year or 6-year terms.4

The Shield helps you stay the course

Investors tend to make emotional decisions – they buy high and sell low; they should aim to do the opposite. A recent Dalbar study showed that over the last 20 years, investors in U.S. stock mutual funds earned an average annualized return of 4.25% despite the fact that the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index produced an 8.21% return

This is where the Shield Level Selector can be helpful because it is different from mutual funds. The Shield Level Selector annuity can help clients stick to a plan.  That 4.25% return is largely due to emotional decision making – investors selling out of the market at the wrong time and buying back in at the wrong time. The Shield Level Selector can help investors set up a long-term plan and stick to it, but it also offers the flexibility to change the Shield Options at the end of each term.

Maximum Growth Opportunity and the Step Rate

The Maximum Growth Opportunity is the maximum percentage the investor can earn for their term3. The Step Rate lets the investor lock in how much growth they will receive if their chosen index is either flat or up at the end of the term.

At the end of each term, MetLife will determine the Shield Option’s index performance by comparing the ending index value to the index value at the beginning of the term.  Then MetLife will factor in the client’s chosen level of protection if the index is down, or their Maximum Growth Opportunity or Step Rate if the index is up, then adjust the account value accordingly. Also at the end of each term, the investor can choose one or more new Shield Options or remain in their current Shield Option.

For advisors, the Shield Level Selector annuity can be a way to help protect their client’s retirement and may help give those clients the determination to stay on the field.

For self-directed investors, the Shield Level Selector may be able to take away some of the short term emotional decisions and help improve their long-term results.

(Content provided by MetLife.)


1 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of Connecticut (MLICC) and its affiliates are collectively and singly referred to as “MetLife”.

2 In the prospectus, level(s) of protection is referred to as “Shield Rate”.

3 To receive the full level of protection and Maximum Growth Opportunity or Step Rate, the client must hold their Shield Option until the end of the term because the level of protection (other than the Shield 100) and Maximum Growth Opportunity or Step Rate accrue each day throughout the term.  Maximum Growth Opportunity is referred to as “Cap Rate” in the prospectus.

4 After the initial term (1-, 3- or 6-years), renewal rates are declared on the corresponding contract anniversary for the new term. Renewal rates and available Shield Options may differ from new business rates and options. Indices may be changed at MetLife’s sole discretion and the use of an Index may be terminated by MetLife at any time.

The MetLife Shield Level Selector single premium deferred annuity issued by MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (“MetLife”) is offered by prospectus only, which is available from MetLife. The contract prospectus contains information about the contract’s features, risks, charges and expenses. Clients should read the prospectus and consider this information carefully before investing. Availability and features may vary by state. MICC may substitute any index at any time.

MetLife Shield Level Selector is a long-term investment designed for retirement purposes and has limitations, exclusions, charges, termination provisions and terms for keeping it in force. There is a risk of substantial loss of principal for losses beyond the Shield Rate selected, because the client agrees to absorb all losses that exceed the chosen Shield Rate. Please refer to “Risk Factors” in the contract prospectus for more details. All contract guarantees, including the optional death benefit and annuity payout rates, are backed by the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company.

Withdrawals of taxable amounts are subject to ordinary income tax and if made before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% Federal income tax penalty. Distributions of taxable amounts from a nonqualified annuity may also be subject to the 3.8% Unearned Income Medicare Contribution Tax on Net Investment Income if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds the applicable threshold amount. Withdrawals will reduce the death benefits and account value. Withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges.

Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notification: The information contained in this document is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This document supports the promotion and marketing of insurance and other financial products and services. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

MetLife, its representatives and agents may not give legal or tax advice. Any discussion of taxes herein or related to this document is for general informational purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Tax law is subject to interpretation and legislative change. Tax results and the appropriateness of any product for a specific taxpayer may vary depending on the particular set of facts and circumstances. You should consult with and rely on your own independent legal and tax advisors.

MetLife Shield Level Selector Single Premium Deferred Annuity is issued by MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut on Policy Form L-22494 (09/12); Bloomfield, CT 06002, and is distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company (member FINRA); Irvine, CA 92614. Both are MetLife companies.

For Broker/Dealer and Financial Professional Use Only. Not for Public Distribution.