MADISON, Wis. – Since rolling out its new Index Annuity, MEMBERS Financial Services is seeing some early success. The division of CUNA Mutual Group has launched the MEMBERS Index Annuity. Similar to a fixed-rate annuity with a guaranteed return, but unlike a fixed-rate annuity, it has the potential to earn more through positive changes in the S&P 500 Index, CUNA Mutual said. The product is available in 5-, 7- and 10-year index periods with rate caps based on current market conditions. The minimum return is guaranteed for the entire index period and is 3%. Since becoming available in the fourth quarter of 2005, the MEMBERS Index Annuity has generated more than $31 million in sales from 551 issued contracts, according to CUNA Mutual. Seven Seventeen Credit Union is among the annuity's newest users and has sold more than 20 contracts, said Karen DeSalvo, vice president marketing. She said members want it because it has the potential of higher rates than certificates of deposit, but without stock market risks. "The index annuity is a product our members have requested for awhile," DeSalvo said. "With the uncertainty in our national and local economies, our members want a straight-forward, no-risk, conservative option that won't lose money, but still provides income." The product was designed to appeal to different investors such as a conservative investor who doesn't have money to risk, someone who has experienced losses in the market and no longer feels comfortable exposing principal and earnings to risk, or someone looking for a simplified annuity that fits a savings need, said Darrel Steege, CUNA Mutual asset accumulation products marketing manager. The MEMBERS Index Annuity is underwritten by CUNA Mutual Life and joins a suite of annuities that MEMBERS Financial currently offers. -

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