On Monday, March 14th, Symetra updated their universal life offerings, rebranding UL-G as UL-G 2.0 and CAUL as CAUL 2.0. Targets decreased for most clients over 40 and increased for most substandard clients, but premiums and accumulation patterns were unchanged. With the update, Symetra also introduced two-year rolling targets and a unique return of premium rider.
With no changes in premiums or cash values, UL-G 2.0 retains its dominance for clients 45 and older in full-pay arrangements. CAUL 2.0 is generally a middling play in the current assumption market.
Symetra is the fourth carrier to introduce or revamp a return of premium rider in the past five months. UL-G 2.0 offers a 100% return of premium to policyholders in years 20 and 25. Unlike the rest of the ROP riders in the NLG market, Symetra adds roughly a 3.7% charge to their base premiums for the rider. On the other hand, Symetra does not cap the return of the premium for non-tobacco clients, something no other carrier can boast. (Note: smokers and substandard clients are capped at 50% of paid premiums.)
Because UL-G 2.0 enjoys such solid competitive positioning for clients 45 and up without the rider, Symetra can afford to charge for the rider, remaining in or near the top quartile after the rider’s 3.7% upcharge is added to these clients’ premiums. The death benefit caps with other carriers’ riders typically only come into play for clients 55 and older, a niche among which Symetra frequently features the best premiums relative to other ROP products.
Symetra offers an enticing NLG product to clients over 40 with and without the return of premium rider. For those considering NLG products with an ROP rider, Symetra presents a very competitive option, but in a tight race, the best choice for each client will largely be dependent on that client’s age, risk class, and the value (s)he places on premium and ROP flexibility.