Mercer DC Participants Granted ClearCourse Access

June 17, 2008 ( - Mercer is making ClearCourse, a group variable annuity issued by Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company, available as an investment option for the defined contribution plans it administers.

A Mercer news release said ClearCourse guarantees income for life with upside potential and allows investors to choose between an annuitization and a guaranteed withdrawal benefit. According to the announcement, every contribution to ClearCourse purchases a specific amount of retirement income that cannot be outlived.

The contributions are invested in an underlying portfolio consisting of a combination of equity securities and fixed income securities and, based on the portfolio’s performance, participants have the opportunity to receive income payments greater than the guaranteed amount. Even if portfolio fluctuations cause a decline in the account balance, there will not be a decrease in the amount of withdrawal or annuity guarantee purchased.  

“Plan sponsors have addressed risk and potential return in their investment choices, but there can still be a risk that an individual will outlive his or her retirement savings and income,” said Eric Levy, Retirement Business Leader for Mercer’s outsourcing business, in the release. “ClearCourse’s administrative simplicity fits well with Mercer’s flexible open investment platform and is available to both our institutional plans and the advisor-sold plans administered by Mercer. We expect to see more growth in this space as defined contribution plans continue to evolve.”