Desjardins Financial Security has made changes to several features in its Helios2 guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) product. The insurer says that market conditions have evolved favourably and it wishes to pass the benefits along to its clients.

While the upper limit of the variable bonus rate been set at 6%, the Helios2 bonus will now range between 2.5% and 8%. This change is retroactive to February 2014. The bonus will be based on the Government of Canada’s ten year benchmark bond yield, plus 1.5% (formerly this was plus 1%). The insurer has also slightly reduced the management expense ratios on all Helios2 contract funds.

Clients can now combine two contracts to reach the minimum deposit threshold of of $250,000 that is required in Series 7 products. The contract owner can make up this amount using both registered or non-registered Helios2 contracts, or contracts with different guarantees. The minimum deposit amount is reduced to $100,000 for clients who have assets of at least $150,000 in Helios or Helios2 contracts.

A promotional bonus rate of 6% is being offered in 2014 for Helios 2 – 75/100 contracts with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits. The deadline for new contracts is December 20, 2014. For additional deposits, the deadline is December 31, 2014. Clients who already own this kind of contract will automatically qualify for the bonus rate in 2014.

Another promotion allows for a lower minimum lump-sum deposit of $10,000 for Helios2 – 75/100 GLWB contracts, instead of the $25,000 usually required for new contracts. This promotion will run until March 31, 2015.

Finally, the insurer will offer a low-load sales charge option for Series B funds in the beginning of 2015.