Method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits
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1. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a guaranteed minimum payment feature, and for periodically determining the amount of a current benefit payment to be made to a beneficiary under the plan, comprising the steps of:
 a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to an account value, a guaranteed minimum payment, an assumed investment rate, a payout term and a period of benefit payments;
b) determining an initial benefit payment amount;
c) periodically determining an amount of a current benefit payment to be made under the plan, and comparing the amount determined with the guaranteed minimum payment;
d) adjusting the amount of the periodically determined current benefit payment upwardly to the guaranteed minimum payment if the periodically determined amount is less than the guaranteed minimum payment;
e) maintaining a cumulative total of actual payments made under the benefit plan;
f) adjusting the amount of the periodically determined current benefit payment downwardly if the periodically determined amount is greater than the guaranteed minimum payment, and the cumulative total of actual payments exceeds a cumulative total of the initial payment and the periodically determined current benefit payments; and
g) paying the adjusted amount of the current benefit payment to the beneficiary.
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Abstract
Computerized methods for administering variable annuity plans are disclosed. In certain embodiments, minimum payment features and mechanisms for adjusting current payments in response to cumulative payment totals are provided. Other embodiments provide withdrawal features under which certain guarantees are provided if withdrawals do not exceed predetermined withdrawal rates.
202 Citations
43 Claims

1. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a guaranteed minimum payment feature, and for periodically determining the amount of a current benefit payment to be made to a beneficiary under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to an account value, a guaranteed minimum payment, an assumed investment rate, a payout term and a period of benefit payments; b) determining an initial benefit payment amount; c) periodically determining an amount of a current benefit payment to be made under the plan, and comparing the amount determined with the guaranteed minimum payment; d) adjusting the amount of the periodically determined current benefit payment upwardly to the guaranteed minimum payment if the periodically determined amount is less than the guaranteed minimum payment; e) maintaining a cumulative total of actual payments made under the benefit plan; f) adjusting the amount of the periodically determined current benefit payment downwardly if the periodically determined amount is greater than the guaranteed minimum payment, and the cumulative total of actual payments exceeds a cumulative total of the initial payment and the periodically determined current benefit payments; and g) paying the adjusted amount of the current benefit payment to the beneficiary.  View Dependent Claims (2, 3)


4. A data processing method for administering a variable annuity benefit account, comprising the steps of:

a. storing data relating to the variable annuity benefit account, including data relating to an account value at the time of annuitization and an initial benefit payment; b. periodically recalculating a current benefit payment; c. periodically recalculating the account value; d. monitoring the account value balance and any withdrawals made by an annuitant; e. comparing a withdrawal rate by which the account value is decreased by annuitant withdrawals with a predetermined maximum withdrawal rate; and f. making benefit payments in accordance with the calculation set forth in step b. so long as; 1) the withdrawal rate is less than the predetermined maximum withdrawal rate, or 2) the account value balance is greater than zero.  View Dependent Claims (5, 6)


7. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a guaranteed minimum benefit payment feature, and for periodically determining the amount of a current benefit payment to be made to an owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to at least one of periodic benefit payments, a guaranteed minimum benefit payment, an assumed investment rate, a payout term and a period of benefit payments; b) periodically determining an amount of a preliminary benefit payment under the plan, and comparing the amount determined with the guaranteed minimum benefit payment; c) periodically determining an amount of the current benefit payment under the plan which is the greater of the preliminary benefit payment and the guaranteed minimum benefit payment; d) maintaining a cumulative total of periodically determined preliminary benefit payments; e) maintaining a cumulative total of periodically determined current benefit payments; f) reducing the amount of the current benefit payment if the periodically determined preliminary benefit payment is greater than the guaranteed minimum payment, and the cumulative total of current benefit payments exceeds the cumulative total of preliminary benefit payments; and g) paying the current benefit payment to the owner.  View Dependent Claims (8, 9, 10)


11. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a guaranteed minimum benefit payment feature, and for periodically determining the amount of a current benefit payment to be made to an owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to at least one of periodic benefit payments, a guaranteed minimum benefit payment, an assumed investment rate, a payout term and a period of benefit payments; b) periodically determining an amount of a preliminary benefit payment; c) determining an amount of the current benefit payment from the preliminary benefit payment by; 1) setting the amount of the current benefit payment to an amount which is less than the amount of the preliminary benefit payment if the preliminary benefit payment is greater than the guaranteed minimum payment, and if a cumulative total of previous benefit payments exceeds a cumulative total of previously determined preliminary benefit payments; 2) setting the amount of the current benefit payment equal to the guaranteed minimum payment if the preliminary benefit payment is less than or equal to the guaranteed minimum payment;
or3) otherwise, setting the amount of the current benefit payment equal to the amount of the preliminary benefit payment; and d) paying the current benefit payment to the owner.


12. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a guaranteed minimum payment feature, and for periodically determining the amount of a current benefit payment to be made to the owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to at least one of an account value, a guaranteed minimum benefit payment, an assumed investment rate, survival probabilities, attained age annuity factors, a payout term and a period of benefit payment; b) periodically determining the account value and attained age annuity factor, and an amount of a preliminary benefit payment using the account value and attained age annuity factor; c) periodically determining an amount of the current benefit payment by comparing the guaranteed minimum benefit payment to the preliminary benefit payment and taking the larger of the two; and d) paying the current benefit payment to the owner.  View Dependent Claims (13, 14)


15. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a guaranteed minimum payment feature, and for periodically determining the amount of a current benefit payment to be made to the owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to at least one of annuity units and unit values, an annuity reserve, a guaranteed minimum benefit payment, attained age annuity factors, a payout term and a period of benefit payments; b) periodically determining an amount of the annuity reserve; c) periodically determining an amount of a preliminary benefit payment under the plan, and comparing the amount determined with the guaranteed minimum benefit payment to determine any shortfall between the preliminary benefit payment and the guaranteed minimum benefit payment; d) periodically determining the current benefit payment by comparing the guaranteed minimum benefit payment to the preliminary benefit payment and taking the larger of the two; and e) paying the current benefit payment to the owner.  View Dependent Claims (16)


17. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a minimum benefit payment feature, and for determining the amount of a periodic benefit payment to be made to an owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including an account value and a minimum benefit payment; b) calculating a preliminary benefit payment in accordance with the terms of the annuity plan and using the previously stored account value; c) comparing the preliminary benefit payment to the minimum benefit payment and setting the periodic benefit payment equal to the minimum benefit payment if the preliminary benefit payment is less than or equal to the minimum benefit payment, and setting the periodic benefit payment equal to the preliminary benefit payment if the preliminary benefit payment is greater than the minimum benefit payment; d) calculating a new account value by reducing the preexisting account value by the amount of the periodic benefit payment; e) storing the new account value and the amount of the periodic benefit payment; and f) paying the periodic benefit payment to the owner.  View Dependent Claims (18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)


26. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity benefit plan having a minimum benefit payment feature, and for determining the amount of a periodic benefit payment to be made to an owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to annuity units and annuity unit values, and a minimum benefit payment; b) calculating a preliminary benefit payment; c) comparing the preliminary benefit payment to the minimum benefit payment and setting the periodic benefit payment equal to the minimum benefit payment if the preliminary benefit payment is less than or equal to the minimum benefit payment, and setting the periodic benefit payment equal to the preliminary benefit payment if the preliminary benefit payment is greater than the minimum benefit payment; d reducing the annuity units by an amount proportional to an excess of the periodic benefit, as set in step c, over the preliminary benefit calculated in step b; e) storing the amount of the periodic benefit and the number of annuity units; and f) paying the periodic benefit payment to the owner.  View Dependent Claims (27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34)


35. A computerized method for administering a variable annuity plan having a guaranteed minimum payment feature associated with a systematic withdrawal program, and for periodically determining an amount of a scheduled payment to be made to the owner under the plan, comprising the steps of:

a) storing data relating to a variable annuity account, including data relating to at least one of an account value, a withdrawal rate, a scheduled payment, a payout term and a period of benefit payments; b) determining an initial scheduled payment; c) periodically determining the account value associated with the plan and making the scheduled payment by withdrawing that amount from the account value; d) monitoring for an unscheduled withdrawal made under the plan and adjusting the amount of the scheduled payment in response to said unscheduled withdrawal; and e) periodically paying the scheduled payment to the owner for the period of benefit payments, even if the account value is exhausted before all payments have been made.  View Dependent Claims (36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43)

1 Specification