Jackson National Life Insurance Cos., seeking to boost its business through banks, has created an annuity exclusively for financial institutions.

The Optima 3 fixed annuity carries a first-year bonus rate of 7.3%. The bonus return is higher than many annuities now on the market, said Bradley Powell, vice president of the Lansing, Mich., company's financial institutions unit.

The product's interest rate, which is set each year, is guaranteed never to drop below 3%.

Mr. Powell said that Jackson National plans to distribute the annuity through investment product marketing firms, in addition to individual banks.

Jackson National hopes to attract investors with features like accelerated benefit provisions.

These measures waive surrender charges on up to 25% of the annuity's value if the holder becomes seriously ill.

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