Franklin Templeton Group has added a high-yield fund to the options available to customers in one of its variable annuity products.

The High Income Fund will be available to investors in the Franklin Templeton Valuemark Income Plus annuity.

Those clients now have 18 funds to choose from, but this is the first fixed-income offering made available. Most of the offerings are in the capital growth and growth and income areas.

"There was a demand we found for this kind of fund," said David Tobin, a senior vice president at Templeton Funds Annuity Co. in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Valuemark Income Plus is an immediate variable annuity, meaning that investors start getting payouts immediately, as opposed to a deferred annuity, in which payments typically begin after several years.

The variable annuity is issued by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, and the underlying mutual funds are managed by Franklin Templeton.

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