American Skandia Life Assurance Corp. has introduced a product that has no early-withdrawal penalties.

The Shelton, Conn.-based variable annuity company's product, "LifeVest," allows customers 100% access to their investments, regardless of when they want to get out of their annuity contracts. Insurance companies generally attach surrender charges to annuities contracts to encourage customers to retain the contracts.

American Skandia is betting that LifeVest's liquidity feature will encourage customers to stay with the product. For brokers, the annuity offers an up-front sales commission, plus 1% of assets under management each year.

Generally, brokers that earn asset-based compensation don't receive an up-front sales fee.

American Skandia requires a minimum initial investment of $25,000.

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