NEW YORK, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co.
announced today that it will allow customers with guaranteed living
benefits to lock in annual gains in the investment accounts underlying its
AXA Equitable Accumulator(R) variable annuity series. Barbara Goodstein,
AXA Equitable's Executive Vice President of Marketing and Product
Development, said that AXA Equitable will provide a re-set once each year
instead of once every five years to certain of its Guaranteed Minimum
Income Benefit (GMIB) and Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit (GMDB) riders.
AXA Equitable pioneered living benefits in annuity products in 1996
with the launch of the GMIB, which is designed to offer guaranteed income
for life. The Accumulator(R) variable annuity series also allows
dollar-for-dollar withdrawals of the 6% compounding income benefit base up
to 6% annually prior to electing the guaranteed income for life option.
Under AXA Equitable's GMIB for eligible contracts, if the value of the
underlying investment account increases due to market gains, customers may
re- set the 6% compounding benefit base up to the current account value,
from which point compounding continues. This re-set locks in either a
higher level of guaranteed future income or a higher withdrawal rate under
the dollar-for- dollar withdrawals described above.
"Variable annuities with these optional benefits allow consumers to
take advantage of the equity market's potential increases while protecting
themselves against adverse market conditions. Investing in equities can
help consumers potentially build savings that will last throughout a
retirement that may continue for 30 years or more," said Goodstein. "AXA
Equitable's Accumulator(R) series of variable annuities offers customers a
choice of living benefits. The insurance industry alone has the capability
to offer guaranteed minimum income and death benefits."
The first re-set may take place on the one-year anniversary of the
contract. The last re-set may take place on the contract anniversary after
the contract owner reaches age 75. The waiting period to exercise the GMIB
after each reset will be the later of the contract's original exercise date
or 10 years from the last re-set date. The GMIB can not be exercised after
age 85. Any withdrawals up to the 6% roll-up to age 85 benefit base as of
the beginning of the contract year will result in a dollar-for-dollar
reduction in the GMIB and the "greater of" GMDB roll-up benefit bases.
Withdrawals that cause cumulative withdrawals in a contract year to exceed
that amount will cause a pro rata reduction in the roll-up benefit bases.
The annual ratchet benefit to age 85 is always reduced pro rata.
The annual re-set is available only to customers who elect the GMIB
together with the "greater of 6% roll-up to age 85 or the annual ratchet to
age 85" GMDB. It applies to new contracts issued on and after January 16,
2007, in states where it is approved.
GMIB, an optional rider, is subject to an additional charge and to
additional conditions and limitations. Anyone considering the purchase of
an AXA Equitable Accumulator(R) variable annuity should consult with a
financial professional and obtain a prospectus containing complete
About Variable Annuities
A deferred variable annuity is a long-term financial product designed
for retirement purposes. In essence, an annuity is a contractual agreement
in which payment(s) are made to an insurance company, which agrees to pay
out an income or a lump sum amount at a later date. Variable annuity
contracts are not insured by the FDIC or any other government agency. They
are not deposits or obligations of any bank and are not bank guaranteed.
Amounts in an annuity's variable investment portfolios are subject to
fluctuation in value and market risk, including loss of principal.
Typically variable annuities have mortality and expense charges, account
fees, investment management fees and administration fees. In addition,
annuity policies have exclusions and limitations, early withdrawals may be
subject to surrender charges and, if taken prior to age 59-1/2, a 10%
federal income tax penalty may apply. All guarantees discussed herein are
subject to the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance
Company. The guarantees do not apply to the investment portfolios. All
benefits and features are not available in all states. Please also consider
the charges, risks, expenses and investment objectives of the
Accumulator(R) carefully before investing. For a prospectus containing this
and other information, please contact your investment professional/licensed
insurance agent. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
About AXA Equitable
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY, is the principal
life insurance subsidiary of AXA Financial, Inc., providing life insurance,
annuities and other needs-based products and services for the financial
services market, co-distributed by AXA Advisors, LLC, and AXA Distributors,
LLC, New York, NY 10104. AXA Financial is one of the premier U.S.
organizations providing financial protection and wealth management, and had
approximately $643.4 billion in assets under management as of December 31,
2005. AXA Financial is a member of the global AXA Group, which had $1.3
trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2005. All guarantees
are based on the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance
Company (AXA Equitable).
SOURCE AXA Equitable