AXA Equitable Introduces Structured Capital Strategies(SM)

Patent-Pending Product Offers Individuals a Way to Structure an Index-Linked Investment Strategy with a Level of Downside Protection

Oct 20, 2010, 14:23 ET from AXA Equitable

NEW YORK, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company today announces Structured Capital Strategies, a variable annuity for investors seeking equity and commodity index-linked, tax-deferred growth potential with levels of downside protection.

Structured Capital Strategies features two key underlying elements. First is a built-in downside buffer that reduces or may eliminate the negative impact of market volatility to the first 10% to 30% of loss in index value, depending on the investment option makeup. Second is a Performance Cap Rate on the upside appreciation, which on October 15th was set at 12% for the 1-Year S&P 500 Index Segment with a -10% Segment Buffer. The downside Segment Buffers provide options for investors looking to build a portfolio via domestic, international and commodities indices over varying time horizons.

"We developed Structured Capital Strategies in response to investors' heightened fear of market risk," said James Shepherdson, president of Retirement Savings at AXA Equitable. "The problem is you can't entirely eliminate market risk without also eliminating market reward. This is a product that provides a way to help strike an acceptable risk-reward balance for someone trying to achieve tax-deferred growth with some measure of downside protection."

With Structured Capital Strategies, individual investors can participate in the following indices:

  • S&P 500 Price Return Index
  • Russell 2000 Price Return Index
  • MSCI EAFE Price Return Index
  • London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. PM Fix Price/USD (Gold Index)*
  • NYMEX West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Generic Front Month Futures (Oil Index)*

Through the product's Structured Investment Option, investors design a portfolio choosing from a dashboard of 15 equity and commodity index-linked segment types with upside caps and downside buffers customized to individual time horizons. Segments are generally made available for new investment on the 15th of the month.  AXA Equitable will absorb the first -10%, -20% or -30% of any loss in the event of negative index performance, depending on the selected segment index, duration and buffer. Together, the segment buffer and cap help to stabilize the impact of volatility.

The chart below shows the 15 Segment Types that are currently available, depending on the duration, buffer and index options selected:

Structured Investment Option Dashboard: 15 Segment Types

Segment Duration

S & P 500 ®

Russell 2000 ®

1 Year

MSCI EAFE Price Return Index

Gold Index*

Oil Index*

3 Year

S & P 500 ®

S & P 500 ®

Russell 2000 ®

Russell 2000 ®

5 Year

S & P 500 ®

S & P 500 ®

S & P 500 ®

Russell 2000 ®

Russell 2000 ®

Russell 2000 ®




Segment Buffers

*available in IRA contracts only

At the end of each one-, three- or five-year segment period, investors have the flexibility to re-allocate the maturity value of the segment to a new segment or transfer their gains to other investment options available within Structured Capital Strategies, depending on their needs and objectives. For more details on the product's mechanics, please refer to the Structured Capital Strategies prospectus.

"AXA Equitable has been a leader in creating innovative financial protection products for over a century and half," said Mr. Shepherdson. "Now, in the wake of the market upheaval of the past few years, we are continuing that tradition with Structured Capital Strategies – a tax deferred product that offers some downside protection and upside potential through investing in portfolios that track equity and commodity indexes."

About Structured Capital Strategies(SM)

Structured Capital Strategies is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and co-distributed by AXA Distributors, LLC and AXA Advisors, LLC. New York, NY 10104. Structured Capital Strategies is a service mark of AXA Equitable Insurance Company.

The Performance Cap Rate may limit an investor's potential in up markets. While an investor is protected from some downside risk if the negative return is in excess of the Segment Buffer there is a risk of a substantial loss.

The segment's rate of return is subject to a cap and a buffer and is measured from the segment's start date to the segment's maturity date.  The segment's rate of return is not an annual rate of return even if the segment duration is longer than one year.  Also, the performance cap threshold is not an annual rate, as it is based on the segment duration.  The highest level of protection at maturity is the –30% buffer and the lowest level of protection is the –10% buffer.  Segment types with greater protection tend to have lower performance cap rates than other segment types that use the same index and duration but provide less protection.  An investor cannot transfer out of a segment prior to its maturity to another investment option.  An investor can only make withdrawals out of a segment or surrender the contract.  If an investor takes a withdrawal from a segment on any date prior to maturity, the calculation of interim value or the segment may be less than the amount invested and may be less than the amount an investor would receive had the investment been held to maturity.

There is a risk of substantial loss of principal because investors agree to absorb all losses to the extent they exceed the protection provided by the Structured Investment Option at maturity. If an investor would like a guarantee of principal, AXA Equitable offers other products that provide such a guarantee.

The Structured Investment Option does not involve an investment in any underlying portfolio. Instead it is an obligation of and subject to the claims paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company.

Please note that the Structured Capital Strategies variable annuity offers greater upside potential, but less downside protection, at maturity than fixed indexed annuities, which provide a guaranteed minimum return.

A variable annuity such as Structured Capital Strategies is a long-term financial product designed for retirement purposes. Simply stated, a variable annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company that lets you pursue the accumulation of assets through equities and other investment options. You may then take payments or a lump sum amount at a later date. In Structured Capital Strategies, you invest to accumulate value on a tax-deferred basis in one or more of our variable investment options and/or in one of the Segments comprising the Structured Investment Option. There are fees and charges associated with Structured Capital Strategies, which include a contract fee that covers administrative expenses, sales expenses and certain expense risks.

In addition, annuity contracts have exclusions and limitations. Early withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges, and, if taken prior to age 591/2, a 10% federal income tax penalty may apply. Variable annuities are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of principal invested. Variable annuities, when redeemed, may be worth more than or less than the total amount invested.

You should carefully consider your investment objectives and the charges, risks, and expenses of Structured Capital Strategies, as stipulated in the prospectus, before investing. For a prospectus containing this and other information, please contact your Financial Professional. Please read it carefully before investing or sending money.

S&P 500 Price Return Index — Comprises 500 of the largest companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. Larger, more established companies may not be able to attain potentially higher growth rates of smaller companies, especially during extended periods of economic expansion. Russell 2000 Price Return Index — Tracks the performance of small-cap companies. Stocks of small and mid-size companies have less liquidity than those of larger companies and are subject to greater price volatility than the overall stock market. Smaller company stocks involve a greater risk than is customarily associated with more established companies.

MSCI EAFE Price Return Index — Is a sampling of securities deemed by MSCI as designed to measure the equity market performance of the developed European, Australasian and Far East (EAFE) markets. Australasia includes Australia, New Zealand and neighboring islands of the South Pacific. International securities carry additional risks, including currency exchange fluctuation and different government regulations, economic conditions or accounting standards.

London Gold Market Fixing Ltd PM Fix Price/USD (Gold Index) (Available in IRA contracts only. Not available in all jurisdictions.) — Is an international benchmark for the price of Gold. Because this Investment Segment is tracked to the commodities industry it can be significantly affected by commodity process, world events, import controls, worldwide competition, government regulations, and economic conditions. Apart from the risks associated with general commodity investing, there are risks to investing in the common stocks of commodity-producing companies. You should be willing to accept the risks that come with exposure to foreign and emerging markets, including political, economic and currency volatility.

NYMEX West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Generic Front Month Futures (Oil Index) (Available in IRA contracts only. Not available in all jurisdictions.) — Is the underlying commodity index of oil futures contracts. Risks involved with futures contracts include imperfect correlation between the change in the market value of the stocks held by the portfolio and the prices of futures contracts and options, and the possible lack of a liquid secondary market for futures or options contracts, and the resulting inability to close a futures contract prior to its maturity date. Also, index options, over-the-counter options, and options on futures are exposed to additional volatility and potential losses.

S&P®, Standard & Poor's®, S&P 500® and Standard & Poor's 500® are trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC ("Standard & Poor's") and have been licensed for use by AXA Equitable. Structured Capital Strategies (SM) is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Standard & Poor's and Standard & Poor's does not make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in Structured Capital Strategies (SM).The Product referred to herein is not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by MSCI, and MSCI bears no liability with respect to any such Product or any index on which such Product is based. The prospectus contains a more detailed description of the limited relationship MSCI has with AXA Equitable and any related products. The Russell 2000® Index is a trademark of Russell Investments and has been licensed for use by AXA Equitable. The Product is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Russell Investments and Russell Investments makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Product.

About AXA Equitable

In business since 1859, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY) is a leading financial protection company and one of the nation's premier providers of life insurance and annuity products, as well as investment products and services through its affiliates, including AXA Advisors, LLC. The company's products and services are distributed to individuals and business owners through its retail distribution channel, AXA Advisors and to the financial services market through its wholesale distribution channel, AXA Distributors, LLC.

AXA Equitable, a subsidiary of AXA Financial, Inc., is part of the global AXA Group, a worldwide leader in financial protection strategies and wealth management. "AXA Group" refers to AXA, a French holding company for an international group of insurance and financial services companies together with its direct and indirect consolidated subsidiaries.

For more information, visit

SOURCE AXA Equitable