NEW YORK, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company announced today the launch of Retirement Gateway(SM), (Gateway) an innovative group variable annuity to fund retirement plans for the small- to mid-size market.
"At a time when 401(k) assets are again viewed as an important way to help Americans reach their retirement goals, providing plan sponsors with a full-service retirement benefit is critical," said Nick Lane, president of the Retirement Savings division of AXA Equitable. "We're pleased to introduce Retirement Gateway and believe it will empower plan participants to take even greater control of their financial futures."
Retirement Gateway includes a broad range of investment options; fiduciary support; administration support and service; and ongoing, interactive and customizable employee education and service. In addition to the traditional 401(k) plan, Gateway supports other retirement benefit plan types including profit-sharing, age-weighted/new comparability plans, money purchase plans, Safe Harbor plan provisions and a Roth 401(k) feature.
"Gateway provides the services, support and guidance business owners need to manage all aspects of their retirement plan and to provide their employees with access to in-depth retirement savings education and robust investment options," said Mark Scalercio, senior vice president and head of AXA Equitable's Employer Sponsored division. "This platform gives business owners more time to focus on their business and also helps them attract and retain talented employees."
Product Features and Services:
Gateway offers diversified investment options and strategies for different investment styles and risk appetites, accommodating beginners and sophisticated investors. Plan sponsors can customize their investment lineup by choosing from more than 100 investment options, representing well-known fund families and all major investment categories.
- A choice of Target Date and Risk-Based Asset Allocation Portfolios for investors who want a one-step approach.
- Individualized investment options that include active, passive (index) and multi-manager styles for those who want to take a more active role in managing their portfolios.
- A Guaranteed Investment Option (GIO) with a guaranteed fixed rate of return.
- A Stable Value Fund that offers potential for principal protection with investment diversification.
- Automatic Asset Rebalancing, a feature that periodically rebalances an employee's account so the ratio of stocks to bonds resets to the account's target asset allocation.
Gateway's investment options can satisfy Safe Harbor provisions under ERISA Section 404(c) provisions, including Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs) – the default investment options when employees do not indicate how they wish to invest.
Gateway provides advanced support to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary obligations in selecting and monitoring their plans' investment options. Plan sponsors can choose from co-fiduciary or full fiduciary services for investment selection and monitoring offered by an independent third-party investment advisory firm. Sponsors receive quarterly plan reports including investment updates, a model investment policy statement, a performance summary, a review of investment alternatives, a summary of changes and additions, and an investment watch list.
Gateway offers sponsors access to a dedicated implementation team to set-up the plan efficiently. The plan also offers a choice of bundled and unbundled recordkeeping services. With the bundled service option, an AXA Equitable retirement account manager and plan design specialist work together to create a retirement plan based on the company's objectives and employee base. With the unbundled services, sponsors choose their own Third-Party Administrator (TPA), and AXA Equitable works with the TPA to prepare compliance forms, plan testing and reports.
Gateway provides a secure web-based automated recordkeeping platform to help minimize recordkeeping tasks, increase accuracy and reduce data entry time. The platform provides extensive online reporting capabilities and enables sponsors to submit enrollment data for new plan participants; update plan information; perform numerous transactions; and access plan reports and forms.
Employee Education, Service and Empowerment
AXA Equitable has created a proprietary education program to support the Gateway plan. The Gateway education program is an innovative, needs-based system designed to aid the participant's decision making process. The centerpiece is a multi-media online interactive tool that can be customized to the plan and individual participants. Participants can match appropriate investment options to their goals and risk profile, arming them with the knowledge and information to help them work toward a well-planned, fully-funded retirement. In-person enrollers and financial professionals provide additional support to the sponsor and the participant.
Retirement Gateway(SM) is a group variable annuity contract issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY) and co-distributed by affiliates AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC, New York, NY 10104. Guarantees are based on claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable. AXA Equitable, AXA Advisors and AXA Distributors do not provide legal or tax advice.
This material is not a complete description of all material provisions of the contract and must be preceded or accompanied by a current Retirement Gateway(SM) disclosure brochure and trust prospectus. Please read the disclosure brochure carefully before purchasing a contract. For a disclosure brochure and trust prospectus, contact your financial professional.
Contract form #2005GAC-QP and any state variations.
Retirement Gateway(SM) is a service mark of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. All other trade names, trademarks, and/or service marks are the property of their respective holders.
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 www.axa-equitable.com.
SOURCE AXA Equitable