NEW YORK, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company announced today that the company's Structured Capital Strategies variable annuity has surpassed $1 billion in new sales since the innovative product was introduced in October 2010.
"We developed Structured Capital Strategies in response to investors' heightened fear of market risk," said Nick Lane, president of the Retirement Savings division at AXA Equitable. "It is resonating with people who, after the market tumult of the last few years, have a need for investment growth potential but are understandably risk averse and want some protection against market loss."
Structured Capital Strategies offers 1-, 3- and 5-year participation in the performance of the following indices, up to a cap, called the Performance Cap Rate, with a choice of downside buffers:
- 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)
AXA Equitable will absorb the first -10%, -20% or -30% of loss in the event of negative index performance, depending on the selected index and duration. Together, the downside buffer and cap help to stabilize the impact of volatility. The Performance Cap Rate is the maximum potential "ceiling" or cap that a contractholder may get from index gains.
"The last few years have sparked intense innovation in the annuity industry. We now have a suite of solutions that help solve for multiple market conditions and financial planning needs. Structured Capital Strategies is at the forefront of this progress," said Kevin Kennedy, senior vice president, New Business Development, Retirement Savings. "The product offers clients a new way to use an annuity to help manage volatility, with performance cap rates that generally increase during periods of volatility. Structured Capital Strategies helps investors address market uncertainty instead of running from it."
Redefining Assumptions about Annuities
"The success of Structured Capital Strategies represents a new direction in variable annuities, redefining how insured savings strategies can help investors navigate today's challenges," said Michael McCarthy, senior vice president, National Sales Manager, Retirement Savings. "We designed it for individuals who want tax-deferred investment potential with a level of downside protection that an insurer can provide."
About Structured Capital Strategies
The participation in index performance up to a cap with a partial downside buffer which was described earlier in this release is called the Structured Investment Option (SIO). Please keep in mind that there is risk of substantial loss of principal because the investor agrees to absorb all losses that exceed the protection provided by the SIO at maturity. If you would like a guarantee of principal, AXA Equitable offers other products that provide such guarantees. Additionally, it must be noted that there are also variable subaccounts that are not the SIO and the investment results in these variable investment options do not depend on the investment performance of a related index. Unlike an index fund, the SIO provides a return at maturity designed to provide a combination of protection against certain decreases in the index and a limitation on participation in certain increases in the index. There is a risk of substantial loss of principal because the investor agrees to absorb all losses to the extent they exceed the protection provided by the SIO at maturity.
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company has sole legal responsibility to pay amounts it owes under the contract. An owner should look to the financial strength of AXA Equitable for its claims-paying ability. The SIO does not involve an investment in any underlying portfolio. Instead, it is an obligation of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company.
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. 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.
Variable annuities are subject to market risk including loss of principal. Withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax treatment, and if taken prior to age 59, you may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax. Withdrawals may also be subject to a contractual withdrawal charge. The withdrawal charge declines from 5% over a five year period for the Structured Capital Strategies Series B product. Variable annuities contain certain restrictions and limitations. For costs and complete details, contact a financial professional.
The Performance Cap Rate is locked in on the Segment Start Date. The Performance Cap Rate is a rate of return from the Segment Start Date to the Segment Maturity Date, not an annual rate, even if the Segment Duration is longer than one year. (Please note that a contractholder does not invest directly in the applicable index. The Performance Cap Rate will not be known until the Segment starts.) The Segment Rate of Return may be limited by the Performance Cap Rate, which may be lower than performance one may have otherwise experienced if you invested in a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund designed to track the performance of the applicable index.
AXA Equitable, upon advance notice, may discontinue, suspend or change contributions and transfers among investment options or make other changes in contribution and transfer requirements and limitations.
Certain types of contracts and features will not be available in all jurisdictions. This release is not a complete description of the Structured Capital Strategies variable annuity.
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 – 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.) – 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.) – 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 5OO® and Standard & Poor's 5OO® 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.
Structured Capital Strategies variable annuities are issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10104 and co-distributed by affiliates AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC, New York, NY 10104.
Contract form #s: 2010PCSBASE-I-A/B and 2010PCSBASE-A/B and any state variations
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, annuity, and financial products and services. The company's products and services are distributed to individuals and business owners through its retail distribution channel, AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) 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