NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company announced today an update to its flagship, variable annuity, Accumulator®, first introduced in 1995. The product series now offers an enhanced, competitive 5 1/2 percent deferral bonus roll-up rate, which delivers compounded growth on Accumulator's income producing rider's benefit base to age 85. Once withdrawals of lifetime income begin, the benefit base continues to compound at 5 percent, which the client can either take immediately or leave in the contract to further increase the lifetime income going forward.
One of Accumulator's most compelling features is the optional Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB). The optional GMIB rider, pioneered in the industry by AXA Equitable and available for an additional fee, provides a "floor" of future, predictable lifetime income, regardless of investment performance.
"The 'new normal' environment of unsettling market volatility and prolonged low interest rates has Americans seeking investment growth opportunities with solid guarantees for building predictable retirement income," said Nick Lane, president of the Retirement Savings division of AXA Equitable. "AXA Equitable's Accumulator variable annuity has remained resilient since we first introduced it, delivering a guaranteed retirement income stream, regardless of market conditions."
In addition to protecting retirement income, Accumulator can also play an important role in helping to preserve assets for legacy planning. Today's updated Accumulator features a choice of three different death benefit options that focus on preserving a legacy in up or down markets, locking in investment gains or preserving principal. Two of these choices offer, for an additional fee, the opportunity to grow the benefit base to age 85.
"Over 16 years, Accumulator has helped nearly one million contractholders save for and protect their retirement income," said Steve Mabry, senior vice president, Individual Annuity Product Development. "Today, our enhanced Accumulator is among a full suite of variable annuities designed to address a wide range of client needs and risk mitigation strategies, under various economic conditions."
AXA Equitable's suite of complementary individual variable annuities also includes:
Retirement Cornerstone® - Introduced in 2010, Retirement Cornerstone offers clients a retirement income planning strategy for addressing inflation concerns. Retirement Cornerstone with the optional Guaranteed Income Benefit has two distinct accounts offering investment performance and protection within a tax-deferred single platform. For clients interested in broad diversification, Retirement Cornerstone offers over 110 investment choices and a benefit base roll-up rate tied to the 10-year Treasury rate, presenting a growth strategy to take advantage of potentially rising interest rates.
Structured Capital Strategies(SM) – An index-linked variable annuity introduced in 2010, Structured Capital Strategies offers savers and investors upside potential, up to a cap, and some downside protection. Structured Capital Strategies can offer some investors an alternative strategy for addressing unpredictable market extremes.
The Accumulator® variable annuity allows clients the ability to invest for growth potential on a tax-deferred basis. It also provides for guaranteed benefits through optional riders available for an additional fee; the Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB) can protect retirement income, and the Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefits (GMDB) which provide the ability to preserve the value of your death benefit for your legacy. A variety of equity portfolios allows your clients to participate in the market.
The "Benefit Base" is used to generate a minimum income, withdrawal amount or death benefit and is not a cash value. It is equal to the initial contribution and increases at a specified rate, which is called a roll-up rate. The Deferral Bonus Roll-Up Rate is 5 1/2 percent before the first withdrawal and 5 percent annually thereafter. If the contributions in your account have increased to a point higher than the Benefit Base through market gains, the Benefit Base can also be "reset" annually to equal the account value. Excess withdrawals will reduce the benefit base, affecting the income and death benefits.
The contract withdrawal charge declines from 7 percent over a seven year period for the Accumulator Series B product. Guarantees are based on AXA Equitable's claims-paying ability.
Contract Form #s: ICC11BASE1, ICC11BASE2, ICC11BASE1-G-A/B and any state variations.
About Retirement Cornerstone®
The Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuity contains two distinct accounts offering Investment Performance and Protection with Investment Performance within a tax-deferred single platform, providing an innovative, comprehensive approach to managing retirement needs. The Investment Performance Account offers an extensive platform of over 110 highly rated investment portfolios from well-known investment managers. The Protection with Investment Performance Account includes the Guaranteed Income Benefit (GIB) and Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefits (GMDB). The GIB ensures you will be able to generate lifetime income no matter how your investment portfolios perform, and no matter how long you live, as long as you stay within certain withdrawal guidelines. As your needs change over the years, you can simply transfer assets from the Investment Performance Account to this Protection with Investment Performance Account until age 75. Transfers from the Protection with Investment Performance Account to the Investment Performance Account are not allowed. The contract withdrawal charge declines from 7 percent over a seven-year period for the Series B product.
Contract form #s: ICC10BASE1 and any state variations
About Structured Capital Strategies (SM)
The Structured Investment Option (SIO) within Structured Capital Strategies is an option which permits the contract owner to invest in one or more segments, each of which provides performance tied to the performance of a securities or commodities index for a set period (1, 3, or 5 years). Additionally, 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. Please note that there is risk of substantial loss of principal because you agree to absorb all losses to the extent they exceed the protection provided. The contract withdrawal charge declines from 5 percent over a five- ear period for the Series B product.
Contract form #s: 2010PCSBASE-I-A/B and 2010PCSBASE-A/B and any state variations
About variable annuities
Variable annuities are long-term financial products designed for retirement purposes. In essence, annuities are contractual agreements 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. There are contract limitations and fees and charges associated with variable annuities, which include, but are not limited to, operations, distribution, withdrawal and administrative expenses and charges for optional benefits. Withdrawals from annuities are subject to ordinary income tax, and if taken prior to age 59 1/2, may be subject to an additional 10 percent federal income tax penalty. Amounts invested in a variable annuities' investment portfolios are subject to fluctuation in value and market risk, including loss of principal.
Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before purchasing a variable annuity. For a prospectus containing this and other information, please contact a financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
Variable annuities are issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10104 and are co-distributed by affiliates AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors LLC.
This is not a complete description of the variable annuity products discussed in this press release. Certain types of contracts, features, and benefits may not be available in all jurisdictions.
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. Find AXA Equitable on Facebook and Twitter or visit the company's multi-media newsroom The Source @ AXA Equitable.
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