According to recent data released by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), for fiscal year 2009, employee benefits-related tax expenditures ($347.9 billion) will account for 36.7% of the $948.157 billion tax expenditures in the federal government’s budget. Tax-favored employment-based health insurance benefits will account for the largest tax expenditure presented in the budget ($168.46 billion, or 17.8% of the total amount and 48.4% of all employee benefits-related tax expenditures), followed by employment-based retirement plans ($96.67 billion, or 10.2% of the total amount and 27.8% of all employee benefits-related tax expenditures).
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company recently launched a new variable annuity called Crossings: My Lifetime IRA. The new product is designed specifically as a rollover option for employees taking distributions from employer-sponsored retirement plans at Fortune 1000 companies. Crossings is the first product developed by Corporate Markets, AXA Equitable’s newly created business unit providing retirement plan solutions and strategies to large corporations. Crossings is not available through any other business unit, the company says. Data from the fourth annual AXA Equitable Retirement Scope released in January 2008, which surveyed workers and retirees about their financial preparations, quality of life and views on retirement, found that Americans are deeply concerned about outliving their retirement savings. They also want protection against market volatility, as well as the ability to maintain their quality of life after retirement. According to the results, more than 70% of workers believe employers are responsible for retirement readiness. According to AXA, Crossings is designed to address these retirement concerns, and do so as a supplement to the employer’s benefit plans.