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AXA Equitable Provides Dual-Account Platform

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A new variable annuity is offering two distinct investment accounts, one focused on performance and growth and the other on retirement income protection.

Called Retirement Cornerstone, the policy is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York.

The “long-term accumulation account” offers access to more than 90 investment portfolios, in differing asset classes and investment styles.

The “guaranteed benefit account” includes a guaranteed income benefit option that invests in asset allocation and index portfolios. This account also offers death benefit options.

Policyowners can allocate 100% of their funds to either account or put a percentage in both. They also can make transfers within the contract from one account to the other without prolonging surrender charges and without incurring any taxable events, the company says.

A “roll-up rate” allows the income benefit to rise in a rising interest rate scenario, the company says. This rate is the annual percentage increase to the policy’s “benefit base,” which is used to calculate a guaranteed minimum income (or withdrawal amount). Initially set at 5%, the roll-up rate is declared annually at one point above an average of the 10-year Treasury rate. It can adjust to a maximum of 8% but never go below 4%, AXA says.

Other features:

- The income benefit option must be elected at the time of purchase and, when funded, at an additional cost and subject to certain restrictions and limitations.

- Policyholders can access guaranteed annual withdrawal amounts starting after the fifth contract year. Early or excess withdrawals may have an adverse affect on the guarantee, the company says.

All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable.

The policy can “give people the confidence they need to once again invest for growth, but without giving up the comfort of having a reliable guarantee, all on one platform,” says Christopher Condron, chairman of AXA Equitable.