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AXA Equitable introduces Athena Indexed Universal Life Insurance

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AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, has introduced Athena Indexed Universal Life (Athena IUL), a new permanent life insurance policy with enhanced cash-value accumulation potential and downside protection. Athena IUL offers interest crediting linked to the movement of three major market indices, up to a cap, with a built-in guaranteed floor to help protect against index declines.

Athena IUL policyholders can allocate net premiums after expenses to any combination of four indexed options where cash value can grow up to a cap based on the movement of major equity indices. Policyholders have access to indexed options driven by three different equity indices, enabling participation in a broad scope of market opportunities – U.S. large-cap stocks, U.S. small-cap stocks and foreign stocks. Policyholders can also diversify by time period, choosing between three indexed options structured with a one-year maturity and one with a three-year maturity:

  • The 1-Year S&P 500 Price Return Index Indexed Option - Based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Price Return index (S&P 500), which tracks the market capitalization (the aggregate price, or value) of the 500 most widely held large-cap U.S. stocks and is generally regarded as the benchmark for broad U.S. stock market performance.
  • The 1-Year Russell 2000 Indexed Option - Based on the Russell 2000 Index, which is generally regarded as the benchmark for U.S. small-cap funds. Russell 2000 tracks the market capitalization of the 2,000 smallest companies listed on the Russell 3000 index, which includes the 3,000 largest companies in the U.S., based on market capitalization.
  • The 1-Year MSCI EAFE Indexed Option - Based on the MSCI EAFE Index, which, as of July 2010, tracks the market capitalization of 22 individual country indices in Europe, Australasia and the Far East and is broadly accepted as a benchmark of international equity shares.
  • The 3-Year S&P 500 Price Return Index Indexed Option - Also based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Price Return Index (S&P 500).

In addition to these indexed options, policyholders can allocate premium to a Guaranteed Interest Account, which credits a rate of interest guaranteed to never be less than 2%.

The Athena IUL indexed options deliver growth potential, up to a cap, based on index movements, without exposing policyholders to the possible downside risk typically associated with equity markets.

AXA Equitable uses a simplified point-to-point method to determine the index “performance rate” for each indexed option segment – the difference between the index’s value at the beginning and end of the 1-year or 3-year segments. This is then multiplied by the “participation rate” – the percentage of the index growth on which the interest credit is based, subject to the cap and floor established by AXA Equitable.

With Athena IUL, the participation rate is guaranteed to be at least 100%. If market conditions warrant, AXA Equitable also reserves the right to raise the participation rate above 100% in the future.

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