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Annuity Product Update: Athene, AXA Equitable

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Athene USA has added the Athene Amplify annuity contract — an indexed annuity product that’s registered as a security with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Issuers often refer to SEC-registered indexed annuities as buffered annuities, or structured annuities, to distinguish them from indexed annuities that are not registered with the SEC.

Athene says the new contract is the first SEC-registered indexed annuity that it has offered.

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Athene is issuing the new product through its Athene Annuity and Life Company subsidiary.

A purchaser of the annuity can choose between paying for a floor, or performance guarantee, and a buffer. If a purchaser chooses a buffer, Athene Annuity will protect the purchaser only against a specified percentage of decrease in an investment index. If the index drops by more than the buffer percentage, the purchaser could suffer a loss of principal.

The purchaser can choose from a menu of three investment indices.

A purchaser pays an annual segment fee of 0.95%.

The segment fee is set at issue and is guaranteed not to change during the life of the contract, Athene says.

The fee does not apply to account value in the fixed segment option.

In other annuity product news, AXA Equitable Life has introduced the Retirement Cornerstone 19 variable annuity contract, a new version of its Retirement Cornerstone variable annuity contract.

The company has also updated its Structured Capital Strategies structured annuity, which is registered with the SEC as a security.

The Retirement Cornerstone 19 contract guarantees a holder 5% growth on the income base, with an opportunity to earn more if Treasury rates go up.

The update of the Structured Capital Strategies contracts will give purchasers the ability to invest on a one-year basis, AXA Equitable Life says.

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