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Equitable has added a variable indexed annuity feature that may help the purchaser convert a stock market drop into a crediting rate gain.

Equitable is offering the new Dual Direction feature along with the Structured Capital Strategies Plus buffered annuities.

(Related: Transamerica Adds a Variable Annuity: Annuity Product Update)

An annuity owner can use the feature together with a crediting rate option linked to the performance of the S&P 500 stock index.

If the S&P 500 index falls up to 10% over a six-year period, then an owner who pays for the Dual Direction feature will get a positive return equal to the percentage of the decline, up to a limit of 10%, according to Equitable.

If the S&P 500 benchmark index falls more than 10%, and stays down, the annuity owner will get protection against the first 10% of losses, Equitable says.

Equitable’s full name is AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. AXA Equitable Life is responsible for supporting the new loss reverser return guarantee.

In other annuity announcement news:

AIG Life & Retirement, a division of American International Group Inc.,  says it will be offering the X5 Advantage indexed annuity through Annexus, an annuity design firm.

.AIG’s American General Life Insurance Company unit writes the annuities.

An X5 Advantage income feature can double the amount of any interest credited to the annuity, according to AIG Life & Retirement.

The contract also offers a confinement benefit. The benefit can double the annuity income of a contract holder who keeps the annuity for at least 10 years and then becomes confined to a nursing home or other long-term care facility.

Blueprint Income has started the AARP Annuity Marketplace powered by Blueprint Income program.

AARP members can use the program to buy fixed annuities and income annuities written by seven different insurers.

The issuers are New York Life, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Western & Southern Financial Group, Pacific Life, Lincoln Financial Group, Principal Financial Group and Mutual of Omaha.

AARP members can buy annuities on their own, or they can work with license insurance agents provided by Blueprint Income.

AARP has about 38 million members.

DPL financial Partners is adding the Transamerica Variable Annuity I-Share contract through its insurance product market.

The market supplies no-load annuities and life insurance policies to about 800 registered investment advisors.

— Read Allianz Life Adds Switchable Indexed Annuity: Annuity Product Updateon ThinkAdvisor.

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