AXA Equitable Enhances Variable Annuity Offering

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. has enhanced its Accumulator series of variable annuities, including an expanded choice of "living benefits" and the unbundling of optional income and death benefits.
In an announcement, AXA Equitable said it has added a 6.5% roll-up benefit for contracts with certain Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB) and Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit (GMDB) riders in addition to its existing 6% roll-up benefit. The GMIB provides contract holders with a “floor” of guaranteed income for life derived from a GMIB benefit base that equals the contributions compounded annually at either 6% or 6.5% or, if greater, the account value on the contract’s anniversary.
With the annual re-set feature of the roll-up portion of the GMIB benefit base, on any contract anniversary that the account value is higher than the roll-up benefit base, the owner can re-set the roll-up benefit base to equal the account value. The annual re-set can be chosen up until age 75, but each re-set triggers a new 10-year waiting period until contract holders can exercise their GMIB (unless the original exercise date would be later), the announcement said.
Also included is a No-Lapse Guarantee, where AXA Equitable will exercise the GMIB for the contract holder as long as no “excess” withdrawals have been taken, even if the account balance falls to zero.
In addition, AXA Equitable will now offer the GMIB with the annual re-set feature as a stand-alone benefit separate from the GMDB, subject to certain investment limitations. The firm has added the EQ/Franklin Templeton Founding Strategy portfolio as an investment option in addition to the AXA Asset Allocation Portfolios and the Guaranteed Interest Option.
With the GMDB, beneficiaries will receive the greater of:
  • The final value of the underlying account at the date AXA Equitable receives all required information,
  • The annual ratchet benefit base, which is the highest account value on any contract anniversary up to age 85 (adjusted for withdrawals), or
  • The roll-up benefit base, which is the total of contributions the contract holder has made to the Accumulator account, compounded at 6% or 6.5% annually, up to age 85 (adjusted for withdrawals).
More information is at