AXA Equitable Launches 401(k) Solution

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company is launching the Retirement Gateway, a group variable annuity to fund retirement plans for the small- to mid-size market.

Retirement Gateway includes a range of investment options; fiduciary support; administration support and service; and ongoing, interactive and customizable employee education and service. AXA said Gateway supports other retirement benefit plan types including profit-sharing, age-weighted/new comparability plans, money purchase plans, Safe Harbor plan provisions and a Roth 401(k) feature.   

Investment option features include: 

  • A choice of Target Date and Risk-Based Asset Allocation Portfolios; 
  • Individualized investment options that include active, passive (index) and multi-manager styles; 
  • A Guaranteed Investment Option (GIO) with a guaranteed fixed rate of return; 
  • A Stable Value Fund that offers potential for principal protection with investment diversification; and 
  • Automatic Asset Rebalancing. 

The announcement said Gateway’s investment options can satisfy Safe Harbor provisions under ERISA Section 404(c) provisions, including Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs).  

With Gateway, plan sponsors can choose from co-fiduciary or full fiduciary services for investment selection and monitoring offered by an independent third-party investment advisory firm. Sponsors receive quarterly plan reports including investment updates, a model investment policy statement, a performance summary, a review of investment alternatives, a summary of changes and additions, and an investment watch list.   

The plan also offers a choice of bundled and unbundled recordkeeping services. With the bundled service option, an AXA Equitable retirement account manager and plan design specialist work together to create a retirement plan based on the company's objectives and employee base. With the unbundled services, sponsors choose their own Third-Party Administrator (TPA), and AXA Equitable works with the TPA to prepare compliance forms, plan testing and reports. 

Gateway provides a secure, Web-based automated recordkeeping platform to help minimize recordkeeping tasks, increase accuracy and reduce data entry time. The platform provides online reporting capabilities and enables sponsors to submit enrollment data for new plan participants; update plan information; perform numerous transactions; and access plan reports and forms.  

AXA Equitable has created a proprietary education program to support the Gateway plan. The centerpiece is a multi-media online interactive tool that can be customized to the plan and individual participants. Participants can match appropriate investment options to their goals and risk profile. In-person enrollers and financial professionals provide additional support to the sponsor and the participant.    

More information is at