AXA Launches Variable Annuity with Downside Protection

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company has rolled out the Retirement Cornerstone, a variable annuity that aims for both accumulation and preservation of wealth.

The new product is a tax-deferred investment platform supporting two accounts: one focused on the opportunity to maximize investment performance and the other focused on providing retirement protection, according to AXA.

The firm said the objective of the long-term accumulation account is to access the growth potential of more than 90 investment portfolio choices across a broad spectrum of asset classes and investment styles.

The objective of the downside-protection account is to provide a guaranteed income benefit option that invests in asset allocation and index portfolios.

The Retirement Cornerstone has a “roll-up” rate declared annually at one point above an average of the 10-year Treasury rate (the initial rate is 5% and can adjust to a maximum of 8% and never below 4%). The rate is the annual percentage increase to the benefit base, which is used to calculate a guaranteed minimum income (or withdrawal amount).

AXA said the dual-account platform gives investors the opportunity to pursue more aggressive investment recovery strategies, while retaining the option of when to optimize guarantee features.

“The extreme volatility of the recent past drove many investors into overly conservative positions at the worst possible moment,” said Christopher M. “Kip” Condron, chairman and chief executive officer of AXA Equitable, in an announcement. “The unique value of Retirement Cornerstone is the simple way it can give people the confidence they need to once again invest for growth, but without giving up the comfort of having a reliable guarantee—all on one platform.”

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