• Confidence
  • Security
  • Assurance

The Personal Income BenefitSM is a “pension-like” plan benefit, available through the Retirement Gateway® group annuity, which provides guaranteed withdrawal payments and helps employees be more confident about retirement. No matter what happens in the market, the retirement income amount can only go up.*

Important Note: AXA believes that education is a key step toward addressing your financial goals, and we've designed this material to serve simply as an informational and educational resource. Accordingly, the information on this website does not offer or constitute investment advice and makes no direct or indirect recommendation of any particular product or of the appropriateness of any particular investment-related option. Your needs, goals and circumstances are unique, and they require the individualized attention of your financial professional. But for now, take some time just to learn more.

The Retirement Gateway® group variable annuity is a long-term financial product designed for retirement purposes. In simplest terms, it allows company employees to build assets by contributing on a tax-deferred basis and at some point in the future, if they choose, to begin receiving retirement income. To provide the investment and insurance-related benefit, a group variable annuity contains certain fees, including contract fees, a mortality and expense charge, administrative charge, withdrawal charges, investment option fees and charges for any optional benefits elected.

Feel more secure about your retirement

The Personal Income BenefitSM is available in 401(k) plans as part of the Retirement Gateway® group variable annuity, so all it takes is a few clicks of the mouse, or a quick phone call, to get started. After contributions start the amount of the guaranteed income payment can be accessed at any time. Potential retirement income can be maximized with contributions starting as early as age 21. Employees can also take advantage of the benefit’s flexibility by contributing whatever amount of salary they want (up to the federal limit), whenever they want. 

The Personal Income BenefitSM offers flexibility too. Potential retirement income can be maximized with contributions starting as early as age 21. There is also contribution amount and timing flexibility (federal limits apply).

There are three ways to build guaranteed retirement income

  1. Direct salary deferral
  2. Increases due to any gains in account value from market growth
  3. Transfers from other retirement plans of other plan investment options 

At every step of the way, the future guaranteed income amount can be accessed. There is an annual fee to cover the cost of providing the guarantee equal to 1% of the Personal Income BenefitSM account value.

*Early withdrawal from the Personal Income BenefitSM account value or withdrawals from the Personal Income BenefitSM account value that exceed the Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount may significantly reduce or eliminate the value of the Personal Income Benefit withdrawal.

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Make the most of the Personal Income Benefit

Ask your plan administrator whether the Retirement Gateway group variable annuity with the Personal Income Benefit feature is available in your 401(k). If it is, complete the steps on the checklist below to start building a supplemental source of retirement income.

1. Determine how much you want to contribute (visit our calculator for assistance).

    ☐ Choose when and how much you want to contribute.

    ☐ Change your contribution amount at any time.

2. Select the PIB AXA Balanced Strategy investment option within your employer’s 401(k) plan.

    ☐ Set your direct salary contributions.

3. Consider if assets will be transferred.

    ☐ Transfer from prior retirement plans or other plan investments.

It's that simple.

Investing eligibility

The Personal Income Benefit investment option is available to plan participants between the ages of 21 and 85.

  • The Personal Income Benefit feature is not appropriate if you do not intend to take withdrawals prior to annuitization.
  • If your employer chooses not to offer the Personal Income BenefitSM investment option, you can elect one of the available distribution options under the plan.

Contributions

As with other 401(k) investment options, there are three ways to contribute:

  • Make ongoing salary deferrals or a one-time contribution
  • Transfer funds from other plan investment options
  • Transfer balances from other retirement plans

Participant withdrawals

Payments can be taken at any time after age 59½ (subject to plan rules). The age at which payments begin will affect the amount of the income benefit. Additional contributions or transfers cannot be made after the GAWA payments begin.

Maintaining the guarantee 

Participants shouldn’t make early or excess withdrawals from their Personal Income Benefit accounts. This may significantly reduce or eliminate the value of the Personal Income Benefit.

Annual fee

There is an annual fee that covers the cost of providing the guarantee equal to 1% of the participant’s Personal Income Benefit account value.

Guaranteed Withdrawal Rate

The GAWA will increase with each new contribution or transfer. It can also increase based on the investment performance of the Personal Income Benefit variable investment option. To determine any GAWA Increase, we take your the Income Base1 (which equals all contributions and transfers plus any previous GAWA Increases1) and compare it with your the Personal Income Benefit account value on your the birthday anniversary. If the Personal Income Benefit account value is higher, the Income Base will step up to equal the Personal Income Benefit account value. This increase, which will be multiplied by a weighted average rate (GAWA divided by the previous Income Base), equals your the GAWA Increase.1

1 In the Disclosure Brochure/Program Summary, GAWA Increase is called Annual Ratchet Increase, Income Base is called Ratchet Base, and Income Base Increase is called Ratchet Amount.

Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount (GAWA)

The Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount (GAWA) is determined by multiplying any contribution(s) by the applicable Guaranteed Withdrawal Rate plus any transfer(s) multiplied by the applicable Guaranteed Transfer Withdrawal Rate, plus any GAWA Increase.1

Annual increases to GAWA

The GAWA will increase with each new contribution or transfer. It can also increase based on the investment performance of the Personal Income Benefit variable investment option. To determine any GAWA Increase, we take your Income Base1 (which equals all contributions and transfers plus any previous GAWA Increases1) and compare it with your Personal Income Benefit account value on your birthday anniversary. If the Personal Income Benefit account value is higher, the Income Base will step up to equal the Personal Income Benefit account value. This increase, which will be multiplied by a weighted average rate (GAWA divided by the previous Income Base), equals your GAWA Increase.1

1 In the Disclosure Brochure/Program Summary, GAWA Increase is called Annual Ratchet Increase, Income Base is called Ratchet Base, and Income Base Increase is called Ratchet Amount.

Important Information about Personal Income Benefit

The Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount is the amount your employees can receive in income each year once they begin taking payments. Their Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount payments can increase based on:

  • Direct salary deferrals into the PIB AXA Balanced Strategy portfolio
  • Investment gains in their Balanced Strategy portfolio’s account value if any
  • Transfers from other retirement plans or other plan investment options into the Balanced Strategy portfolio

Each deferral or transfer generates a new Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount based on the amount of the deferral or transfer, a Guaranteed Withdrawal Rate and the employee’s age at the time, and is then added to the current amount. Therefore, at any point in time, your employees can check to see how much their future guaranteed income amount will be.

Like any investment, the Personal Income Benefit may not be appropriate for all employees. It was designed to provide employees with a guaranteed source of retirement income through a series of withdrawals. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for those who do not intend to take withdrawals prior to annuitization. Employees must be 21 years old to contribute. The benefit is completely optional, has no minimum contribution limit and allows employees to choose whether or how much they want to put into the Balanced Strategy portfolio. Is the Personal Income Benefit appropriate for all employees?

While employees cannot take a loan directly from the Balanced Strategy portfolio, the money in that portfolio is part of the available loan amount. Employees would just need to transfer the amount they wish to borrow from the Balanced Strategy portfolio into another investment option before taking the loan.

Employees can start taking Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount payments any time after they reach age 59½ and have separated from service. Their age will affect how much they’ll receive; payments are reduced if they begin before age 65 and increased if they begin after age 65.

Once your employees begin taking Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount payments, they cannot make additional contributions to the Balanced Strategy portfolio. The account value will remain invested, with the potential to grow in positive market conditions, which means the Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount also has the potential to increase. Your Eemployees’ annual withdrawals cannot decrease unless they take an early or excess withdrawal.

The Personal Income Benefit  includes what’s called a Ratchet Base. The Ratchet Base is initially equal to the first contribution or transfer made into the PIB AXA Balanced Strategy portfolio. It will increase dollar-for-dollar with each additional contribution or transfer into the Balanced Strategy portfolio. Then, on each contract anniversary, we compare the Ratchet Base with the account balance of the Balanced Strategy portfolio. If the account balance is greater than the Ratchet Base, the Ratchet Base will step up to that higher amount. Then we take the difference between the two amounts at the weighted average rate of the previous contributions and Ratchet Base and add that to the Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount.

In other words, we use this calculation to determine an additional amount that is added to the Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount: Difference between account value and Ratchet Base x (previous GAWA/previous Ratchet Base) = additional GAWA

Early withdrawals are withdrawals taken from the PIB AXA Balanced Strategy portfolio before the employee has elected to begin receiving Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount payments.

Excess withdrawals are withdrawals greater than the Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount.

Both early and excess withdrawals will significantly reduce the value of the Personal Income Benefit. Please be sure your eEmployees should understand this before taking a withdrawal. Your financial professional can help explain this in greater detail.

Since Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount payments are not cumulative, employees cannot carry forward any amount they don’t take.

If the employee dies before starting Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount payments, or if he or she started payments on a Single-Life basis, the beneficiary would receive the PIB AXA Balanced Strategy account value.

If the employee dies having started taking payment on a Joint-Life basis, the surviving spouse would continue to receive payments for as long as he or she lives.

Yes, employees can change how they make contributions into the Balanced Strategy portfolio or they can withdraw the account value from that portfolio at any time. Once all contributions are withdrawn, the Personal Income Benefit will be cancelled and the benefit fee will no longer be charged. However, past fees will not be refunded, so your employees should consider their choice carefully before activating the Personal Income Benefit by contributing to the Balanced Strategy portfolio.

If an employee leaves the plan and transfers the account value to a new plan, the Personal Income Benefit will terminate. To keep the Personal Income Benefit intact, the employee would need to keep their account value in the Retirement Gateway® group variable annuity contract even if they leave the company. Or, in some instances, they may be eligible to make a direct rollover into an AXA Equitable IRA, which would also let them maintain the Personal Income Benefit.

About Retirement Gateway®

Retirement Gateway® group variable annuity is a long-term financial product designed for retirement purposes. In simplest terms, it allows company employees to build assets by contributing on a tax-deferred basis and at some point in the future, if they choose, to begin receiving retirement income. To provide the investment and insurance-related benefit, a group variable annuity contains certain fees, including contract fees, a mortality and expense charge, administrative charge, withdrawal charges, investment option fees and charges for any optional benefits elected.

Group variable annuities will fluctuate in value and may be affected by market declines, including a possible loss of principal.

Retirement Gateway® and the Personal Income BenefitSM feature may not be available in all jurisdictions or in all plans.

Retirement Gateway® is a group variable annuity that can be used to fund a tax-deferred retirement plan. Annuities used to fund these plans do not offer any extra tax benefits. If you are buying a Retirement Gateway® group variable deferred annuity to fund a plan, you should do so for its features and benefits other than tax deferral. For costs and complete details, contact your financial professional.

Click here to gain access to the Retirement Gateway® product brochure and the trust investment option prospectus.

The applicable program disclosure documents, the trust investment option prospectus and the Retirement Gateway® product brochure contain more detailed information about the contract, including investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Please read them and consider this information carefully before investing.

Withdrawals from annuities are subject to normal income tax treatment and, if taken prior to age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% federal income tax penalty. Withdrawals may also be subject to a contractual withdrawal charge, which will not exceed 6% of the amount withdrawn or last longer than five years from the date of contribution. AXA Equitable may discontinue the acceptance of, and/or place limitations on, contributions and transfers into the contract and/or certain investment options.

Annuities contain certain risks and limitations. For costs and complete details, please contact a financial professional.

This page is not a complete description of the Personal Income BenefitSM or the Retirement Gateway® group variable annuity.

The Retirement Gateway® group variable annuity is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY. Co-distributed by affiliates AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC (members FINRA, SIPC). AXA Equitable, AXA Advisors, and AXA Distributors do not provide legal or tax advice.

All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company.

Contract form #: 2005GAC-QP, 2012RDPIB-RG, 2012QPRG, 2011RG-457 and any state variations.

“AXA” is the brand name of AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC and its family of companies, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY), AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC. AXA S.A. is a French holding company for a group of international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC. The obligations of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company are backed solely by its claims-paying ability.

GE-128130 (08/2017)

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