AXA Equitable Introduces New Way to Meet Required IRS Distributions While Guaranteeing a Legacy for Beneficiaries

RMD Wealth Guard Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit (GMDB) creates strategy for retirement savers to fulfill tax requirements while preserving assets for legacy transfer

Media Contacts:

Discretion Winter
(212) 314-2968
Colleen McGroarty
(212) 314-2485

April 22, 2015

NEW YORK – AXA Equitable, a pioneer in financial protection, has introduced the RMD Wealth Guard GMDB, an innovative feature within the Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuity that provides a solution for taking required minimum distributions while also leaving a legacy for beneficiaries.

After turning age 70 ½, the IRS requires that you begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) which are annual withdrawals from retirement plans and contracts such as IRAs. RMDs are calculated according to IRS rules and typically reduce the value of retirement savings.

How the RMD Wealth Guard works:

  • With the RMD Wealth Guard GMDB, the initial investment is guaranteed as a legacy transfer to the beneficiary, regardless of market performance.   After age 70 ½, any RMD withdrawal from the Protected Benefit Account of the Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuity will not decrease the amount left for beneficiaries. That way, you can take the distributions required by law without decreasing the money you want to leave for your family.  
  • The RMD Wealth Guard GMDB allows savers to participate in market performance to potentially increase their legacy. Each year, until you take your first RMD or reach age 85, if market increases have grown your Protected Benefit Account, the locked-in amount that will be given to beneficiaries also increases to match the higher value.
  • In the years thereafter, even if your Protected Benefit Account Value decreases, your beneficiaries are guaranteed the locked-in amount, as long as you never take more than your RMD. In addition, if poor market performance and RMD withdrawals cause the account value to go to zero before you pass away, the RMD Wealth Guard offers a refund feature.

“Guaranteeing money for one’s beneficiaries – whether for family, friends or a philanthropic cause – is the main goal of the RMD Wealth Guard benefit,” said Todd Solash, head of Individual Annuity Products at AXA Equitable.  “We are known for creating innovative retirement strategies that address evolving needs. With the RMD Wealth Guard GMDB, we’ve created a solution that allows savers to fulfill tax requirements while at the same time protecting their legacies.”

The RMD Wealth Guard GMDB is an option available for an additional fee within Retirement Cornerstone®, a multi-stage annuity built to adapt to your changing needs. Retirement Cornerstone® can help you seamlessly transition from traditional tax-deferred investment growth potential to the guaranteed income you need at a later point in life. The Retirement Cornerstone® Investment Account is focused on tax-deferred investing with access to 100+ well-known investment portfolios, while its Protected Benefit Account funds optional guaranteed riders, available for an additional fee, designed to help meet a variety of retirement needs. Find two distinct accounts within: Invest in one account or both, and enjoy tax-free transfers from the Investment Account to the Protected Account.

More information:

Click here for more information about Retirement Cornerstone®.

The Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuity is offered by prospectus, which contains more complete information, including investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, limitations and restrictions and which is available from AXA Equitable, from your financial professional/insurance-licensed registered representative, or by visiting  Please read the prospectus and any applicable supplements, and consider this information carefully before purchasing a contract. This is not a complete description of all material provisions of the Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuity contract. Please see the prospectus for the contract’s withdrawal charge scales and other important information. There are certain contract limitations and restrictions associated with the Retirement Cornerstone® contract, which include, but are not limited to, a contract fee and additional charges for optional benefits. In addition, the underlying investment portfolios charge management fees and have other expenses. For costs and complete details of coverage, speak to your financial professional/insurance-licensed registered representative. Certain types of contracts, features and benefits may not be available in all jurisdictions. AXA Equitable offers other variable annuity contracts with different fees, charges and features. Not every contract is available through the same selling broker/dealer. AXA Equitable may discontinue contributions and transfers among investment options or make other changes in contribution and transfer requirements and limitations. If we discontinue contributions and transfers into the Protected Benefit Account, you will no longer be able to fund your guaranteed benefits.  Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuities are issued by (and are registered service marks of) AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10104.  Distributed by affiliate AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 10104) (member FINRA, SIPC). All contract and rider guarantees, including optional benefits and any fixed subaccount crediting rates or annuity payout rates, are backed solely by the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. The guarantees do not apply to the investment portfolios. Contract form #s: ICC12BASE4 and ICC12BASE3 and any state variations. Restrictions apply. Refer to the Prospectus and Contract for details. Under IRS rules, Lifetime RMDs for any year are based on the prior year’s account value, adjusted for certain guaranteed benefits such as RMD Wealth Guard GMDB. Each year this adjusted value is divided by a life expectancy factor from IRS tables.

A deferred variable annuity, such as Retirement Cornerstone®, is a long term financial product designed for retirement purposes. It is a contractual agreement in which payment(s) are made to an insurance company, which agrees to pay out an income or lump sum amount at a later date.  Withdrawals from an annuity contract are taxable as ordinary income and, if made prior to age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax. Withdrawals may also be subject to withdrawal charges. Amounts invested in an annuity’s portfolios are subject to fluctuation in value and market risk, including loss of principal. There are fees and charges associated with a variable annuity contract, which include, but are not limited to, operations charges, sales and withdrawal charges, administrative fees, and additional charges for optional benefits. See the prospectus for complete details. The RMD Wealth Guard death benefit is not available in New York, and may not be elected in conjunction with a Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit. There are other death benefits available through Retirement Cornerstone®, one of which, the Return of Principal death benefit, is available without an additional fee. If you are purchasing an annuity contract to fund an Individual Retirement Annuity (IRA) or employer-sponsored retirement plan, you should be aware that such annuities do not provide tax-deferral benefits beyond those already provided by the Internal Revenue Code. Before purchasing one of these annuities, you should consider whether its features and benefits beyond tax deferral meet your needs and goals. You may also want to consider the relative features, benefits and costs of these annuities with any other investment that you may use in connection with your retirement plan or arrangement.

About AXA

“AXA” is the brand name of AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC and its family of companies, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY), MONY Life Insurance Company of America (AZ stock company, administrative office: Jersey City, NJ), AXA Advisors, LLC, and AXA Distributors, LLC. In business since 1859, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company is a leading financial protection company and one of the nation’s premier providers of life insuranceannuity, and financial products and services distributed to individuals and business owners through its retail distribution channel, AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) and to the financial services market through its wholesale distribution channel, AXA Distributors, LLC.AXA S.A. is a Paris-headquartered holding company for a group of international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC companies. AXA S.A. is a worldwide leader in financial protection strategies and wealth management with 103 million clients in 59 countries as of December 31, 2014.Find AXA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For more information, visit


GE-102494 (04/2015)

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