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Athena Survivorship Universal LifeSM IV

Athena Survivorship Universal LifeSM IV



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Athena Survivorship Universal LifeSM IV (Athena SUL IV) provides a life insurance benefit for the next generation, so your married clients can feel confident that their children will be taken care of when they’re no longer around.  With flexible premiums and potentially lower premiums than you might find with two single life policies, Athena SUL IV provides an efficient way for your clients to leave a meaningful legacy and still live the lives they want to live.

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Since this policy provides tax-deferred growth and a death benefit that is generally income-tax-free for your clients’ children, more of their money will stay in the family instead of going to taxes.  It can be an effective way to take full advantage of the unlimited estate tax marital deduction.

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Your clients’ cash value can grow tax-deferred, based on a declared interest crediting rate (not guaranteed).  Your clients can access their cash value via withdrawals and policy loans to meet unexpected financial needs or to supplement their retirement income.1


  • Flexible premiums
  • Tax-related benefits
  • Five-year no-lapse guarantee and an optional “life expectancy” no-lapse guarantee
  • Choice of death benefit options
  • Current interest crediting rate (not guaranteed)
  • Minimum guaranteed interest rate of 1.5 percent

This policy can help your clients preserve and protect the estate they’ve worked so hard to create, so that they can leave more to their beneficiaries.  While estate taxes are often overlooked, the top federal estate tax rate is now set at 40 percent for taxable estates that exceed the $5 million exemption amount.

Here’s an example of an estate with – and without – survivorship life insurance, such as Athena SUL IV.


Prospective client

Affluent married couples, age 45 to 70, with one or more of these needs:

  • Need estate planning and preservation
  • Looking for affordability
  • Interested in charitable giving
  • Need to care for a special needs individual
  • Looking for key-person life insurance for their business

1 Under current federal tax rules, clients generally may take income tax-free partial withdrawals under a life insurance policy that is not a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), up to their basis in the contract. Additional amounts are includible in income. The IRS places a limit on how much money can go into life insurance premiums for the policy and how quickly such premiums can be paid in order for the policy to retain all of its tax benefits. If certain limits are exceeded, an MEC results. MEC policyholders may be subject to taxes on distributions on an income-first basis, that is, to the extent there is gain in the policy and penalties on any taxable amount if they are not 59½ or older. Loans taken will be free of current income tax as long as the policy remains in effect until the insured's death, does not lapse, and is not an MEC.

2 Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) enacted at the start of 2013, the maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent. This rate is set for estates that exceed the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption of $5 million per individual ($10 million per married couple) as indexed for inflation ($5.25 million/$10.50 million in 2013).

3 All riders are subject to the terms and conditions of the rider. All riders may not be available in all jurisdictions. Some states may vary the terms and conditions. There may be an additional charge associated with obtaining certain riders. Some riders may not be available in combination with other riders and/or policy features.

Please be advised that this webpage is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this guide for producers is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed, and clients should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Athena SULSM IV is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable), New York, NY, and distributed by AXA Network, LLC, and AXA Distributors, LLC. AXA Equitable, AXA Network, and AXA Distributors are affiliated companies and subsidiaries of AXA Financial, Inc.

Athena SULSM and Athena Survivorship Universal LifeSM are service marks of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (New York, NY).

IU-108933 (11/2015)

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