Continuing retirement income for a surviving spouse

When John and Gail said “till death do us part” more than 40 years ago, they started an amazing adventure together. They bought a house, raised a family and built careers, preparing as best they could every step of the way.

Now that they are nearing retirement, they are facing new questions and challenges.

Although both of them worked outside the home, it was John who took time off as their family grew. They relied on Gail’s steady income, and today it is her retirement account that they depend on to sustain the life they’ve planned.

While their health is still good, in the event of Gail’s death, John would no longer receive Gail’s retirement income. What can John and Gail do today, to ensure that John is protected in the future?

An innovative strategy

AXA’s Retirement Cornerstone® product is a long-term variable annuity that includes a built-in protection called “Spousal Continuation” that allows one spouse to continue the other's contract. For example, if Gail passes first and John uses the Spousal Continuation feature, he can continue getting income from Gail’s annuity. In the event of the death of one spouse, contracts that are jointly owned by spouses or a single-owner contract with a sole spouse beneficiary allow the surviving spouse to elect to continue the contract, subject to certain conditions.

If you’re like John and Gail, you have plenty of questions about retirement. Contact a financial professional today to see if this product fits your own needs, and if so, how you can take advantage of the Spousal Continuation feature. Age restrictions, rate and other limitations apply. Please see the prospectus for more details. 

It should be noted that the Spousal Continuation feature is for contracts that are jointly owned by spouses or for a single-owner contract with a sole spouse beneficiary, and that in the event of the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse can elect to continue the contract subject to certain conditions

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The prospectus contains more complete information, including investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, limitations and restrictions. Please read the prospectus and any applicable supplements, and consider this information carefully before purchasing a contract.

This article does not cover all material provisions of the Retirement Cornerstone® contract. For a current Retirement Cornerstone® prospectus, which contains more detailed information about the Retirement Cornerstone® contract, including risks, charges, expenses, investment objectives, limitations and restrictions, please contact your AXA Advisors financial professional. You should carefully read the prospectus before purchasing a contract.

Retirement Cornerstone® comprises two separate accounts, each with distinct features that can help your clients address varying goals. The Investment Account enables clients to enhance their accumulation potential on a tax-deferred basis; it offers access to over 100 investment options managed by well-known money managers and the flexibility to transfer among investment options. When the time is right to protect these retirement assets, your clients can utilize the Protected Benefit Account, which funds the Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB) and the GMIB as applicable for an additional fee. The GMIB contains certain restrictions and limitations.  When GMIB is elected, the client is required to participate in an Asset Transfer Program.  There are also Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefits(GMDB) available some of which have an additional fee.

A “benefit base” is used to generate a minimum income amount or withdrawal amount and is not a cash value. It is equal to the total amount of contributions and transfers into the Protected Benefit Account investment options and increases annually at a specified rate, called a roll-up rate.  The roll-up rate for the GMIB is tied to the 10-year Treasury rates between 3% and 8%.  Early or excess withdrawals will adversely affect the benefit base. 

A deferred variable annuity is a long-term financial product designed for retirement purposes. 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. Withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax treatment and if taken prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to an additional 10% federal income tax penalty.  Variable annuities are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of principal invested.

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. You can contact AXA Equitable at (212) 554-1234 to find out the availability of other contracts.

This article was prepared to support the promotion and marketing of AXA Equitable variable annuities. AXA Equitable, its distributors and their respective representatives do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Any tax statements contained herein were not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal, state or local tax penalties. Please consult your own independent advisors as to any tax, accounting or legal statements made herein.

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Guarantees described herein are subject to the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. The guarantees do not apply to the investment portfolios. Retirement Cornerstone® is a registered service mark of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10104. Retirement Cornerstone® variable annuities are issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10104.

All contract and rider guarantees, including optional benefits and any fixed subaccount crediting rates or annuity payout rates, are backed by the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. They are not backed by the broker/dealer from which this annuity is purchased, by the insurance agency from which this annuity is purchased or any affiliates of those entities and none makes any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. Co-distributed by affiliates AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC, New York, NY 10104 (members FINRA, SIPC). Contract form #s: ICC12BASE4 and ICC12BASE3 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 their claims-paying ability.

GE-118865 (09/2016)

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