NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 20, 2019–AXA Equitable Life, a leading financial services company, today announced the availability of Semester Strategies, a new asset allocation investment program designed for K-12 403(b) retirement plan participants. 1 Semester Strategies combines an evolving asset allocation plan commonly found in target-date funds, with some downside market protection 2 and the financial guidance of a licensed professional. This holistic approach ā combining high-quality products with trusted and personalized financial advice ā is central to AXA Equitable Lifeās mission to help customers retire with dignity.
Semester Strategies is an optional feature within an AXA Equitable Life variable annuity contract for 403(b) retirement plans, 3 and provides educators with a simple way to invest in a diversified portfolio with potential for growth. When available under their employerās 403(b) plan, individuals will have access to model portfolios that range from conservative to more aggressive based on their years remaining to retirement, risk tolerance and stated investment return objectives. Each model portfolio considers the need for growth earlier on and adjusts to a more conservative approach over time.
SWBC Investment Advisory Services, an independent, SEC-registered investment advisor, created the model portfolios exclusively for AXA Equitable Life. SWBC provides ongoing fiduciary oversight for the program.
āAs the leading provider of 403(b) retirement plans for K-12 educators, we continue to look for ways to innovate and provide greater value for our clients,ā said Steve Scanlon, Managing Director and Head of Group Retirement at AXA Equitable Life. āCurrent pension benefits alone are often not enough to allow individuals to live comfortably in retirement. We built Semester Strategies with educatorsā unique retirement planning needs in mind by designing it to complement existing pensions with additional fiduciary oversight.ā
Semester Strategies is designed to complement a pension by providing more exposure to equity markets, and providing protection for investment losses of up to 10 percent while allowing investment growth up to a cap. This built-in downside protection is offered through an investment option 2 in an AXA Equitable Life variable annuity contract for 403(b) retirement plans.
AXA Equitable Life is the leading 403(b) retirement plan provider in the K-12 market by contributions and assets under management, according to a recent industry survey. 4 The companyās Group Retirement business was created nearly 40 years ago specifically to serve the unique retirement savings needs of K-12 teachers.
In addition, there are more than 1,000 registered and licensed AXA Advisors Financial Professionals who specifically focus on working with educators and school staff to provide holistic financial services. Many of these financial professionals have a personal connection to educators that has drawn them to this work. Recent independent research commissioned by AXA Equitable Life found K-12 educators who work with a financial professional reported median 403(b) retirement account balances nearly double of those who do not work with a professional. 5
Subject to regulatory approval, the Semester Strategies asset allocation program is available to participants in AXA Equitable EQUI-VESTĀ® variable annuity contract for 403(b) retirement plans and will expand to additional AXA Equitable Life variable annuity contracts available to 403(b) and 457 retirement plans in the future. More information can be found at www.axa.com/semesterstrategies.
About AXA Equitable Life
AXA Equitable Life is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. ( NYSE:EQH ). Founded in 1859, the company is one of Americaās leading financial services providers with 2.4 million customers and more than $209 billion of assets under management (as of 9/30/18). AXA Equitable Lifeās mission is to help people retire with dignity, protect their families and prepare for their financial futures with confidence.
As with any investment or investment feature, itās important for current and prospective EQUI-VEST Ā® variable annuity contract holders to understand all applicable restrictions and limitations associated with Semester Strategies. As some examples, the EQUI-VEST Ā® variable annuity contract holderās Planned Retirement Age cannot be later than the maturity date under their contract, and those currently invested in the contractās Personal Income Benefit (PIB) are not eligible to participate in Semester Strategies (āProgramā) at this time. Also, those with current investments in the SIO may n