So, even if you die, you’ve been paying that 1.25% M&E fee all this time to guarantee that your beneficiary (in this case, your spouse,) will still get all the money you paid into this account. The investment returns and principal value of the available sub-account portfolios will fluctuate so that the value of an investor’s unit, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original value. Statistically speaking, the chances of meeting with an untimely death when the market is down AND when you’ve lost a portion of your contributions may be relatively low. It enables compounding growth of your investments and can reduce the amount of tax you pay along the way. See how we can help meet your individual financial goals - tips, tools, advice and product information. Maximum yearly contribution is $19,500 for people aged 49 and under. Personal Income Benefit investment options give you the ability to turn your retirement savings into an annual withdrawal benefit. A variable annuity is the only type of annuity that charges the M&E fee. BENEFITS & FEATURES AS ADVERTISED BY THE AXA EQUI-VEST ANNUITY: ADDITIONAL BENEFITS AND FEATURES OF THE AXA VARIABLE ANNUITY, Ask a Question or Schedule a Consultation, North American Securities Administrators Association, clicking on the prospectus link within this article, Podcast: Bruce McNutt and Ken Ford discuss 403b’s. When your contract is annuitized, your money is converted into payouts (this being the payout phase). AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company offers several types of annuities through a national network of agents and financial advisors. For the younger investor in their 40s or 50s, paying the additional 1 percent for an income guarantee now may not make sense, especially when you consider that the income rider fee is assessed for the life of the policy. I spoke with Sheila several times over the phone as she was located in Philadelphia Pa. The benchmarks were created by analyzing the account balances and contribution levels from EBRI’s Retirement Security Projection Annual salary must be between $20,000 and $500,000. First, the death benefit is only paid out if you die. With a variable annuity, in order to get the investment selection combined with the income options, you pay two types of fees: This is something you want to look very closely at if you are still working and making contributions to your retirement plan. 403(b) TSA Application . You want to compare prices and features, and understand exactly what you’re buying. Help & Resources Learn more about 403(b) basics, retirement planning and investing, Let’s say hypothetically you’ve contributed $100,000 over a 15-year period, and the investment performance helped it grow to $150,000 over that time period. In this case, AXA charges its contract holders a 5% penalty on any funds withdrawn that exceed the free withdrawal amount, but the duration of this fee starts over when you make a contribution. The company has an AA rating through Standard and Poor's but was given a negative outlook by the credit rating company in February 2009. ). This creates ongoing compensation for your broker. peer segment is selected based on their age and nearest salary, which is broken down into $5,000 increments. This annuity also gives the agent commissions based on your contributions. By contrast, the average investment fees for mutual funds inside a 401(k) retirement plan cost investors 0.88%, according to a 2015 BrightScope report. Brooklyn, NY 11245-0001 . month Effective immediately, please use www.equitable.com to access our website. Convenient, asset-based fees that decrease as the plan grows. A variable annuity is a type of deferred annuity, so there are two phases to your contract: the growth phase, and the income phase. EQUI-VEST® 403(b) is a variable deferred annuity issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (New York, NY). My goal is to make my review of annuities as impartial and objective as possible. Monday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM ET Tuesday–Friday 8:00 AM–8:00 PM ET, Send a request to have one of our experts contact you. AXA pays agents 1.5% to 2% commissions on every future dollar you contribute to your 403(b) annuity. Application No. Case in point: A class action lawsuit brought against Hartford Life on behalf of about 24,000 municipal employees in San Diego County and Los Angeles CA illustrates one potential outcome: The plaintiff’s lawyers asked Hartford Life during the discovery process how much in death benefits the company had paid in the 17 years that both the San Diego and Los Angeles plans had existed. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. It does not guarantee that your account won’t lose money. Brokers generally receive an up-front commission when they sell a variable annuity. You basically lose all the returns you’ve gained. $ Its an Equi-Vest TSA opened almost 15 years ago with a current balance of $350,000. Investment Options: AXA EQUI-VEST variable annuity offers a wide range of investment options inside this contract. If you have an annuity or other financial product you’d like to see an in-depth review on just let me know, I’d be happy to take a stab at it. You have a heart attack and go into the hospital. Nearly twice the median account balance was achieved when Third, you really have to ask yourself, what are the chances that you will die during the same year as a big market downturn? Let’s recap: As a participant in a 403(b) account, you have a choice to invest in either annuities or mutual funds. AXA Equitable pays contribution-based and asset-based compensation to their agents. Home » Blog » An Independent Review of: The AXA EQUI-VEST® (Series 201) contract for employer-sponsored 403(b) retirement plans. (12b1). to have my pretax dollars from my income invested in a retirement -403b The rep never disclosed any information about having to stay with the company for 6 years even if i ended employment, turned 60 or just wanted to transfer my funds to another financial institution's 403B. Wrong. If you work in K-12 school and participate or plan to participate in a 403(b), there is a good chance you may get pitched the AXA EQUI-VEST variable annuity. Personal Income Benefit Charge: This is the charge for Income Rider, an optional fee common for deferred annuities. I did that for you. AXA EQUITABLE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY . You listened and absorbed as much as you could, but there is a chance that some of the facts were not fully understood during the sales process. If you know a teacher or someone who is thinking about an annuity and might benefit from this post, feel free to forward it on to them via email. Before purchasing any investment product, be sure to do your own due diligence and consult a properly licensed professional should you have specific questions as they relate to your individual circumstances. 2 Income taxes are due on contributions and earnings from pre-tax accounts. *The use of the terms of “financial advisor” or “advisor” for purposes of the survey questions and responses by both the consumers and the financial advisors queried does not necessarily imply that the individual is a registered investment adviser (RIA). If you have a Facebook account, one of the best ways to spread this message around is by “sharing” the post by using the Facebook icon below (it’s a blue square with a white F on it). Deferred annuities are long-term contracts and most annuities of this type charge surrender fees during the first 5 to 10 years of the contract. A variable annuity in a 403(b) does not give you any additional tax benefits. Find more education and research on the benefits of working with a financial professional in our Enhancing Outcomes whitepaper. But you’re probably already getting this benefit. Equitable is the brand name of the retirement and protection subsidiaries of Equitable Holdings, Inc., including Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial) (NY, NY), Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America (Equitable America), an AZ stock company with main administrative headquarters in Jersey City, NJ, and Equitable Distributors, LLC. What if you know you need more money than that? . Founded in 1859, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company is the #1 provider of retirement plans for K-12 schools,1 serving more than 820,000 participants in over 17,000 plans. I’ll be going into the details when we get to the benefits and features section. They have fees and charges, including mortality and expense risk charges, administrative fees, and contract fees. They are sold only by prospectus. Second, this benefit doesn’t come free. $ disability, Our “An annuity contract that is purchased to fund an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan should be done so for the annuity’s features and benefits other than tax deferral. ... among other fees and charges, a charge for certain withdrawals that exceed the free withdrawal amount. Private Advisor Group and Warwick Valley Financial Advisors are separate entities from LPL Financial. Yes, it could happen. Hi, I am a new teacher in NY and someone from AXA has been in the school for the past week pushing the AXA Equitable Equi-Vest 403b plan. Overall fees including a Mortality and Expense Risk charge, Surrender Charges based on ongoing contributions, Agent commissions and compensation based on ongoing contributions, Income rider features that limit investment options for a lifetime fee, Annuitization of the contract may be required, No additional tax benefits when part of a 403(b). If you don’t need the benefits of an annuity at this time, then paying for these fees for the next 10 to 20 years may not be in your best interest. Savings must be between $0 and $9,999,999. HOW AN AGENT MIGHT TRY TO SELL YOU THIS POLICY. AXA Equitable may, upon advance notice, discontinue, suspend, or change Segment offerings. Buying this variable annuity or any annuity cannot give you double tax-deferral because there’s no such thing. Says AXA: “The percentage varies depending on the type of contribution (e.g., payroll, rollover, or direct transfer) and the date of the contribution or transfer. 28 Railroad Ave, Suite 2B I wanted to know if anyone knows if they are a good company to start a 403b with. In 2017, the North American Securities Administrators Association listed “variable annuity sales practices” as one of its top investor threats. AXA has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do I receive any compensation for this review. AXA pays agents 1.5% to 2% commissions on every future dollar you contribute to your 403(b) annuity. 25%. Maximum yearly contribution is $19,500 for people aged 49 and under. For someone trying to save for a retirement, fees are an important consideration. The internal expenses of the sub-accounts for this particular variable annuity range from 0.61% to 2.09% and average around 1.03%. At the time AXA looked like the lesser of all the evils on the schools vendor list. The variable investment option operating expenses, management fees, 12b-1 fees and investment-related expenses are reflected in the daily share price of each portfolio. May 1, 2012. Deferred annuity contracts such as EQUI-VEST® provide for conversion to payout status at or before the contract’s “maturity date.” This is called annuitization. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has issued bulletins warning investors how much fees can impact the growth potential of a portfolio. If you The one rider I analyzed had a 1% fee and it locked in returns at the high-water mark. . Find out why I suggest every teacher dump their AXA 403(b): [VIDEO REMOVED FOLLOWING PRESSURE FROM AXA’S LEGAL COUNSEL] After inquiring of family and friends, I sought out AXA Equitable as I was told that Ms. Sheila was an exceptional financial planner. Fax: (845) 981-7299 There are situations when the withdrawal charge is waived—for example, if you are confined to a nursing home for more than 90 days—and they no longer apply after the completion of 12 contract years. Learn facts/information you need to know about one of the most popular products being. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company . For many teachers, they have started saving for retirement inside of a Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA). How do the fees in this particular annuity stack up against the fees inside other investment options? During the growth phase, you can invest on a tax-deferred basis in one or more of AXA’s variable investment options or guaranteed interest options (GIO) or structured investment options (SIO). Fees and Expenses; Minimum Total Fees and Expenses: 1.12 [Find annuities with lower fees and expenses]: Maximum Total Fees and Expenses: 3.65 [Find annuities with lower fees and expenses]: Minimum Mortality and Expense Risk Charge "M&E Fee" 0.5 [Find annuities with lower mortality and expense fees]: Maximum Mortality and Expense Risk Charge "M&E Fee" APPLICATION FOR EQUI-VEST STRATEGIES EDC (SERIES 901) GROUP ... 2. acknowledge, understand and agree to: the elections made in this Application, the various levels of fees, charges, and funding arrangements under the Contract. Read prospectuses carefully before investing. AXA Equivest® Series 201 Variable Annuity AXA Equitable’s Equi-Vest series 201 is a variable deferred annuity that offers a convenient way to contribute and invest for retirement and can be used as a funding option for 403(b) plans. , Income Rider Benefits: Personal Income Benefit. What is a 403(b)? Petty, I know - I do think they might have lower fees as well. A career devoted to helping others reach their full potential creates unique needs. If you have an account with us, your user ID and password will not change. I’m just reporting on the main facts; to find answers specific to your situation may require a review of the full prospectus for applicable the details. You’re paying for it with the M&E fee we talked about earlier. EQUI-VEST is a registered service mark of and is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable). This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. There is no charge to move among the investment options. This fee is pretty standard for annuity contracts of this nature. Thanks again for reading, and as always, if you have any questions or would like to have your retirement portfolio reviewed, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule your no-obligation consultation. It offers Structured Investment Options (SIO) that enables you to invest for growth with some downside protection for a set period of time. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Teachers: Is the Death Benefit Killing Your Retirement Plan? It’s very common for people to withdraw money from their retirement plans. individuals chose to work with a financial professional, 18% higher satisfaction with their retirement plan when working with a financial professional, Strategic investment advice to grow and protect your money. The EQUI-VEST overview states: “There is risk of substantial loss of principal because you would Maybe they bought you lunch in the teacher’s lounge and gave a short presentation about the basics of the 403(b) plan. This review will help you do that. These ratings are the opinions of an operating insurance company’s financial capacity to meet the obligations of its insurance policies in accordance with their terms. 2018. The Personal Income Benefit investment option is available to plan participants between the ages of 45 and 85. This creates ongoing compensation for your broker. So, then you might select a Target Date Allocation Portfolio. Regular Mail: (with money): But how much can you protect? Make adjustments and add in other savings to see how changes affect your goals. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the variable annuity contract and sub-accounts carefully before investing. Investments growing tax-deferred can accumulate and compound untouched by federal, state, or local income taxes until you begin making withdrawals, which is usually after retirement. Overall Fees: There are additional fees associated with variable annuities that are not found in other types of annuities or mutual funds. EQUI-VEST. Furthermore, withdrawals may “significantly reduce” the future income payments of the Personal Income Benefit for which you’re paying that additional 1%. Does being more conservative inside this variable annuity mean you won’t lose money right before your retirement date? Before buying into an annuity, it’s important to understand how it works, what benefits it may provide, the cost to you in fees, and perhaps most importantly, the role it can help play in your overall retirement plan. I mention the $40 annual fee as it is a very common annual charge in many 401k/403b plans on top of the underlying fund ER fees. Separate Account Charges: This is what the AXA Variable Annuity calls the M&E or mortality and expense fee at 0.95%, and they add another 0.25% for a total fee of 1.20%. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of the following developed country indices: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. This product is marketed as a solution to help supplement your retirement income needs. Investors have access to over 80 variable investment options including numerous equity and fixed income portfolios as well as various asset allocation and target date portfolios. They also typically allow a 10% free withdrawal amount subject to federal income tax withdrawal restrictions. 40 years offering 403(b) products under public employer retirement plans in California. Over time, these additional costs can negatively impact your return potential. That could mean the difference between retiring early or late. Source: Equitable's Value of the Advisor study, 2018. Contribution cannot be more than annual salary ($). And speaking of return potential, selecting the income benefit rider will restrict your investment options. Present in 57 countries, AXA's 160,000 employees and distributors are committed to serving our 108 million clients. In fact, that’s one thing this annuity does have—a lot of choices. For such cases, tax deferral is not an additional benefit for the annuity.”. For readers who have found my website and don’t know much about me, I am a fee-only financial planner held to the Fiduciary Standard. Then the market takes a turn for the worse and drops by 30%. And then there are realities of your busy day-to-day. Contract (Please check one) ¨ 403(b) Public, Charter or Private Schools (K-12) ¨ 501(c)(3) ¨ Higher Education (Colleges and Universities) Is the Plan subject to ERISA? Mutual funds typically do not charge you this fee. Equitable Advisors is the brand name of Equitable Advisors, LLC (member, have an Equitable Advisors Financial Professional contact you, System availability These are pretty standard features that typically come with most income riders sold on annuities, and you can get them for less cost. Be sure to read carefully the marketing materials and prospectus, and if you don’t understand what you’re paying for, ask questions and receive a full disclosure before making a decision. They won’t charge you the $30 fee if your account value is $25,000 or more. I’m also on a mission to inform teachers about this commonly available variable annuity. As a participant in a 403(b) account, you have the choice to invest in either mutual funds or annuities. Participants Withdrawal Charges: In addition to all the fees listed above, the AXA Equi-Vest variable annuity also charges a surrender fee (sometimes known as a withdrawal charge). We are trying to decide what to do with my wifes 403B account, if anything. This independent review will cover the following information on the AXA Equi-Vest Annuity: How will this AXA annuity product review help you? One thing to be aware of with this particular annuity is that the surrender charge is based on how long your contributions have been in the contract. Once you do retire, the difference between paying 1% or 2% could mean running out of money sooner. But how good is the protection? This option gives you different investment strategies designed to adjust with you as you move through the phases of your life and become more conservative. If you’re contributing the maximum 2018 amount of $18,500 to your plan and, if over 50, also taking advantage of $6,000 catch-up contributions, then AXA could be paying as much as $490 a year to your broker. AXA states in the prospectus: “. Fees to the insurance company associated with risk protection, Fees associated with the investment funds inside the contract, $6,000/ year allowed for catch-up contributions if over 50. AXA also reminds you that you should buy this annuity based on its features and benefits, so let’s take a look at those. GE69880(9/12) Cat. Should you require assistance or have a Customer Service need, please call. two weeks In this case, the AXA Equi-Vest variable annuity agrees to pay out your total contributions even if your account takes a terrible market hit. The AXA EQUI-VEST® 201 series for 403(b) plan is a deferred annuity contract that is designed for school district employees. Distributor (Please check one) ¨ AXA Advisors ¨ AXA Distributors 2. Today I’m going to break down an annuity that is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Corporation. However, in general, variable annuities will add at least 1% in costs just for the M&E fee alone, not to mention the fees for the variable sub-accounts and income riders that can (and often are) added on. Contribution cannot be more than annual salary ($, Effective immediately, please use www.equitable.com, Equitable is the brand name of the retirement and protection subsidiaries of Equitable Holdings, Inc., including Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial) (NY, NY), Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America (Equitable America), an AZ stock company with main administrative headquarters in Jersey City, NJ, and Equitable Distributors, LLC. EQUI-VEST® (Series 201) Combination Fixed and Variable Deferred Annuity . This is a good thing. Whether the higher fees make sense for you will depend on your specific needs and situation. The MSCI EAFE Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the US & Canada. How about the Guaranteed Interest Option (GIO)? The peer benchmarks displayed were developed in partnership with the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). You may also want to consider the relative features, benefits, and costs against or with any other investment that you may use in connection with your retirement. approach, Powerfully Investing in mutual funds involves risk, including possible loss of principal. AXA Equitable, AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC are subsidiaries of AXA Financial, Inc. and do not provide tax or legal advice. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of a client so they can see my perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity model. Our areas of expertise are applied to a range of products and services that are adapted to the needs of each and every client across three major business lines: property-casualty insurance, life, savings & health and asset management. An employer may subscribe to EQUI-VEST variable annuity to sponsor a 403(b) plan bring out the best of it to his employees. This information was gathered from their prospectus dated May 1st 2018 and is not a substitution for individual tax or legal advice. such guarantees.”. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. *An annual asset-based fee will apply as well as the internal expenses and fees of the underlying funds. What is AXA equivest? You can obtain contract and sub-account prospectuses and summary prospectuses from your financial representative or by clicking on the prospectus link within this article. During this phase, you may receive periodic payments for life or for a specified period of time. No matter where you are today, everyone starts somewhere. Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) places restrictions on certain withdrawals from 403(b) plans. That might sound good for someone who is nearing retirement and wanting to protect their nest egg. If you’re looking for protection from market risk, you may select the Structured Investment Option (SIO) available within certain EQUI-VEST variable annuities. The prospectus and, if available, the summary prospectus contains this and other important information about the variable annuity contract and sub-accounts. Unlike other fee-only planners, I find that some annuities may be a part of a comprehensive financial plan when used correctly. If you have a 403(b) plan, then you’re already getting tax-deferred growth. But it’s never too early to dream about your future, and it’s never too early to start saving. If you own this annuity, or you’ve been pitched this by an agent/advisor and want an independent, objective review—then you’re in the right place. Furthermore, any investment that you purchase inside your 403(b) account can give you tax-deferred growth. This charge is common for variable annuities, but it’s not something you have to pay with all annuities. There's a lot you've accomplished - and likely so much more you want to do. EQUI-VEST® is a deferred annuity contract issued by AXA Equitable. It compensates the insurance company for the risk it assumes under this particular annuity contract, and it applies to all variable investment options. Administration Charge: This fee is charged on the insurance side and it will be the lower of either 2% or $30 of your account value plus any amounts withdrawn. the amount of the withdrawal charge deducted is equal to 5% of any contribution withdrawn attributable to contributions made within the current and five prior contract years, measured from the date of the withdrawal.”. A 403(b) plan is a high-visibility benefit that can help employees save for their retirement and enhance your value as an employer. Helping you achieve your goals and build a tomorrow that’s worth looking forward to. If you’re not familiar with variable annuity products and how they work, fees can be confusing to decipher. Gains from tax-deferred investments are taxable as ordinary income upon withdrawal. A participant’s Issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. Evaluate your retirement income potential using the calculator. You see a $45,000 drop in your total account value, and your new account balance is now $105,000. Annual fee: 1% of the participant’s Personal Income Benefit account value. No out-of-pocket expenses - they're covered through reasonable, ongoing deductions from participant accounts. Variable annuities invest directly in the market, and as such, they can lose money just like stocks and mutual funds. A one-time only enrollment fee of $25 per participant; that is waived under certain conditions. Contributions to a 403(b) plan and earnings may not be withdrawn until you: 1) Attain age 59 1/2 ; 2) Sever from employment with the employer who provided the 403(b) funds ; 3) Die ; 4) Become disabled in accordance with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Find strategies tailor made for education professionals. Any investment inside a 403(b), 401(k), IRA, or tax-qualified retirement plan has the potential to grow tax-deferred, even if they aren’t inside an annuity. The fees on the current 403(b) can be drastically reduced. These are typically 403(b)s offered by insurance companies (AXA, VALIC, MetLife, etc. But you remember you have a death benefit! There was a problem processing your request. The Personal Income BenefitSM is a “pension-like” plan benefit, available through the Retirement Gateway® group annuity, which the company says provides guaranteed withdrawal payments and helps employees be more confident about retirement. As I found out through researching AXA 403(b)’s, they are, in my opinion, one of the worst products on the market. disability, Short-term While the difference between .25% and 1% might not sound like a lot, assuming a hypothetical investment of $100,000 earning a 4% annual return, in 20 years’ time, that difference could reduce your portfolio by nearly $30,000. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
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