AXA Releases Mid-to-Small K Plan Offering

July 26, 2005 ( - AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company has launched Retirement Strategies, a 401(k) plan product designed for small- to mid-size businesses.

An AXA news release says Retirement Strategies is a group deferred variable annuity that provides flexibility in plan design and pricing, a range of investment options and recordkeeping services. It will take the place of the company’s Momentum Series products for new sales, except for the Owners 401(k) plan which will continue in Momentum, the company said.

In addition to the traditional 401(k) plan, Retirement Strategies supports Safe Harbor 401(k) and age-weighted/new comparability 401(k) plans, as well as profit-sharing, money purchase and defined benefit plans, according to the announcement.

Plan sponsors will be able to choose from more than 80 investment options, representing all major investment categories. Retirement Strategies also offers plan sponsors the ability to customize their plan’s investment lineup with company stock and self-directed brokerage accounts. In addition, the product offers a Guaranteed Interest Option (GIO) to guarantee a minimum return.

Further, Retirement Strategies offers three different styles of professional money management from which plan participants may choose: single-manager portfolios, multiple-manager portfolios, and five asset allocation portfolios designed to simplify plan participants’ option selections. AXA Equitable will serve as investment co-fiduciary for its proprietary investment options, which are subadvised.

A full-service recordkeeping platform will be administered by Boston Financial Data Services (BFDS). AXA Equitable determined that this recordkeeping platform reduces the time required to enter data and the potential for errors. A Web-based, rules-based system scans for errors before payroll data is processed, easing the data entry process.

The platform provides extensive online reporting capabilities, enabling clients to submit enrollment data for new plan participants, update information, perform many types of transactions and access plan reports, forms and other information, AXA said.

Plan participants benefit from a platform offering easy access. Eligible participants can enroll online through AXA Equitable’s EQAccess, where enrollees can also request distributions and transfers among investment options. The VRU recognizes callers by their voice patterns, eliminating the need to remember passwords. In addition to Web access and the VRU, plan participants can also obtain information and execute transactions with customer service representatives during regular business hours.

More information about the company is at .