AXA reverses course on variable annuity buyout

Insurer had planned an offer to holders of its Accumulator Series variable annuity

Apr 16, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

By Greg Iacurci

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. is no longer proceeding with a variable-annuity buyout round that it had planned to do beginning in May.

"AXA has decided to not move forward with the buyout program at this time," AXA said in an email it sent to distributors today.

AXA had planned to offer a buyout to contract holders of its Accumulator Series 04 variable annuity beginning May 1, InvestmentNewsrecently reported. The buyout offer, which would have seen consumers terminate certain annuity benefits in exchange for an increase in their account value, would have pertained to those who bought the annuity between January and September 2005.

"After further evaluation, we have decided it is not the right time for AXA Equitable to extend this offer to contract holders," the message said. "Please note, we take decisions like this one seriously, and have carefully considered implications for all stakeholders, including our partners, contract holders and for our own business."

An AXA spokesperson declined further comment on the buyout decision.

Variable-annuity buyout offers have become common for legacy blocks of business insurance companies entered into before the financial crisis. Many insurers offered rich benefits that have proven costly to insurers due to prolonged low interest rates.

(More: Have variable annuities sales hit rock bottom?)

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