Home Industry News AXA : enhancements to the Secure Advantage range of Variable Annuities

AXA : enhancements to the Secure Advantage range of Variable Annuities

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Feedback from advisers and increasing demand for more investment and retirement options has prompted enhancements to the Secure Advantage range of variable annuities.

Important new features include lower minimum initial payments, a new range of index funds, and greater flexibility on qualifying ages.

Changes to the Secure Advantage range of Lifetime Income and Protected Capital Plans, which are provided by AXA Life Europe and distributed by AXA Wealth in the UK, are aligned to the recent Finance Act changes and offer IFAs and their clients a wider choice of remuneration options (including an ‘RDR-ready’ nil-commission charging structure).

Enhancements to the Secure Advantage Lifetime Income Plan:

– A new range of six index funds and four index asset allocation portfolios is now available in addition to the actively managed range

– Minimum investment age lowered from 55 to 45

– Minimum initial investment is lowered from £50,000 to £25,000

– Clients are able to invest up to 55% in equities whilst still maintaining a guaranteed minimum income for life

– Retirement Solution (personal pension) clients are able to defer crystallisation of their retirement benefits. This provides valuable flexibility for clients in the ‘pre-retirement’ phase, i.e. seven to 10 years before retirement.

Enhancements to the Secure Advantage Protected Capital Plan:

– Maximum investment age increased from 64 to 75

– Retirement Solution clients may now remain in the plan past the age of 75, following the removal of the requirement to convert to an annuity or ASP at age 75

– Minimum initial investment is lowered from £50,000 to £25,000

– Product options simplified to offer a single capital protection guarantee with upside potential and death benefit

– Retirement Solution clients have the option to crystallise their plan value during the guarantee period and take their pension commencement lump sum if they are over age 55.

Both product versions are available under three tax wrappers – Offshore Investment Plan, Personal Pension or Trustee Investment Plan.

David Thompson, Managing Director of AXA Wealth UK Distributors says: “Since we successfully launched Secure Advantage in late 2010 we have been evaluating what enhancements could be made to increase the appeal of the product. The active feedback we have been getting from the market is extremely positive so I am pleased we are able to bring to market these new features within the range.”

Simon Smallcombe, Head of UK Variable Annuity Sales for AXA, comments: “The response so far has been very strong and with these additional elements I am confident we can bring this exciting proposition to a whole new range of advisers and their clients in the UK.”

Source : AXA