At a time when many variable annuity providers have been simplifying and streamlining their products, Axa Equitable Life Insurance Co., in New York, is heading in the other direction. The company’s new Retirement Cornerstone variable annuity is essentially two annuities in one package.

“We’ve seen over the last year a lot of takeaways in the variable annuity space,” said Steve Mabry, senior vice president of annuity product development at Axa Equitable. “We wanted a whole new design concept.” The annuity includes two distinct accounts, or “sleeves.” One caters to investors’ desire to maximize their investment performance, while the other is designed to protect their assets. Retirement Cornerstone provides a wide range of investment choices for investors to try to recoup some of their losses from the market crash, while using a lifetime income guarantee to protect a portion of their assets, Mabry said.

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