NEW YORK, July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, a leading U.S. life insurer with a 150-year history, has introduced Athena Indexed Universal Life (Athena IUL), a new permanent life insurance policy with enhanced cash-value accumulation potential and downside protection. Athena IUL offers interest crediting linked to the movement of three major market indices (up to a cap) with a built-in guaranteed floor to help protect against index declines. "In light of recent market volatility, historic low interest rates, and concerns about the potential for rising taxes, Athena IUL represents a new permanent life insurance product that addresses multiple needs, including beneficiary protection, cash value accumulation and down market risk management," said Christopher M. "Kip" Condron, chairman and chief executive officer of AXA Equitable. "For individuals and business owners who are juggling a desire to reduce equity risk with a need to build future income, we believe this new solution offers the right blend of benefits." Diversification by Market and Time Period Athena IUL policyholders can allocate net premiums (after expenses) to any combination of four indexed options where cash value can grow (up to a cap) based on the movement of major equity indices. Policyholders have access to indexed options driven by three different equity indices, enabling participation in a broad scope of market opportunities – U.S. large-cap stocks, U.S. small-cap stocks and foreign stocks. Policyholders can also diversify by time period, choosing between three indexed options structured with a one-year maturity and one with a three-year maturity: -- The 1-Year S&P 500 Price Return Index Indexed Option Based on the Standard & Poor's 500 Price Return index (S&P 500), which tracks the market capitalization (the aggregate price, or value) of the 500 most widely held large-cap U.S. stocks and is generally regarded as the benchmark for broad U.S. stock market performance.