401(k) Employee Savings Plan

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Last updated date: 6/26/2024


AXA XL offers the XL America Inc. Employee Savings Plan to help you prepare for your financial future at any stage of your life. The money you invest in your account always belongs to you. The sooner you begin participating and making contributions, the sooner you can start saving for your retirement.

How the plan works

You’re eligible to participate in the 401(k) Employee Savings Plan on your first day as an AXA XL colleague. You’ll be auto-enrolled in the plan at a 5% pre-tax contribution rate after 30 days of employment. You can change your contribution rate at any time. Your first contribution will begin during the next available payroll period.

You may choose pre-tax, Roth 401(k) after-tax and/or traditional after-tax contributions in any combination. However, your total contributions cannot exceed 50% of your eligible pay. Your pre-tax and Roth 401(k) are subject to the IRS limit, which is $23,000 . Additional contribution limits imposed by the Plan and the IRS may apply in certain situations.

Navigate through this section to find out more about pre-tax contributions, Roth 401(k) contributions, comparing the accounts, AXA XL's contributions, and valuable retirement tools.

Look beyond retirement

Planning for a big purchase, like a car or home? Seeking ways to save for your child’s education? Or are you simply in need of a little financial advice? When it comes to your financial well-being, look beyond retirement with the help of Merrill.

Every quarter, Merrill offers free educational webinars on different money matters to help you financially prepare for your future and manage your present situation.

Take an active role in enhancing your financial fitness by signing up to receive Merrill emails, including details about upcoming webinars:

  1. Log on to www.benefits.ml.com. If this is your first visit, follow the prompts to create a user ID and password.
  2. Click Manage Online Delivery under Useful Links (bottom left).
  3. Follow the prompts.

As the saying goes, showing up is half the battle, so sign up with Merrill today and pave a path to achieving your financial goals.

Pre-tax contributions

AXA XL offers a traditional (pre-tax) 401(k) plan that allows you to contribute up to 50% of your eligible pay on a pre-tax basis. Pre-tax contributions reduce your current taxable income, and any earnings are tax-deferred. Your contributions to this account are subject to both plan and IRS limits.

Catch-up contributions

If you are 50 or older during the calendar year, and you reach the lesser of the Plan or IRS pre-tax contribution limit, you may be eligible to make an additional “catch-up” contribution. The maximum catch-up contribution for 2024 is $7,000 . This limit may be adjusted in future years.

See how saving affects your take-home pay

Contributing to your pre-tax 401(k) is good for the future — and the present. In the following example, a salary of $40,000 and the marginal federal tax rate of 16.66% are taken into consideration, and state income tax rates are not considered. This example is for illustration purposes only.

As you can see, setting aside pre-tax dollars can help you save for retirement without significantly affecting your current take-home pay.

0% 3% 6% 10%
Contribution to Pre-Tax 401(k) $0 $1,200 $2,400 $4,000
Taxable Income $40,000 $38,800 $37,600 $36,000
Take Home Pay $33,333 $32,333 $31,333 $30,000

Roth 401(k) contributions

You may contribute up to 50% of your eligible pay to a Roth 401(k). Roth 401(k) contributions are made after taxes are withheld, but any earnings are tax-free if you take a qualified distribution.

You need to meet two requirements for a qualified distribution:

  1. At least five years must have elapsed from the year of your initial contribution.
  2. You must have reached age 59 ½ or become disabled or deceased.

If you take a non-qualified withdrawal of your Roth 401(k) contributions, any Roth 401(k) investment returns are subject to regular income taxes, plus a possible 10% additional federal tax if withdrawn before age 59½.

Catch-up contributions

If you are 50 or older during the calendar year, and you reach the lesser of the Plan or IRS Roth 401(k) contribution limit, you may be eligible to make an additional “catch-up” contribution. The maximum catch-up contribution for 2024 is $7,000 . This limit may be adjusted in future years.

Accounts comparison

Review the table below to understand the similarities and differences between the traditional 401(k) and the Roth 401(k). You can contribute to both accounts.

Traditional 401(k) Roth 401(k)
Paycheck contributions Before-tax After-tax
Reduces taxable income Yes No
Pay taxes at distribution Yes, withdrawals of contributions and earnings are subject to federal and most state income taxes No, withdrawals of contributions and earnings are not taxed provided it’s a qualified distribution
Income limits No income limitation to participate No income limitation to participate
Maximum elective contribution 50% of eligible earnings (combined with other earnings such as Roth 401(k) and after-tax) 50% of eligible earnings (combined with other earnings such as pre-tax)
Required distributions Distributions must begin no later than age 72, unless still working Distributions must begin no later than age 72, unless still working

Employer matching contributions

The Company will match 200% of your pre-tax and/or Roth 401(k) contributions combined, up to 5% of your eligible compensation. The Company match is invested in the same investment elections as your contributions.

The Company match is vested over three years of service: 34% after one year of service, 67% after two years of service, and 100% after three years of service. Keep in mind that your contributions are always 100% vested.

Save well with the company's help

The Company invests in your future by contributing to your 401(k) and your Health Savings Account (HSA), if you’re enrolled in the OAP HSA 1 or OAP HSA 2 medical plan. With the HSA, you can pay for current healthcare expenses, or save your tax-free dollars—and AXA XL's contributions—for the future.

Savings Plan enrollment

You are immediately eligible to enroll in the Employee Savings Plan. After 30 days, you will be automatically enrolled in the Plan unless you choose to opt-out. Your account will be automatically invested in a Target Retirement Fund based on your date of birth and projected retirement at age 65.

If you do not make your own elections, 5% of your eligible compensation will be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis and contributed to the Plan. Contributions will begin as soon as administratively possible.

How to get started

You can enroll online at the www.benefits.ml.com website or by calling Merrill. Once you access your account, you can choose how much you want to contribute to a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) Plan, select your investments, and designate a beneficiary.

Note: You may change your contribution election or opt-out of the plan at any time by logging in to the www.benefits.ml.com website and entering your changes. Any changes will take effect as soon as administratively possible.


When you contribute to the 401(k) Savings Plan, you have the opportunity to invest your account balance in a variety of different ways. You can decide to select from a series of SSgA Target Retirement Date NL Funds — called a Model Portfolio — or you can choose to build your own portfolio from the available funds. If you do not actively invest your balance, your account will be defaulted to invest in the State Street Target Retirement Fund.

In addition, your plan also offers you the opportunity to choose from different mutual funds, bonds and stocks to invest your 401(k) balance. To learn more, click Build a Portfolio.

Model portfolio

AXA XL provides you with model portfolios to make saving for retirement easy. Model Portfolios are a single-choice approach to diversification for your entire plan account. The mix of mutual funds in the SSgA Target Retirement Date NL Fund is based on the year in which you plan to start withdrawing assets — so you can choose the fund that has the closest date you expect to retire.

To see what funds are available, visit the Merrill website, select the Investments tab and pick Investment Choices & Performance from the drop-down menu.

Build a portfolio

If you would like to create your own portfolio, the Plan offers a range of investment options with different levels of risk and potential return. This way you will be able to match your mutual fund selections with your personal risk tolerance and investment goals.

Your investment choices include:

  • Stable Value
  • Bond/Fixed Income
  • Equity/Stock

Before you build your portfolio, it’s important to understand that funds are managed in different styles and that keeping a diversified portfolio can help you hedge against risk. For more detailed information about the fund options that are available, visit the www.benefits.ml.com.

Retirement tools

It’s important that you feel comfortable when it comes to making decisions around your retirement savings. That’s why AXA XL provides you with valuable retirement tools that can help you make investment decisions.

24/7 Investment support

Advice Access is ready whenever—and wherever—you are. You can now download the Benefits OnLine® Mobile app to enroll in Advice Access and follow your retirement progress on your mobile device. To download the app, visit www.benefits.ml.com on your mobile device and select your mobile platform when prompted.

Financial Wellness Tracker

Complete the Financial Wellness Tracker on Benefits OnLine to get a pulse on your current financial health. This free tool can help you plan and invest, manage debt, and preserve and protect your assets. With the financial wellness tracker, you can positively impact and improve your financial health through personalized suggestions for managing your finances and improving your financial behavior.

It only takes is 10 minutes to complete the assessment. You’ll receive a financial health score with a personalized action plan to improve your financial situation. Visit www.benefits.ml.com and select the Financial Wellness tab to take the assessment.

Advice Access

Advice Access can help make your investment decisions easier by guiding you in developing your personal retirement plan. This program answers specific questions, such as how much you should save and your likelihood to reach a retirement goal, and is tailored to your personal financial situation. The service is easy to use and provided at no additional cost to you.

How Advice Access works

The service takes into account your basic information such as your age, gender, salary and if applicable, 401(k) account balance and contribution rate, along with projections about your retirement age and the amount of income you may need in retirement. The service also allows you to customize your retirement goals and to share additional information such as outside retirement account balances, expected expenses in retirement, risk tolerance and future tax state among other items. Once you enter this information, Advice Access will offer you personalized recommendations based on your situation.


With Advice Access, you will also have the ability to use PersonalManager, a no-cost managed account solution that invests your contributions according to Advice Access recommendations, reviews your account every 90 days, and will rebalance and/or reallocate your account as appropriate for your personalized retirement strategy.

To learn more about Advice Access, visit the Merrill website. Once you log in, just click the Advice Access link, or Advice Access under the Advice & Planning tab.