Hot of the Presses.
PARTICIPANT AND SPONSOR TOOLS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated and expanded its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS)with additional corrections for 403(b) plan failures, revised submission procedures for the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) and changes to safe harbor correction methods and fee structures. More information is at http://irs.gov.
Lincoln revamped its 401(k) plan to combat employee inertia. Participants are placed in one of five asset-allocation models based on age/risk profile. Employee contributions start at 5% and have an annual 1% increase, up to 10%. The platform allows substitution of any adviser, so all interested may create their own models for clients with Lincoln's open-architecture platform. Lincoln is in the process of making this platform model available to plan sponsor clients.
Corporate Compensation Plans Inc. rolled out an insurance product to continue contributions to employees' retirement plans if they become disabled. Employees can receive a tax-free, lump-sum payment equal to the value of all plan contributions to age 65. Contributions to non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans can also be continued, with lump sum payments up to $3,000,000.
OneAmerica launched Index(k), a retirement plan construction approach that offers indexed investing from BlackRock and Wilmington Trust. Index(k) will address increased focus on management fees, total investment expenses and transparency. The solution is combined with American United Life Insurance's service model. Plan sponsors may choose from 18 collective trust investment options.
Russell Investments debuted Adaptive Retirement Accounts to help participants develop optimal asset allocations. Defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors can leverage existing investment options and use participant data-age, savings deferral rate and current account balance-to determine the appropriate asset allocation based on how on-target the participant is to meet a specific retirement income goal.
Prudential Retirement introduced a mobile-ready website for plan participants. Features include access to multimedia articles, calculators, videos and podcasts. Users can explore, share and rate content from any mobile device, since the site is designed for tablets, smartphones and desktop users.
Merrill Edge unveiled Face Retirement, a tool that enables users to see, with a webcam, how they will look as they age. Consumers also preview forecasted costs of living and learn about options to begin saving.
ING U.S. has debuted a Web-based financial benchmarking tool. ING My Savings Score is a self-service tool, available to the public at http://INGMySavingsScore.com, that allows users to compare current savings to a target, based on age and annual income.
BCG Securities unveiled a redesigned website, for plan sponsor clients, with a streamlined user experience. Features include online tools and a designated site to help advisers expand their business.
Pentegra Retirement Services introduced a Web tool that features a Q-and-A. "Talk to a Retirement Specialist" covers key retirement plan design and technical issues for plan sponsors and advisers, including defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC) and executive benefit plan design; fiduciary governance; multiemployer plans; nondiscrimination testing; retirement planning essentials; and bank-owned life insurance.
In "ERISA Fiduciary Issues: A Practice Guide for Advisors," Matrix Financial Solutions outlines the responsibilities of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary via an in-depth look into the ERISA fiduciary rules that apply when advisers deliver investment advice. A plan details how advisers can review their business model and strengthen their value proposition.
SunGard's MyRetirement, a Monte Carlo-based analytic tool for advisers, answers client questions about how much they may withdraw safely and aims to help participants feel confident about managing a retirement portfolio. The calculator projects pre- and postretirement portfolios, assets at retirement and a budget, along with retirement cash flow.
Prudential Retirement added American Century Investments' lineup of target-date funds (TDFs) to its guaranteed income solution for defined contribution (DC) plans. LIVESTRONG Portfolios are time-based and automatically adjust as the target goal date approaches, generally becoming more conservative by decreasing the investment in stocks and increasing bonds and money market instruments.
Mesirow Financial rolled out model portfolios on the Mid Atlantic Trust Company ModelxChange platform, with exposure to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual fund investment options that allow advisers and plan sponsors the flexibility to offer strategies based on mutual funds, passive ETFs or both active and passive ETFs. The portfolio sets will include both target-date and risk-based options.
Oppenheimer introduced the Oppenheimer Diversified Alternatives Fund, focused on nontraditional growth and income, which aims to create a well-diversified core alternative portfolio by allocating assets across a wide range of alternative asset classes and strategies.
Curian Capital LLC's six Select Portfolios are designed to be simple to purchase and comprehend, including offering simplified fee- and tax-reporting structures. The portfolios have six guidance strategies-Diversified Income, Multi-Strategy Income, Equity Income, Multi-Strategy Growth, Global Growth and Global Maximum Growth-across a risk spectrum.
Charles Schwab Investment Management added to its target-date funds (TDFs) with 2045, 2050 and 2055 retail offerings. The Schwab Managed Retirement Trust Fund 2055 (SMRT 2055) and Schwab Indexed Retirement Trust Fund 2055 (SIRT 2055) were added to the collective trust fund lineup. The SMRT Funds combine active and passive investments; the SIRT Funds use primarily passive investment strategies.
Thornburg Investment Management Inc. added R share classes for its International Growth Fund and Developing World Fund. The shares are being offered as lower-cost fund options that charge only an investment advisory fee and other fund expenses, and are free of 12b-1 or other shareholder servicing fees.
Natixis Global Asset Management has introduced class N shares for several Natixis and Loomis Sayles funds. The shares have no front-end or back-end sales charges; no 12b-1 or service fees or subtransfer agency fees; and no minimum initial or subsequent investment amount.
GPS Select Solutions, a suite of multistrategy solutions, was rolled out by Genworth Financial Wealth Management (GFWM). The portfolios offer GFWM advisers multistrategist solutions to help grow or preserve wealth, generate income or serve a variety of specific investment goals.
Vanguard will add an international bond index fund to 20 funds, including Vanguard Target Retirement Funds. The addition of hedged international bonds is a refinement of the fixed-income component, bringing long-term diversification benefits. An allocation to short-term Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) provides retirees and preretirees with improved inflation protection with less volatility.