Edelman Financial Engines began offering financial planning services to participants of employer-sponsored pension plans on the company’s business book.
The nation’s largest RIA advises on a combined $219 billion in 401(k) and other retirement plan assets for employers, including about 120 Fortune 500 companies. Employees who participate in these plans and Nearing retirement or who have recently retired will now be able to benefit from portfolio management and financial planning through Edelman’s financial advisors.
Edelman calls the new program “Income Beyond Retirement.”
Since 2011, Edelman and its predecessor Financial Engines — which merged with Edelman Financial in 2018 — have been offering plan participants a managed account service called “Income+,” which aims to help retirees execute prudent withdrawal strategies on their 401(k). (k). The new program builds on this by allowing participants to choose whether their goal is growth, income, or a mix of the two. The company then constructs a personalized 401(k) management strategy based on the client’s risk tolerance, age and financial goals.
Also new is that attendees will be able to speak on the phone with one of the approximately 80 advisors working at the National Advisor Center in Edelman, Arizona. These advisers will be available to do “retirement checkups” for participants age 55 and older and can help them with things like claiming Social Security and analyzing inflation and interest rate risk. If participants require more sophisticated services such as tax or estate management, they can be connected with one of Edelman’s 340 financial planners.
“We see every day the importance of preparing for retirement, and not in terms of saving, but how you elegantly move into the payout phase,” said Edelman senior vice president Steve Rubino. “As we thought, there are very few solutions that combine the ability to speak with an advisor, personalize it, and do it under the qualified plan, which is a pretty special combination. It was kind of a driving force for us as we thought about what we needed to take to the next level.
There is no change in cost for Edelman’s plan sponsor customers with the new services. So far, Edelman said 25 employers representing about $133 billion in pension plan assets — including Boeing, Equinox and Lenovo — are benefiting from the new program.
Retirement advisers have long touted the idea of financial planning as a social benefit as a necessary step to help more American workers retire comfortably. While specialty 401(k) advisory firms like OneDigital and Intellicents already offer financial planning services to plan participants, Edelman becomes one of the first national RIA brands to do so.
The company’s pension business serves approximately 1.2 million plan participants.
“We all want to see more innovation to help employees achieve the retirement life they deserve and seek,” Rubino said. “We’re excited to be at the forefront of this.”