By Cyril Tuohy
Financial advisors, Pacific Life’s Keystone 401(k) Program is coming to a city near you this fall.
The Keystone program, designed for advisors with small and midsize clients, is traveling across the country to generate awareness and help educate advisors about the opportunities in the small plan market, Pacific Life said.
Christine Tucker, vice president of marketing for Pacific Life's Retirement Solutions Division, said that the Keystone program offers advisors investment insight, support, fee disclosures and customization tools as advisors look to convince small business owners that setting up retirement plans offers benefits.
“Turbulent markets and heightened fee disclosure regulations have changed the playing field,” she said in a statement. “Plan sponsors need an independent financial advisor's objectivity, investment insight, and support to navigate through it all."
Keystone 401(k) program fees are determined before the plan is implemented. When including investment options, advisors have more than 1,000 funds from which to choose. Advisors also benefit from Pacific Life retirement plan consultants, wholesalers and marketing teams, the company said.
The most popular investment options in the Keystone program are the Pacific Life Portfolio Optimization Funds, which use a fund-of-funds approach, the company added.
Pacific Life’s initiative comes at an opportune time with the House Committee on Small Business having wrapped up hearings on the challenges that small employers face in retirement savings.
Business owners cite administrative complexities, costs and high turnover as reasons why it is difficult for them to offer retirement plans.
“With an aging baby-boomer population, the uncertainty of Social Security, and the recent employment trend to more part-time workers, a focus on small business retirement benefits for employees is extremely important,” Sam Graves, R-Mo., who chaired the House Small Business Committee, said in a statement.
The Oct. 2 hearing coincided with the release of a study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. The study found that 88 percent of small company workers value 401(k) plans as an important benefit, but only 58 percent are offered such a plan by their employers.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at Cyril.Tuohy@innfeedback.com.
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