UBS rolls out small-business 401(k) fiduciary program

UBS has expanded its investment-menu building service for 401(k)s, with a co-fiduciary program using Morningstar Investment Management data, the firm announced Thursday.

Along with that, UBS is adding a student loan management service for those Workplace Wealth Solutions clients, and it refreshed its online financial wellness program.

The firm’s new Retirement Plan Advisor program is a 3(21) fiduciary service, meaning that it suggests investment menu options that plan sponsors must approve. UBS already provides a separate 3(38) fiduciary service, under which the firm has sole discretion to select investments for plan menus.

The new fiduciary program is designed for small-business retirement plans, and it is available through 15 different record keepers, according to the firm. There are about 1,000 investment options from which advisers can choose, along with plan sponsors, in building investment menus, UBS executive director Achu Akum said.

Pricing for the service comes in two tiers, with plans of up to $2 million in assets paying a range of 50 basis points to 75 bps and those with $2 million to $5 million in assets paying 25 bps to 50 bps, Akum said.

Although UBS launched its financial wellness program more than a year ago, the COVID-19 crisis has led to stronger demand for such services, said Michael Barry, head of UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions.

“Every employee, regardless of age and income, should get this service,” Barry said.

In January, the company moved its equity compensation, retirement plan institutional consulting and financial wellness service into the Workplace Wealth Solutions unit, the goal of which was to be able to provide a wider range of services to more clients, he noted.

The firm currently provides services to about 10,000 retirement plans, many of which are sponsored by small businesses, he said.

“Whether you’re a small business or a large company, you’re still held to the same fiduciary responsibility — and a lot of these small businesses [in the U.S.] have not had access to the type of service we’ve rolled out,” he said.

The student loan management service UBS has added is in partnership with FutureFuel.io and will be available this fall. That service will not initially include options for employers to directly help pay down student loan debt or make matching 401(k) contributions on behalf of participants who do not contribute to the plan but are paying down student loans.

On average, clients who use FutureFuel.io’s student loan management program save about $15,000 on accrued interest, according to the announcement. 

The post UBS rolls out small-business 401(k) fiduciary program appeared first on InvestmentNews.

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