Bells & Whistles
IRAmarket.com launched a service to help reduce the paperwork for 401(k) rollovers to IRAs. The service helps users complete new account applications through a secure online process.
The new features are powered by Wealth Management Systems
Inc. ( WMSI).
ING introduced a mobile application that allows ING retirement
plan participants to access and manage their retirement plan
account information while on the go. Depending on their particular retirement plan, participants may view current balances
and balance history, balances by asset class and fund, personal
rate of return, fund performance and contribution history.
Qualified Plan Consultants LLC (QPC) released its new Audit
Protection Plan (QPC APP). The QPC APP provides assistance
to QPC’s new 401(k) plan sponsor clients who become subject to
an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Department of Labor (DoL)
audit for any year they are a QPC client.
BMO Institutional Trust Services initiated a retirement readiness
program to help employers better prepare employees for retirement. The program consists of bimonthly communications with
employers that sponsor 401(k) or other retirement savings plans.
Begun in March, BMO’s first retirement readiness initiative is
designed to help employers persuade their employees to engage
in an individualized retirement readiness boot camp.
Nationwide Retirement Solutions has redesigned and enhanced
its website to better serve public sector plan sponsors and participants. Nationwide said it identified what plan participants and
plan sponsors value most from their Web experience, and bases
its enhancements around those qualities.
M&I Institutional Trust Services introduced Right Track, a suite
of education and advice tools for 401(k) plan participants. Under
the umbrella of Right Track, M&I’s retirement platform is used
to deliver access to interactive tools and personal assistance, creating customized retirement planning solutions for clients.
Mutual of Omaha’s Retirement Plans division will begin
offering an online retirement-education service. SmartPlan
Enterprise helps educate and engage employees in preparing
for their retirement future. The interactive, video-based online
retirement-education service was created by v Wise.
Informa Investment Solutions launched RetireIQ, a business
expansion providing retirement platform development, performance measurement, workflow management and client reporting, to 401(k) and defined benefit plan sponsors. RetireIQ targets pension plan sponsors, pension consultants, 401(k) mutual
fund programs and trust and custodial banks.
VALIC released a new mobile application designed for the
iPhone and Android-based smartphones. The app allows VALIC
customers to access their account information while on the go
and provides tools for tracking their financial progress.
Sentry Insurance selected Mesirow Financial to provide comprehensive fiduciary partnership services for retirement plan sponsors. Mesirow Financial’s Investment Strategies team will help
plan sponsors select investment options, monitor investment
performance, develop investment guidelines and act as overall
BlackRock Inc.’s iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) business launched two new dividend-focused equity funds designed
to access the emerging markets and Asia/Pacific developed markets. Listed on NYSE Arca, the funds are the iShares Emerging
Markets Dividend Index Fund (NYSEArca: DVYE) and the
iShares Asia/Pacific Dividend 30 Index Fund (NYSEArca:
Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP (GSAM) launched the
Goldman Sachs Managed Futures Strategy Fund. The fund provides investors with an opportunity to invest in a range of globally diversified asset classes, which, GSAM says, can potentially
generate absolute returns and reduce risk during prolonged
market declines. William Fallon, portfolio manager of the fund,
and the Goldman Sachs Quantitative Investment Strategies
(QIS) team will try to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns
from market trends.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is continuing its efforts to disseminate its work through the use of emerging technologies, by releasing a new mobile application. The
free app—available to users of Apple devices such as iPhones
and iPads—provides mobile access to new reports, testimonies,
videos and podcasts.
The fourth annual National Employee Wellness Month takes
place in June. Sponsored by Virgin HealthMiles, the Strategies
to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, the
Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and WorldatWork, the
initiative provides business leaders with ideas and strategies
relating to prevention and wellness. It offers a hands-on look
at how supportive social communities, in particular the workplace, can help to improve employee health and productivity,
lower health care costs and help organizations create a positive
culture of health.