Test Alert

Empower emphasizes importance of client service at one-year anniversary

After first full year, retirement provider continues to demonstrate its commitment to plan sponsors, participants

New survey results highlight strong service and brand performance

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., November 2, 2015 — Empower Retirement is celebrating its first anniversary with a public thank you to the more than 30,000 plans and 7.5 million participants who have put their trust in the firm, which is now the second-largest retirement services provider in the U.S.1

“Plan sponsors want the best for their participants, and that means partnering with a provider who can bring the service and expertise they need,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, president of Empower. “We knew from the start that our success would come from serving customers well. We’re grateful to the many plan sponsors, participants, advisors and consultants who’ve put their trust in Empower.”

Empower was created from the retirement services business of Great-West Financial®, J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services’ large-market recordkeeping business and the retirement business of Putnam Investments. In its 12 months of operations, Empower leveraged its vast customer service, relationship management and recordkeeping expertise to deliver a superior client experience and drive new business. Earlier this year the company reported that it was on track to add a million participants and some $50 billion in new sales and commitments.2

Plan sponsors and advisors have responded positively to Empower’s value proposition. A new survey of retirement plan advisers3 reported top rankings for Empower as a plan provider. According to the survey, Empower placed first in the industry in six of 10 service categories including earning No. 1 rankings in:

  • Value for price
  • Wholesalers
  • Value-added advisor services
  • Fee structure for advisors
  • Overall service for micro plans (less than $5M)
  • Overall service for small plans ($5M - $50M)

According to Murphy, investments in technology, infrastructure, client services, marketing, increased staff and other functions are aimed at creating a first-class retirement service that’s oriented toward aiding plan sponsors who want to help participants prepare for their future. One part of that client investment includes the post-merger upgrade and integration of large clients on to the Empower recordkeeping platform.

Innovating the experience

Murphy explained how Empower emphasizes innovative retirement products.4 For example, the recently unveiled Empower Participant Experience provides a state-of-the-art online and mobile experience for plan participants. Part of the goal of the new experience is to help shift participants’ mindset from one of asset accumulation to a focus on replacing their income in retirement.

“The single greatest thing we can do for participants is to help them better understand that the goal of their retirement plan is to generate income in retirement,” said Murphy. “That’s going to be the measure by which retirement plans across the industry are judged.”

Empower also recently began implementing a new plan sponsor site that allows active, real-time management of all aspects of plan administration. The site leverages Empower’s dynamic recordkeeping system to help plan sponsors know more about how their participants are faring as they save for retirement.

In addition, the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and Pensions & Investments recently honored three Empower clients with prestigious Innovator Awards for participant engagement programs and plan design.

In the public square

Empower is further strengthening its brand recognition among businesses, advisors and individuals with highly visible marketing activities. These include a multi-faceted advertising campaign centered on the retirement-oriented theme Thinking Further Ahead. In addition, Empower is developing an active social media platform to drive further discussion and interaction with stakeholders. Empower is also partnering with three National Football League teams to help raise the brand’s visibility with a broad demographic.

In March, Empower announced the launch of the Empower Institute. This entity is at work developing original research and examining theories related to retirement, investments, savings and related topics.

Empower has also advanced aggressive public policy outreach, working closely with legislators and regulators on numerous issues of importance to clients and participants related to retirement and investing. Murphy testified before the Department of Labor in recent hearings on the proposed fiduciary rule.

“From developing the right participant interface on our website, to how we provide call center support, to how we work with regulators and legislators — everything we do is centered on our clients’ needs,” said Murphy.

“We are grateful for their trust and will continue to earn it every single day as we begin our second year,” he said.

1 Pensions & Investments, March 2015

2 Empower press release, Empower Retirement on track for a million new retirement plan participants in 2015

3 Plan Adviser 2015 Retirement Plan Survey

4 Empower press release, Empower Retirement to launch enhanced web experience to 7.5 million participants

The services described are offered by Advised Assets Group, LLC (AAG), a federally registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. More information can be found at www.adviserinfor.sec.gov. The study was NOT conducted with the intention to assert, indicate or suggest in any way that participants will experience improved investment performance or similar investment returns to those depicted in the study by enrolling in Advisory Services. The investment returns of any specific individual enrolled in Advisory Services are a function of that individual’s personal financial characteristics and retirement goals as shared with AAG, the associated risk/return strategy that the Advisory Services program advises for that person, and the overall market and economic conditions of the sampled periods of time; the returns of which may be higher or lower than the averages shown in this study. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Portfolio returns are not guaranteed; investments may actually lose money.

Media Contact:

Stephen Gawlik – Office: 303-737-0899; Cell: 617-417-4408; stephen.gawlik@greatwest.com