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Great-West Expands Suite of Retirement Readiness Tools


GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO, December 12, 2012 -- Great-West FinancialSM today announced the expansion of its suite of retirement readiness products and services for plan sponsors and participants. The new tools include:

  • The Retirement Income Control Panel provides a tailor-made retirement strategy for savings targets and gives each individual a custom income plan for spending down his or her retirement savings.
  • 3(21) Fiduciary Services for new ERISA 401k plans provides plan sponsors and their advisors with co-fiduciary protection in the selection and monitoring of a plan's investment options.
  • Account Retirement Income Estimate on Physical Statements provides participants with an estimate of their monthly retirement income based on the accounts Great-West Financial record keeps for them.
  • The Retirement Readiness Report Card for plan sponsors analyzes and reports on participants' estimated retirement income levels versus participants' target retirement income levels, then gives plan sponsors strategies for closing the gap (planned for the first quarter of 2013).

"Our clients told us they want employees to have an accurate picture of how much money they're likely to have each month during retirement," said Charles Nelson, president, Great-West Retirement Services®. "They also said they want employees to have a spend-down strategy for their retirement savings. Our new Retirement Income Control Panel delivers on both of these requests."

Unlike other tools in the marketplace, the Retirement Income Control Panel automatically draws real-time participant account data from Great-West Financial's recordkeeping system. The panel also analyzes information an individual enters about assets outside of his or her Great-West Financial retirement plan. Industry expert Ibbotson Associates, Inc., part of the Morningstar Investment Management division, uses this custom data set to calculate the individual's estimated monthly retirement income. The Retirement Income Control Panel then compares the participant's estimated retirement income with their target retirement income and highlights any gap between the estimated and target dollar amounts.

"While other tools often use ‘off-the-shelf' calculations, we take into account as much custom savings data as the individual provides," said David Blanchett, head of retirement research, Morningstar Investment Management division. "The result is a real-time, personalized calculation of estimated retirement income based on the individual's unique circumstances.

"This innovative tool puts more power in the hands of employees to make better and more informed decisions about their retirement plans. If a participant has a gap, we'll provide helpful advice for closing it through the Retirement Income Control Panel," Blanchett said. "For instance, we may suggest an asset allocation or that the individual increase their paycheck contribution, open an outside account, or work a little longer before retiring. In addition, the participant can immediately act on our advice via a single click from the Retirement Income Control Panel."

Nelson said: "Leading behavioral finance scientists such as Professor Shlomo Benartzi of UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management advocate that when participants receive personalized retirement income estimates and customized spend-down strategies, they feel more empowered to improve their retirement readiness. Using the spend-down plan in the Retirement Income Control Panel shows how much an individual can spend each year from their various retirement income accounts. It also can show how sources such as a 401k, defined benefit plan, spouse's 401k, IRA and Social Security contribute to the participant's potential spend-down strategy. Understanding which account to spend down first and when to do it can be intimidating. Our Retirement Income Control Panel presents this sophisticated and complex analysis in a simple, easy-to-understand way."

The Retirement Income Control Panel and 3(21) Fiduciary Services for new plans join Great-West Financial's current retirement readiness tools, managed accounts and multi-manager, multi-glide path target date funds -- the Great-West Lifetime Funds.

"Looking ahead, each participant's fourth-quarter paper statement will include an estimate of their monthly retirement income based on the accounts we record-keep for them," Nelson said. "During the first quarter, we'll launch our Retirement Readiness Report Card, powered by Ibbotson. Their independent analysis and engine, combined with the strength of our recordkeeping system, provide one of the first and most powerful analysis tools for plan sponsors to assess and monitor participants' retirement readiness."

These new retirement readiness features will be available at no additional charge to plan sponsors or participants. To learn more about the Retirement Income Control Panel and the Retirement Readiness Report Card, review these resources.

Great-West Retirement Services is a division of Great-West Financial. It provides 401k, 401(a), 403(b) and 457 retirement plan services to 26,500 plans representing 4.6 million participant accounts and $174 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2012.

About Great-West Financial

Great-West FinancialSM is the service mark for Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. Headquartered in metro Denver, Great-West Financial serves its 5 million customers through a range of retirement savings products and services, life insurance and annuities.

Great-West Financial is the nation's largest underwriter of life insurance sold through banks (BISRA Life Report, Third Quarter 2012, based on total premiums at Sept. 30, 2012) and fourth-largest retirement plan record keeper (Pensions & Investments, April 2012, based on total participant accounts at year-end 2011). It is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and "A Member of the Power Financial Corporation Group of Companies" ®.

About Ibbotson Associates

Ibbotson Associates is a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. It is part of the Morningstar Investment Management division, which creates custom investment solutions that combine award-winning research and global resources with proprietary Morningstar data. With approximately $195 billion in assets under advisement and management, the Morningstar Investment Management division provides comprehensive retirement, investment advisory, and portfolio management services for financial institutions, plan sponsors, and advisors around the world.

Data as of Sept. 30, 2012. Includes Morningstar Associates, Ibbotson Associates, Morningstar Investment Services, OBSR Advisory Services, and Ibbotson Australia.

Neither Ibbotson Associates nor Morningstar, Inc. is affiliated with Great-West Financial and its affiliates.


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