The firm handles the program’s investments, product, marketing, sales and distribution, customer service and recordkeeping. Given its expertise in managing retirement assets, ING U.S. IM is well suited to serve the needs for college savings, according to Mark Spina, head of intermediary distribution at ING U.S. IM. Spina pointed out that surveys show college savings is an area of significant concern to investors.
Effective support and education are important for advisers seeking to initiate and build 529 client relationships, Spina said. Customized tools to enable advisers to better assist clients and prospects in understanding and embracing 529 plans as effective vehicles for college savings can be seen on ING U.S. IM’s 529 website.
“We want to make it easier for advisers to utilize 529 solutions with their client base,” Spina said. “We believe there is significant opportunity for advisers to introduce college savings programs in the years ahead. 529s have not yet been tapped by a significant portion of the population, and we believe the combination of more favorable demographics, rising college costs and the plan’s intrinsic tax and estate planning advantages will make it increasingly important for advisors to guide investors to utilize 529s for this significant long-term investment objective.”
Advisers can choose from age-based funds, static allocation options, and a diversified mix of individual funds. Solutions can be customized based on individual circumstances. The underlying funds are managed by the firm and by other asset managers. All the 529 portfolio options are overseen by ING U.S. IM’s Multi Asset Strategies and Solutions (MASS) team.