Inspira Simplifies Structure, Targets More Holistic Market Approach

Inspira Financial, formerly Millennium Trust, will be doing outreach to plan advisers with a more streamlined structure, executives say.

Inspira Financial, formerly Millennium Trust Co., has a new structure to go with its new name.

Millennium Trust acquired Payflex from CVS in 2022, adding health savings accounts and consumer benefit administration services to its self-directed individual retirement services, including automatic rollovers. This January, it officially took on its new name of Inspira Financial, with streamlined operations in two main business lines: retirement and wealth; and health and benefits, according to Bryan Levy, Inspira’s managing director of consumer-directed benefits.

“We took the rebranding as a way to reset, internally and externally, how we come to market,” Levy says. “This gives us the foundation that justifies a lot of what we have been doing and shows that we are not just part of a complete breakfast, but can bring the full meal.”

Inspira began in 2000 providing its IRA and automatic rollover services to plan sponsors and recordkeepers, becoming the country’s largest independent provider of auto-rollovers. The new, holistic approach to the market comes in part from Inspira’s other acquisitions in recent years, including Payflex, Benefit Resource Inc., ProFlex and Maestro Health, the consumer directed benefits business from third-party administration technology company Marpai. Collectively, the acquisitions added capabilities such as health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, emergency savings funds, commuter benefit plans, COBRA administration and other consumer-directed benefits.

Prior to the restructuring, Levy says, the team felt it was going to market with several similar products and features in a way that was “starting to get clunky.” The more streamlined approach, he says, helps show the market how the firm’s various offerings provide a “more holistic retirement and wealthy journey,” both in the workplace and outside of it.

Adviser Connections

Inspira’s new brand and structure are intended to reach more plan advisers and advisory firms with the goal of increasing partnerships, says Peter Welsh, its managing director of retirement and wealth.

“It used to be plan advisers were funds, fees and fiduciaries, but that isn’t the case anymore,” he says. “There has been an evolution in the workplace that is prompting advisers to need more skills in their toolbox. … One of our key initiatives in 2024 and beyond is to engage with advisers.”

That is an add, Welsh says, to the firm traditionally focusing on relationships with recordkeepers, plan sponsors and TPAs. Inspira can play a role both in ongoing and new plans, but also in servicing terminated plans through its rollout solutions—an area many advisers are not inserting themselves into managing, Welsh says.

Levy notes that Inspira is also more frequently being brought in for requests for proposal on the health and benefits side, at which point the firm will often introduce other areas in which a plan sponsor may be interested, such as emergency savings or commuter benefits.

“We’re not just there to displace another vendor, but to open up the aperture for what [a company] may not have historically done,” he says. “We start out involved in their existing services and then bring in new offerings that are emerging when in the market.”

Workplace Focus

Levy says that, about five years ago, different players in the market all started to engage more in workplace solutions, from the big defined contribution recordkeepers to insurers to payroll providers and banks. He says Inspira can now be a single partner connecting employee benefits, wealth and retirement, but in a system that can be customized to the employer.

“You don’t have to choose who you link with when you work with us,” he says. “We are fluid to help whatever … the customer and plan sponsors is looking for.”

When it comes to emergency savings, Levy notes that, for the moment, out-of-plan savings options are more realistic for most employers. In the long term, however, he expects in-plan sidecar savings will take a larger market share because those accounts can provide a cushion that then gives participants security to put other money aside for retirement.

“It’s kind of your permission slip to talk about retirement,” he says. “Once you have emergency savings, then you can have that detailed plan about retirement. “

Levy also weighed in on the IRS and Department of Labor’s recent guidance and calls for comment on auto-portability of a worker’s savings to go from one qualified savings plan to another. He notes that, while Inspira supports the proposal, there is already a system to prevent leakage by automatically porting savings into an IRA.

“Auto-portability is built on the back of auto-rollovers, and our role is foundational here,” he says. “The new proposal doesn’t solve leakage because [the automatic rollovers keep savings] in a qualified vehicle and connect the account balances of the very disengaged, terminated account back to the saver.”

Correction: Story updated to correct that Inspira acquired Maestro Health, a division of Marpai.