John Hancock Retirement, a Manulife Investment Management company, has introduced Signature Fiduciary Connect, a new service model giving plan sponsors additional support for the administrative and fiduciary duties they need to offer workplace 401(k) plans.
With Signature Fiduciary Connect, employers can outsource plan administration and fiduciary risk through John Hancock’s partnerships with select third-party administrators (TPAs) and 3(38) providers. The company says this service model helps reduce administrative burdens and mitigate risk for employers and offers employees a retirement plan that includes John Hancock’s personalized engagement and financial wellness tools.
“It frees human resources [HR] and benefits staff to focus on other employee needs, by providing ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] experts for plan design and compliance, utilizing outside investment expertise to select investment options, and maintaining a plan sponsor website and generating reporting,” the company says.
Signature Fiduciary Connect is administered though John Hancock Retirement and is available to plan sponsors, TPAs and retirement plan advisers to assist with designing and managing a workplace 401(k) plan. The fiduciary component is managed through TPAs acting as fiduciary plan administrators or named fiduciaries, and 3(38) providers act as 3(38) investment management fiduciaries. John Hancock currently has partnerships with TAG Resources, AMP (Powered by Nova 401(k) and AFS), Paylocity, Wilshire and Raymond James and is evaluating expanding fiduciary partners in the coming months.
“We are excited to have Signature Fiduciary Connect available and believe it helps to solve for some of the hurdles that exist for employers that want to offer a workplace retirement plan but may not have the in-house expertise or the resources to build and run it,” says Jack Barry, vice president, product development, strategy and transformation at John Hancock Retirement.
“As the retirement plan provider servicing the most small and midsized plans, our position in the market has given us both the perspective and the insight to build Signature Fiduciary Connect to be very helpful to employers,” says Gary Tankersley, head of sales and distribution, John Hancock Retirement. “We believe that retirement plans should work for both plan sponsors and plan participants and, through our external partnerships, we are confident that implementing and servicing a retirement plan can be an easy and seamless exercise.”