Mercer Announces Plans to Launch PEP in 2021

The consultant has selected Empower Retirement as a recordkeeper for its outsourced 401(k) solution as well as for the intended pooled employer plan.

Mercer has selected Empower Retirement as a recordkeeper for Mercer Wise 401(k), Mercer’s outsourced 401(k) solution, which seeks to improve participant outcomes while reducing plan sponsors’ administrative burdens and fiduciary risk.

The engagement is also expected to add more flexibility to Mercer’s outsourced retirement plan solutions as the company plans to launch a pooled employer plan (PEP) in early 2021, for which Empower will be the recordkeeper. The companies say the combination of Mercer and Empower will bring Mercer’s investment and governance solutions together with Empower’s participant-centric recordkeeping technology to clients of both Mercer Wise 401(k) and the intended PEP.

The expansion of Mercer’s spectrum of retirement solutions comes as the COVID-19 crisis has put strain and cost pressure on many plan sponsors, leading to an increased demand for outsourced solutions. This strain is evident in two recent Mercer surveys, which show that nearly 50% of respondents say they are spending less time than they would like to on their retirement plans. Given recent market volatility, the complexity of retirement plan and investment issues, and many competing demands for employers’ time, the idea of outsourcing to a high-quality pooled plan can be a compelling one.

“The key to driving better retirement outcomes for more Americans is greater access to high quality retirement plans that offer compelling plan features, high quality investment options and professional advice,” says Tina Wilson, chief product officer for Empower Retirement. “Through the Mercer Wise 401(k) program and the intended pooled employer plan, we believe that more plan sponsors will have the opportunity to deliver state-of-the-art retirement benefits to their employees, who deserve the opportunity to achieve greater financial security.”