The streamlined program makes it easier for RIAs to bundle essential plan services while preserving an open-architecture arrangement for investment flexibility, the firm says in a statement. The new solution is also designed to reduce the time it takes to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
The RIA program is run in conjunction with TD Ameritrade Institutional and provides advisers with support during the launch and ongoing administration of retirement plans. The service can also help advisers turn new and existing clients into growth opportunities, the firm says.
The solution offers RIAs a single point of contact for all their 401(k) plan-servicing needs, combining recordkeeping, asset custody and third-party administration from TD Ameritrade Trust Company. Participants in the plans gain access to thousands of non-proprietary ETFs and mutual funds.
“We listened to advisers and they wanted a simplified, branded retirement plan solution to help them gather assets they’re not capturing today,” says Skip Schweiss, managing director, TD Ameritrade Institutional and president of TD Ameritrade Trust Company. “Our new approach gives advisers a streamlined solution with the TD Ameritrade name, which can be a key selling point with plan sponsors.”
TD Ameritrade says just 5% of RIAs service a meaningful number of 401(k) plans, but recent regulatory changes designed to enhance investor protections have tilted the playing field in the favor of RIAs.
The U.S. Labor Department now requires retirement plan providers to fully disclose their services, compensation and fiduciary status. TD Ameritrade says that more employers, as they gain better access to fee and service disclosures, will shift retirement plans to RIAs, where advisers are held to a rigorous fiduciary standard of care.
“Regulators have changed the ground rules in a way that I believe truly favors fiduciary advisers,” Schweiss says. “Opportunity is knocking and we want to help advisers open that door.”
RIAs will get the TD Ameritrade Retirement Plan Playbook, which offers step-by-step guidance on how to set up a retirement plan business, approach prospects and service clients. The program offers account management tools and materials for advisers, enrollment and education support for employers, as well as planning tools and IRA rollover assistance for plan participants.
Advisers still control their clients’ investment options through TD Ameritrade Trust Company’s open-architecture platform, with unbundled access to more than 13,000 mutual funds and over 1,000 ETFs, as well as access to TD Ameritrade’s self-directed brokerage platform.
More information is available here.