Transamerica and Fidelity Partnerships Show Focus on Collective Plans

Transamerica is collaborating with FuturePlan by Ascensus on a new group plan solution, while Fidelity and Paylocity are partnering to enhance the Fidelity Advantage 401(k) pooled employer plan.

By DJ Shaw

In the wake of the passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, providers in the retirement plan services industry continue to announce new products and solutions intended to bolster the growing pooled employer plan (PEP) and group plan marketplaces.

The latest firms to do so include Transamerica and Fidelity, which have both this week announced new collaborations aimed at supporting clients interested in collective approaches to managing their retirement plans.

Transamerica and FuturePlan Launch Group Plan Solution  

For starters, Transamerica and FuturePlan by Ascensus have introduced a new pooled plan retirement solution called “FuturePlan GPS,” short for FuturePlan Group Plan Solution. The firms say FuturePlan GPS makes retirement plan sponsorship easier for employers by reducing time-consuming administrative burdens and mitigating fiduciary risk. With a fully integrated 100-point payroll data integrity check, it also helps prevent common and potentially costly plan errors, according to the firms.

The group plan solution is open to both existing and startup 401(k) plans, and it provides guided onboarding and enrollment support, as well as ongoing service from a dedicated FuturePlan team, all with seamless integration into Transamerica’s recordkeeping system. FuturePlan serves as the third-party administrator (TPA) and the 3(16) plan administrator, while Transamerica is the plan’s recordkeeper. Fiduciary-Plus serves as the 3(38) fiduciary investment manager.

Participating employers will gain access to a combined team of plan support professionals that Transamerica and FuturePlan suggest is not otherwise available outside of this arrangement.

FuturePlan GPS also includes the FuturePlan Fiduciary Assistant program, a proprietary 100-point payroll data integrity check designed to prevent most common plan errors flagged in U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and IRS audits. Fiduciary Assistant works in conjunction with Transamerica’s PayStart approved payroll vendors.

“With FuturePlan GPS, employers and their financial consultants have a powerful opportunity to transfer most of the responsibilities of sponsoring a retirement plan,” says Darren Zino, Transamerica U.S. retirement distribution senior managing director. “This benefit allows them to focus on their own business growth while offering a crucial benefit to their employees. By partnering with FuturePlan, we bring an integrated solution that will help more people save for retirement. That is our ultimate shared objective.”

Fidelity Investments and Paylocity Team Up to Provide Integrated Payroll Capabilities

Separately, Fidelity Investments and Paylocity, a provider of cloud-based human resources (HR) and payroll software solutions, have announced “seamless access” to payroll capabilities is now available within the Fidelity Advantage 401(k) PEP. According to the firms, this enhancement will reduce the administrative burden on small and midsized businesses offering retirement plans for their employees and help workers start saving toward their retirement goals.

Fidelity says it created the Fidelity Advantage 401(k) PEP to allow multiple unrelated small and midsized businesses to participate in a single 401(k) plan. The firm’s leadership suggests employers are recognizing that PEPs can be a cost-effective and efficient way to offer retirement savings benefits to their current employees—and to use as part of a broader benefits offering that attracts talented workers.

The collaboration with Paylocity is meant to deliver automated, two-way sharing of plan information between Fidelity and Paylocity. This allows for automatic contribution processing, which means employees can change contributions within Paylocity and the data seamlessly flows into Fidelity Advantage 401(k). In addition, the collaboration eliminates the need for employers to manually upload information each pay period, reducing the risk of errors and scrutiny over prompt salary deferral deposits.

“By offering Fidelity Advantage 401(k) clients an integrated payroll experience with Paylocity, Fidelity is helping small and midsized businesses reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their employee benefits platform, while making it easier to help close the retirement gap and offer a 401(k) to their employees for the first time, including employees from traditionally underrepresented communities,” says Chris Houlihan, Fidelity Investments head of outsourcing provider partnerships. “Providing payroll integration is the first step in a broader strategy for Fidelity’s Advantage 401(k) platform, and we will continue to seek opportunities to enhance our retirement products to meet the evolving needs of business owners.”