UBOC Unveils Financial Planning Workshops

Union Bank of California is introducing a new benefit for its SelectBenefit retirement plan sponsor clients and plan participants.

Drawing on a new team of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals, the San Francisco-based bank is now offering retirement planning workshops for participants on-site at plan sponsor locations. SelectBenefit is Union Bank’s retirement plan administration and recordkeeping division.

Plan sponsors can arrange two Union Bank workshops per year for their employees. The sessions focus on retirement planning for individuals at various stages in their careers, from accumulators (six to 20 years from retirement), to pre-retirees (three to five years from retirement) and new retirees. According to a press release, UBOC is also able to customize sessions for special situations such as layoffs and mergers.

These group sessions are complemented by the option of individual retirement consultations for plan participants. Following a consultation, participants receive a personalized action plan that compares their current financial situation with their objectives. They also receive an asset allocation recommendation that encompasses their entire retirement investment strategy, matching their goals to a recommended asset allocation mix. Additionally, UBOC’s CFP professionals are available to provide customized financial planning services for plan sponsors’ senior executives.

New Tools

Union Bank has also invested in a number of new Web-based tools to complement the in-person planning sessions, particularly to assist plan participants as they exit their companies. When employees retire or move to another job, SelectBenefit offers a “Rollover Wizard” that allows them to roll over their 401(k) into a brokerage IRA via the Internet. According to the company, participants are then able to invest in a variety of mutual funds, as well as stocks and bonds, totally separate from the investment options offered by their previous employers’ 401(k) programs.

Union Bank engaged Ibbotson Associates to identify a select group of mutual funds as appropriate for implementation in an asset allocation portfolio. Union Bank also integrated an asset allocation questionnaire from Ibbotson Associates into the Rollover Wizard, to help participants identify a personal preference for investment risk and reward, and enable them to determine corresponding mutual fund selections.

The SelectBenefit retirement plan Web site is located at www.selectbenefit.com.