Washington State DRS transitions three retirement plans to Empower
Firm now provides retirement services to 240,000 Washington state employees, representing $14 billion in assets
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., April 19, 2016 — Empower Retirement, the nation’s second-largest retirement services provider, and the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) today announced that three defined contribution retirement plans are now being administered by Empower.
DRS has a hybrid retirement plan design with both defined benefit and defined contribution components. The three “Plan 3” DC plans, which are defined contribution components of these plans, consist of the Teachers’ Retirement System, School Employees’ Retirement System and Public Employees’ Retirement System. These DC plans, which are new mandates, have aggregate assets of $10.4 billion and cover some 188,000 participants.
Empower has recordkept the state’s $3.5 billion deferred compensation program since 2010. In total, Empower administers some $14 billion in assets on behalf of 240,000 Washington participants. Empower won the business last year after a competitive RFP process.
“DRS chose to go with a single record keeper for its hybrid and 457 plans to help us provide a streamlined, one-stop experience for our customers,” said agency director Marcie Frost. “With Empower as our partner, we see the transition to this model as the starting point for a series of upgrades that will give our members the resources they need to prepare for a successful retirement.”
“Empower and Washington State have developed a state-of-the-art savings experience for Washington employees to help improve preparedness for retirement,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, President of Empower Retirement. “We are delighted to have this chance to serve these participants.”
The new plans offer a variety of integrated resources to DRS customers, including a single intuitive website, single call center, consolidated statements and consistent messaging. DRS participants will have access to the Empower Retirement Participant Experience which offers an unrivaled retirement planning experience that integrates modern plan design elements with proven behavioral science to help participants better understand their future savings needs.
Brent Neese, Senior Vice President of Government Markets for Empower added, “Empower is the market leader in proving retirement plans to state and local governments. We are proud to serve more than 2.5 million public sector workers who are relying on us to help them get ready for retirement.”
The new contract expands Empower’s existing relationship with DRS, which has included recordkeeping for the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) since 2010. DCP is a voluntary, supplemental savings program that allows public employees to invest through payroll deductions and defer federal taxes. The program, with nearly 60,000 participants and assets of $3.5 billion, is offered to employees of all Washington state agencies and more than 800 local governments.
The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems serves nearly 700,000 current and former public employees in Washington by providing expertise, tools and services to help them prepare for and experience a successful retirement. As the administrator of eight public retirement systems, 15 retirement plans and the Deferred Compensation Program, DRS serves a diverse population of state and local government employees, including fire fighters, teachers and police officers. Retirement benefits earned by these employees result in more than $3.4 billion in payments each year, most of which is distributed in the state of Washington.
Headquartered in metro Denver, Empower Retirement administers $411 billion in assets for 7.6 million participants. It is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan record keeper by total participants (Pensions & Investments, March 2015). Empower serves all segments of the employer-sponsored retirement plan market: government 457 plans, small, midsize, and large corporate 401(k) clients, non-profit 403(b) entities and private-label recordkeeping clients. For more information, please visit www.Empower-retirement.com.
Stephen Gawlik – 303-737-0899 (office), 617-417-4408 (cell)
To learn more about how we’re empowering plan sponsors and their participants to be more engaged in their retirement plans than ever before, call us at 800-719-9914.