Empower Retirement adds $75 billion in assets, builds momentum with new clients

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo

Extends client base with new Fortune 500 corporate plans, not-for-profits and government employers

Empower Retirement, the nation’s second largest retirement services provider, grew sales volume, participants and assets under administration to new highs in the first quarter of 2018.

Empower has added nearly $75 billion in new defined contribution assets since the start of 2018 and over the last year increased the number of retirement plan participants served by some 500,000, according to Edmund F. Murphy III, President of Empower Retirement.

The firm’s assets under administration rose to $534 billion in the first quarter, up 12 percent from the same period in 2017. Sales results during the period include 401(k), 457(b) and 403(b) defined contribution plans of all sizes.

“Our customer-first approach is resonating across the defined contribution marketplace,” said Murphy. “We’re finding that all types of employers are looking to provide new and innovative retirement planning tools for their workers.

“The Empower team is 100 percent focused on delivering high quality retirement services to plan sponsors, their advisors and ultimately retirement plan participants,” he said.

Empower is serving the retirement needs of workers from across the spectrum of employers, including state and local governments and municipal agencies, large Fortune 500 corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Empower manages retirement plans for some of the nation’s most sophisticated technology companies, major airlines, best-known retailers, large law firms, hospitals and financial services companies. Examples of new Empower corporate clients include CareerBuilder, Magellan Midstream Partners and Storck USA.

Not-for-profit clients new to Empower include Aspirus, Westchester Medical Center and The Chicago History Museum/Chicago Historical Society.

As the largest provider of 457(b) retirement plans Empower maintains 24 state-level plans and counts some 2.7 million public employees among its participant base. Over the last year Empower has renewed or executed an extension for 40 public plan clients accounting for some $32 billion in plan assets and over 700,000 participants.

New clients Empower is serving include York County (Pennsylvania), Chatham County (Georgia) and the City of Henderson, Nevada.

Murphy noted that employers are increasingly turning to their retirement benefits as a means to recruit and engage their workforce, an important prospect in a tight labor market.

“A well-designed retirement plan is a way for an employer to show that they are looking out for their employees’ long-term interests,” he said.

The number of participants in retirement plans managed by Empower hit a high of 8.5 million during the first quarter, up 20 percent from 2014 when Empower was formed. Empower has enjoyed growth at about twice the rate of the retirement industry average since its inception.1 In total, Empower manages more than 38,000 retirement plans and exceeds industry benchmarks in client retention.2

Empower was created in 2014 from the retirement services business of Great-West Financial®, J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services’ large-market recordkeeping business and the retirement business of Putnam Investments.

The company has introduced innovation into the retirement services marketplace – a hallmark of the firm’s appeal to employers. During the first quarter the firm launched My Total Retirement, an advice and planning solution, and PlanVisualizer, an interactive technology that helps advisors to demonstrate and explain design changes to sponsors who are considering improvements to their plan. The Empower Institute recently launched the Retirement Progress Score, which features new insights from a survey focusing on factors leading to better income replacement rates.

Among innovations launched in the last year the company established the Empower Health Savings Account with Optum Bank, which allows for integrated health and wealth planning. In addition, the firm has seen early success distributing Empower Dynamic Retirement Manager, a first-of-its-kind qualified default investment option that has been of great interest to plan sponsors and advisors.