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Lincoln Financial Group Introduces Side-by-Side Pooled Employer Retirement Solutions for Businesses and Not-for-Profit Organizations

Business Wire 3-Apr-2024 9:00 AM

New solutions leverage Smart Retirement Solutions as the plan provider and Envestnet's fiduciary guidance to expand access to retirement plan offerings for clients and strengthen their ability to attract and retain talent

Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) announces the launch of FlexPEP(k) and FlexPEP(b), comprehensive pooled employer plans (PEP) for 401(k) and 403(b) plans, respectively. With these side-by-side solutions, Lincoln aims to address the shared needs and interests of businesses and not-for-profit organizations for their retirement benefits, while also growing awareness of the value of PEPs. These tailored solutions add to Lincoln's lineup of group plan solutions totaling more than $1.3 billion in assets.

Smart Retirement Solutions, Inc., focused on delivering independent fiduciary services to ease the burdens of plan sponsorship, will serve as the Pooled Plan Provider and Envestnet, a leading provider of technology, advanced insights and solutions for the wealth management industry, will serve as the 3(38) investment provider, managing the investment fund menu for both solutions.

"We're seeing an uptick in the adoption of group plan solutions as employers look to streamline their retirement plan administration, minimize costs and enhance fiduciary protection," said Matt Condos, senior vice president, Retirement Plan Services Product Solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. "While the SECURE Act and SECURE 2.0 were catalysts for PEP offerings, an opportunity remains for businesses and not-for-profits who are interested in getting more positive outcomes from their retirement benefits. In addition to providing these 401(k) and 403(b) solutions, we are committed to educating plan sponsors of all sizes about the value of PEPs."

Research shows as employer size decreases, they are less likely to offer a retirement plan, with those offering a plan trending down from 90% for employers with 500 or more employees to 52% for employers with 1-49 employees. ¹ Small-to-medium businesses and not-for-profits stand to potentially benefit significantly from Lincoln Financial's newest offerings, as they consider navigating the complexities of retirement plan sponsorship with limited resources. By adopting FlexPEP(k) and FlexPEP(b), they can offload the time and cost challenges they cite as primary obstacles to offering competitive retirement benefits that support attraction and retention of top talent.²

Both FlexPEP(k) and FlexPEP(b) offer a full-service model, providing access to in-plan guaranteed income solutions and group plan discounts that could lead to lower overall plan costs. With multiple qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) options available, plan sponsors can tailor investment options to meet the diverse needs of their employees.

Tina Anstett, Head of Fiduciary Services, Smart Retirement Solutions, said, "We're excited to expand our relationship with Lincoln in providing PEPs as solutions in the 401(k) and 403(b) marketplace. Our mission is to simplify retirement plan sponsorship for employers, and PEPs offer a streamlined, cost-effective solution that aligns perfectly with that goal."

Sean Murray, Head of Envestnet Workplace, added, "As the 3(38) investment provider for these two new solutions, we leverage our core competencies of fiduciary guidance and investment due diligence to help plan sponsors with their investment selection and monitoring. With Envestnet's industry comprehensive and industry leading Wealth Management Platform, we aim to empower employers to support their employees in achieving their retirement goals."

This launch underscores Lincoln Financial's dedication to expanding its offerings and demonstrating value to current and prospective clients. Lincoln continues to educate its network of financial professionals and is leveraging thought leadership to boost plan sponsors' knowledge of the potential benefits of PEPs, including FlexPEP(k) for 401(k) plans and FlexPEP(b) for 403(b) plans. For more information about Lincoln's full suite of retirement solutions, including OpenPEP, visit our group retirement plan pages for employers and financial professionals.

¹ Cerulli, Retirement Markets 2023, Exhibit 1.06; Bureau of Labor Statistics – https://www.bls.gov/web/cewbd/table_f.txt, Bureau of Labor Statistic, National Compensation Survey ² Lincoln, Consumer Insights, Small Business PEP Exploratory Research, February 2023

Smart Retirement Solutions, Inc. and Envestnet are not affiliates of Lincoln Financial Group.

Lincoln Financial Group and Envestnet, Inc. are separate entities and unaffiliated firms. This material should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular product, service or firm.

About Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group helps people to plan, protect and retire with confidence. As of December 31, 2023, approximately 17 million customers trust our guidance and solutions across four core businesses — annuities, life insurance, group protection, and retirement plan services. As of December 31, 2023, the company had $295 billion in end-of-period account balances, net of reinsurance. Headquartered in Radnor, Pa., Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. Learn more at LincolnFinancial.com.

About Envestnet

Envestnet is helping to lead the growth of wealth managers and transforming the way financial advice is delivered through its ecosystem of connected technology, advanced insights, and comprehensive solutions – backed by industry-leading service and support. Serving the wealth management industry for 25 years with more than $5.8 trillion in platform assets—more than 108,000 advisors, 16 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 48 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, more than 500 of the largest RIAs -- thousands of companies, depend on Envestnet technology and services to help drive business growth and productivity, and better outcomes for their clients. Data as of 12/31/2023.

Envestnet refers to the family of operating subsidiaries of the public holding company, Envestnet, Inc. (NYSE:ENV). For a deeper dive into how Envestnet is shaping the future of financial advice, visit www.envestnet.com. Stay connected with us for the latest updates and insights on LinkedIn and X (@ENVintel).

About Smart

Smart Retirement Solutions, Inc. (SRS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smart USA Co. (Smart) and is dedicated to providing outsourced retirement plan fiduciary services. Smart's mission is to transform retirement, savings, and financial well-being, across all generations, around the world.

LCN-6502719-032524

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