Bank of America (BofA) has launched its new Personal Retirement Strategy (PRS), a digital investment advisory program addition to its Financial Life Benefits suite of workplace solutions. A Merrill program application designed for both institutions and corporate retirement plan clients, PRS is designed to digitally deliver personalized insights, guidance and tools, “seamlessly integrated into the 401(k) experience to help plan participants establish and pursue retirement income goals,” the firm says.
Bank of America submitted a filing for the PRS program with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December.
“More than ever before, employees are looking to their employers to provide benefits that help them navigate the complexity of planning for tomorrow,” says Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America. “At Bank of America, we are committed to working with our institutional clients to provide financial wellness and benefits offerings that address the evolving needs and expectations of their workforce. Personal Retirement Strategy is another example of how we are fulfilling our commitment of partnering with employers to help employees achieve their financial goals.”
Personal Retirement Strategy provides all plan participants—regardless of age or income—with a retirement plan and personalized investment strategy through an intuitive digital experience with full mobile and online capabilities.
Key features include:
- An Interactive Digital Experience: This gives participants the ability to determine how certain decisions could affect retirement, with flexible tools and guidance that allow for customization of the user experience;
- Goals-Based Planning: This guidance in creating a retirement income strategy is based on the employee’s holistic financial picture and a personalized, goals-based asset allocation recommendation;
- Actionable Insights: This tool aids participants in understanding their available benefits and offers actionable steps they can take to prepare and help stay on track for a financially secure retirement; and
- Investment Management: A new discretionary managed account service, Merrill Managed, offers personalized investment management for an additional fee, based on Merrill’s established wealth management planning solutions and portfolio construction from the company’s chief investment office.
A dual 3(21)/3(38) solution for retirement plan advisers and their sponsor clients, Merrill will act as a 3(21) fiduciary for participants using Personal Retirement Strategy, and a 3(38) fiduciary with respect to the plan assets enrolled in Merrill Managed. Participants can elect to invest their 401(k) assets themselves, or have a portfolio created and managed on their behalf in Merrill Managed.
Digital retirement tools, including apps and websites, have been growing in popularity recently.
“Today’s workforce is especially concerned about retirement, but employees often lack the guidance and tools that are essential to develop a plan,” said Tom Matarazzo, institutional retirement advisory programs executive at Bank of America. “With Personal Retirement Strategy, we are connecting employees to the personalized retirement income planning resources they need to take charge of their financial future. This new program makes retirement planning clearer and more approachable for plan participants.”
Bank of America’s Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions organization serves more than 26,000 companies of all sizes and more than 5.7 million employees as of December 31.