Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management unveiled October 26 a comprehensive retirement solution that its 15,000 advisors can use to help their clients convert their nest eggs into retirement income.
The first component of the new retirement solution is a service called My Retirement Income, which allows clients nearing or in retirement to automatically transfer funds from a consolidated Merrill Lynch cash management account into a Bank of America (BofA) deposit account on a periodic basis for simplified retirement income distribution and management.
Those funds transferred into a Bank of America deposit account can be easily accessed via more than 6,000 retail BofA banking offices and more than 18,000 ATMs. My Retirement Income allows for "the transfer of [wealth management clients'] funds from their investment account into their Bank of America checking account for spend down," says Aimee DeCamillo, head of Personal Retirement Solutions for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management.
My Retirement Income is available within the Merrill Lynch Retirement Income Service, which also enables Merrill advisors to help clients track their spending behaviors in retirement and to provide more holistic advice on managing cash flow and adjusting retirement investment strategies to ensure that their savings last throughout their lifetime.
Merrill's retirement income service is "a proprietary planning tool that creates a dynamic customized income plan for the client that allows them to clearly see what their sources of income are and how that compares to their target spending," DeCamillo says. "When there is a gap [in income], the advisor can work with the client from a portfolio construction perspective to fill that gap." That's where the other new Merrill service, called Merrill Lynch Retirement Income Framework, comes into play "with regard to how that investment strategy is developed," DeCamillo adds.
DeCamillo says the Merrill Lynch Retirement Income Framework is the first methodology that Merrill has created "as it relates to investment strategies for retirement income." The Framework was created by taking best practices from top Merrill advisors "to create an approach that can be leveraged across the institution," she says. She says the Merrill Lynch Retirement Income Framework approaches retirement income planning holistically, enabling Merrill advisors to advise clients on retirement income strategies by taking into account a client's individual risk tolerance, retirement consumption needs, and appropriate asset allocation.