Schwab Retirement Business Services announced on Wednesday that it has launched a suite of retirement tools to help advisors increase productivity and build skills in their 401(k) plans.
The suite is the result of a partnership with fi360 and The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU) at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education.
The suite is a customized version of fi360’s toolkit, which provides analytical, management and reporting features to advisors working on 401(k) plans. Schwab’s toolkit allows advisors to manage client records, set up automatic updates, document and track investments, test asset allocations, generate proposals, and comply with 408(b)(2) fee disclosure rules.
“For all our advisors, this provides a great deal of technological efficiency,” Debbie Pritchard, vice president of retirement business services for Schwab, told AdvisorOne. Integrating the toolkit allows advisors to prepopulate ongoing data on a quarterly basis, she added, saving them time because they don’t have to enter it by hand.
Advisors on the Schwab Retirement Center platform are eligible for a discounted licensing fee to use the fi360 toolkit.
Schwab has been working with fi360 for about a year now, Pritchard said. “We’re excited because the toolkit is state-of-the-art technology,” she said. “What’s special about this partnership is it encompasses the toolkit and educational opportunities.”
As part of its partnership with fi360, Schwab also offers discounted access to the organization’s Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation. About 60 of Schwab’s advisors have gone through that program, Pritchard said.
Future projects with fi360 include fine-tuning information for advisors on the 408(b)(2) rule, which took effect July 1, to add to the program.
Through TRAU, advisors can earn a Certified 401(k) Professional (C(k)P) designation. Advisors recommended by Schwab to complete the program can receive a scholarship. The C(k)P designation is a one-year program available to advisors with extensive retirement plan management experience. Pritchard anticipates eight scholarships will be made available to advisors this year, and three or four advisors have already been nominated.
“The demand for advisors to take on a greater fiduciary role” is increasing, Pritchard said. “This is an opportunity for us to continue to help advisors provide really good service to plan sponsors.”