Stadion Money Management, an asset manager based in Watkinsville, Ga., announced Tuesday that it is offering ERISA 3(38) fiduciary management on its target-date funds.
When plan sponsors choose the TDFs as the qualified default investment option in their plans, Stadion can serve as the fiduciary. The company has already provided such status in its separately managed accounts since 2002.
Stadion added ERISA 3(38) fiduciary status to its TDFs to provide a “parity of service,” Tim McCabe, senior vice president of sales and service, and head of the company’s retirement offerings, told AdvisorOne on Thursday. The firm’s 100,000 managed account clients already had access to that kind of fiduciary protection. “It’s not the next evolution of the product. It’s the same product but in a different wrapper,” he added.
“Nobody else was offering these products,” McCabe (right) said, so the firm conferred with its outside counsel, Fred Reish, to determine whether they could. “All that was required was for the sponsor to sign a document to appoint us as the fiduciary,” he said.
“We’re the first in the pool, but I don’t think we’ll be the last,” he said. “As new regulations come out and advisors are prohibited from offering traditional services, other companies are going to step up.”
Plan sponsor advisors who have been fettered by new or upcoming regulations have found they’ve had to change their value proposition and are looking for products that have fiduciary protections built in, he said.