Fiduciary Benchmarks Launches IRA Rollover Compliance Tool

Fiduciary Benchmarks has announced the launch of an IRA rollover tool to help advisors comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rules on retirement accounts.

The new tool, called the IRA Rollover Best Interest Determination service, enables advisors, record keepers, fund companies and trust companies to gather and evaluate clients’ information and determine whether it would be in their best interest to remain in their current retirement plan or roll over to an IRA.

The service launched in the beginning of June, in time for the initial implementation of the DOL’s fiduciary rule, which applies stringent standards for rolling over any defined contribution plan into an IRA in order to make sure such a rollover is really necessary to the client’s well-being.

“We are very excited to bring this service to marketplace,” said Tom Kmak, Fiduciary Benchmarks’ CEO, in a statement. “We have demonstrated the system to over 200 different companies and we have listened carefully to their thoughts and comments while staying true to our vision to always look at more than just fees.”

In addition to DOL rule compliance, the tool can also be used by advisors who want to comply with Finra’s Regulatory Notice 13-45 for recommending IRA rollovers. Advisors will also be able to document and report the rationale behind their recommendations with the tool.

Fiduciary Benchmarks plans to build out the tool into a suite of services that include IRA benchmarking, an analysis of level fees against commissions and compliance work flows.

Jemstep Powers Advisor Group’s New Onboarding Service
One of the nation’s largest broker-dealers, the Phoenix-based Advisor Group, has joined forces with a well-known robo-advisory platform to offer a new technology for advisors to enroll clients and aggregate their data.

Financial tech company Jemstep, which was acquired by Invesco last year, is helping the Advisor Group develop a new platform that will allow the broker-dealer’s reps to open new accounts for clients through a consolidated, all-digital process accessible via the web.

The digital offering allows advisors to create custom robo-advisor platforms to engage those clients who may not need full-service wealth management. The paperless offering will make it easier to bring clients on board from other institutions.

After the platform’s fourth quarter launch, advisors will be able to access data aggregation, account maintenance, digital advice functions and other advisory and brokerage solutions across all of their devices.

Free Wills And Trusts? There’s An App For That
Tomorrow Ideas Inc., a Seattle-based fintech start-up, has launched an application to assist families in creating wills and trusts.

The Tomorrow app allows users to create a free will or a free revocable living trust in a matter of minutes. Users are guided through important decisions by the tool and are able to make changes to their documents at any time.

Users of the application can also purchase an optimized amount of term life insurance for themselves or use an existing policy to allocate future payouts to fund their own trust.

Tomorrow includes social functionality enabling users to invite family and friends to serve roles related to their self-created wills and trusts.

Vanguard Adds To Active Fund Lineup
Vanguard Group introduced two new actively managed global funds to its lineup.

The new funds, the Global Wellington Fund and the Global Wellesley Income Fund, will be advised by Boston-based Wellington Management Company.

The Global Wellington Fund aims to provide long-term capital appreciation and moderate income through a global portfolio of 65% equities and 35% fixed income.

The Global Wellesley Income Fund will invest 35% of its assets in equities and 65% in fixed income to attempt to generate a high and sustainable level of income.

Great-West Rolls Out Annuity For Fee-Only Advisors
Great-West Financial has announced that its Smart Track Advisor Variable Annuity is now available via Aria Retirement Solutions’ RetireOne platform.

Smart Track Advisor offers holders more than 90 subaccounts, lets them add to the living benefit rider after the annuity is issued, offers them withdrawal rates as high as 6% when they have reached age 65, offers them multiple ways to increase income after withdrawals start and offers them single and joint riders for the same cost.

Great-West seeks to provide RIAs access to a fee-only variable annuity solution, according to Mike McCarthy, the company’s senior vice president for national sales.

AssetMark Introduces Streamlined Account Tools
AssetMark, a provider of relationship and practice management tools for advisors, has launched what it calls a Smarter Account Setup feature to streamline advisors’ process of setting up and managing accounts for clients.

Smarter Account Setup includes auto-fill options, on-screen alerts and error checking that AssetMark believes will help reduce the time it takes to create new account paperwork on its platform. The tool then consolidates most client and account information on a single screen, making it easier for advisors to locate client information. It also simplifies the authorization process by allowing one signature on paperwork used to open multiple accounts.