Platform enhancement allows 403(b) advisors to access annuity products alongside other investment vehicles and promote stronger participant outcomes
CENTENNIAL, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Investment Provider Xchange (“IPX”), an innovative solutions provider for retirement plan professionals, plan sponsors and participants in the 403(b) and 457(b) space, is making additional annuity products available for distribution. The move directly supports the needs and business objectives of fee-based advisors. At its core, IPX is an enhanced retirement plan recordkeeping application that is fully optimized for fee-based advisors in the governmental space.
“Because of the unique individual advisor-to-participant relationships in the governmental space, IPX maintains those relationships while also permitting self-directing individuals to make investment choices from a wide selection of low-cost institutional share classes. That’s simple open architecture and a term we’ve all been familiar with for years,” said James Olson, Managing Director with IPX. “I call it Open Architecture Plus when referring to IPX and our unique annuity processing capabilities.”
The December 2019 passage of the SECURE Act drove heightened interest in IPX from annuity product providers. The legislation mandates that participants’ accrued benefits must be expressed as a guaranteed lifetime income stream. IPX plans to make additional annuity products available throughout this year as it streamlines the process for advisors.
“Processing transactions with annuity product providers is complex,” noted Kevin Loffredi, IPX’s Chief Product Officer. “Annuity transactions aren’t processed in the same way mutual funds are via common industry platforms, like DTCC’s Fund/SERV. Because IPX’s Annuity Processing Portal handles the interaction with annuity products, we can allow advisors to distribute annuity products and mutual funds from a single platform.”
IPX does not play an advisory role and is agnostic to the products selected for use on its platform. Olson commented: “We leave it to the product providers and their distributors to determine the appropriate mix of investments for any retirement plan or individual. IPX was built for distribution of whatever the product manufacturers design and the plan approves, and that includes annuities as well as mutual funds, ETFs and models.”
GLP Investment Services, LLC, an investment advisory firm headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, serves thousands of participants in more than three hundred 403(b) plans on IPX and is an early adopter of the expanded offering.
“Our reps use a mix of annuities and our strategic portfolios when arranging retirement plans for their clients,” said Alex Kocoves, CEO of GLP. “Working with a single independent platform to distribute annuities as well as our portfolios is clearly an advantage for both our reps and clients, and knowing our plan administrator has complete integration with IPX for their needs makes placing our plans on IPX even more appealing.”
Notably, IPX offers a single online experience, as well as consolidated statements and enhanced communication interfaces with third-party administrators, all significant benefits to advisors.
“The services provided by the TPA in the governmental space are enhanced when they interface with IPX,” according to Olson. “IPX makes plan governance and control manageable even when multiple products are available in the plan. The platform can be easily configured to maintain strict adherence to product eligibility while also limiting distribution to approved advisors. We give sponsors and their consultants confidence that rogue sales practices at the expense of their public employees can become a rare occurrence.”
About IPX and FPS Group, LLC
FPS Group, LLC operates out of Centennial, CO. Its flagship offering is the Investment Provider Xchange (“IPX”), which is a single-source, end-to-end solution for providers in the 403(b) and 457(b) plan markets, offering the benefits of a multiple-provider approach with the simplicity of a single provider. IPX combines a technology platform for fund trading, recordkeeping and online account access with a custom plan design and third-party administrator support. Features include transaction processing for contributions, distributions and participant loans, aggregated participant data accessed via an award-winning, robust web portal and the ability to access mutual funds and annuities on one platform. Custodial services are offered via FPS Trust Company, LLC, a non-depository Colorado trust company. For more information, please visit www.ipxplatform.com.
Gregory FCA for IPX