ING’S Taking Control® Helps Retirement Plan Sponsors Empower Their Employees in Transition

June 29, 2009 Windsor, CT Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

ING’s U.S. Retirement Services operations announced today that its large corporate and government retirement plan clients can now take advantage of a new suite of services designed to help employees navigate the complexities of workplace transitions.

The program, known as Taking Control, is offered as a value-added resource for plan sponsors. Employers can leverage this unique package of services at no additional cost to assist employees who are approaching retirement, leaving their jobs or who are impacted by a corporate action, such as a workforce reduction, the termination of a benefit plan, or the sale of a business.

Taking Control focuses on educating and assisting participants as they transition to retirement or another employer. The program also helps reduce many of the administrative burdens faced by employers while enabling employees to make more informed decisions about their benefits and finances during the outplacement process.

“In today’s environment, addressing the needs of transitioning workers has become an enormous responsibility for employers and their human resources departments. Employees leaving a job often have questions about their retirement accounts, their benefits and other financial matters,” said Randy Ciccati, president of ING Financial Solutions Group. “That’s why ING is pleased to be offering Taking Control as a resource for our large corporate and government clients. We see this as an opportunity to make a plan sponsor’s job easier, while providing employees with meaningful, workable and immediate financial solutions.”

“Taking Control is a powerful complement to our overall Direction-for-Life strategy,” said Sandra McCarthy, president of ING Institutional Plan Services. “This program enhances a sponsor’s ability to choose a level of service appropriate to their corporate-action strategies and employee demographics, while enabling participants to benefit from individualized, objective support for their own personal life situations and goals.”

Three Services, One Comprehensive Approach

ING’s Taking Control program is a menu of three distinct services for sponsors or employees depending on their specific situations or needs:

Transition Counseling
: ING’s Transition Counseling services are available to all participants who experience a transition in their retirement plans. A dedicated team of registered, phone-based financial professionals can provide employees with objective education, personalized guidance and counseling on the benefits and risks associated with all of their transition options. This includes staying within their plan, rolling assets into another plan or an IRA, taking cash distributions or exploring other income and withdrawal choices. Counselors may assist employees in implementing a sound financial strategy and addressing a broad range of topics, such as how to better understand any tax implications associated with their transition options and how to continue contributions on a tax-deferred basis.

Retirement Readiness
: Upon request, employees who are planning for or entering retirement can take advantage of ING’s Retirement Readiness services. ING established these services to ensure that plan participants are receiving valuable education and support for managing their retirement nest egg. ING’s focus is on participants who are 50 years or older, as well as those within 5 years of retirement. The goal is to improve participants’ financial well-being by helping them understand and meet their retirement income needs and goals. Education and tools include targeted electronic and print materials as well as webinars and on-line workshops. ING’s phone-based Transition Counselors are also available to explain retirement plan distribution options and assist in developing strategies and determining retirement income needs.

Benefits Solutions
: ING’s Benefits Solutions services are designed specifically for employers undergoing corporate actions such as large workforce reductions, the closing or sale of a business, retirement plan terminations and other complex transitions. ING partners with a plan sponsor’s human resources department and, when appropriate, outside vendors to create a flexible and customized solution. A dedicated team of ING Benefit Solutions specialists are available to provide personalized attention for plan sponsors and their affected employees. These specialists are available for group and individual meetings as well as by phone and e-mail. Their focus is on addressing employees’ most pressing concerns, such as comparing COBRA to other health insurance alternatives, evaluating life insurance options, managing severance packages and other income sources, reducing expenses, taking advantage of company stock opportunities and maximizing 401(k) plan benefits. The Benefits Solutions services also include user-friendly and action-oriented workbooks and materials.

ING developed Taking Control after conducting extensive research and surveying over 1,000 employers to find out what resources were most important for retirement plan participants in the process of transition. Nothing existed that served all three areas of transition counseling, retirement preparation and total benefits support.

“We believe our holistic and consultative approach differentiates ING from other retirement plan providers,” noted Julie Kozlowski, vice president of ING Financial Solutions Group. “It also lets our plan sponsors show they care by demonstrating professionalism, courtesy and respect as they help employees take control of their benefits and finances during what can be a difficult process.”

ING’s U.S. Retirement Services operations holds top rankings in the defined contribution industry today with over 52,000 plans, more than 6 million plan participants, and over $230 billion in assets under administration and management. ING serves all sizes and segments of the defined contribution market, including corporate, government, K-12, higher education and healthcare clients.

The Taking Control program is currently available to the large and mega-sized corporate market, as well as ING’s government clients. Transition Counselors and ING Benefit Solution specialists are registered representatives of ING Financial Advisers, LLC (member SIPC).

Press inquiries

Joe Loparco, ING Americas, 860-580-2677, or

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 114,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit