ING Adds a New Practice Management Tool to Help Retirement Professionals GROW Their Business

May 17, 2010 Windsor, CT Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

During the worst days of the economic downturn there was talk of the failings of the U.S. employer-based retirement plan system. As an advocate of research and to better understand consumers and its customers, ING conducted a recent survey to hear from average Americans exactly what they thought about the issue.

The new program enhancement - entitled "Cracking the Code" - is a comprehensive set of practice management strategies to help retirement professionals unlock the business opportunities found in the Form 5500. This form is a detailed annual filing requirement for group retirement plans subject to ERISA, and contains important information on a plan's financial condition, investments and operations.

Similar to the other tools and resources in the GROW Program, "Cracking the Code" includes actionable sales ideas and guidance that can be leveraged for relationship-building and business growth. It was specifically developed to capitalize on the regulatory changes around the required electronic filing of Form 5500, starting with 2009 plan year data and including the more rigorous documentation of fees that sponsors must report pursuant to "Schedule C" of the form.

"For a financial professional, it's all about demonstrating value to clients while balancing the demands of a busy schedule," said Bill Elmslie, executive vice president of Intermediary Sales and Service for ING U.S. Retirement Services. "This latest program enhancement builds upon an already robust suite of tools and resources we designed with the advisor, consultant and TPA in mind. Our goal is to help these professionals save precious time and resources by supplementing their own services and supporting their evolving practice needs."

"Cracking the Code" includes an easy-to-follow guide for navigating the various sections of the Form 5500 for sales opportunities, leveraging online reports and web sites to develop business leads, and taking advantage of ING's talent and resources to drive action.

The sales ideas and opportunities offered in the campaign focus on four specific categories:

1. Plan Design - Help educate potential clients on alternative plan designs that might save them money, maximize deferrals and/or decrease administrative workload.
2. Service - Demonstrate value to customers who could benefit from an increased level of service and support.
3. Education - Uncover opportunities for a sponsor to create more customized employee education programs that can help improve plan metrics.
4. Compliance / Fiduciary - Offer solutions and guidance to address fiduciary responsibilities and help keep a plan compliant.

"Tapping the Form 5500 for plan design ideas is one strategy that advisors, consultants and TPAs are finding especially useful," said Bob Kaplan, vice president and national training consultant for ING U.S. Retirement Services. "Many employers have not reviewed the design of their plan since its inception. This campaign offers practitioners a chance to sit down with a potential client and review a number of important topics, including how that sponsor might benefit from updating and converting to a new design."

For more information on the new "Cracking the Code" campaign, advisors, consultants and TPAs can call the following toll-free number to reach an internal wholesaler at ING: 1-866-481-3653, option 4.

ING's U.S. Retirement Services is part of ING's global insurance operations. The business holds top rankings in the defined contribution industry and has more than $277 billion in combined assets under administration and management. It is one of the few providers with a scaled leadership presence and the ability to serve all sizes and segments of the defined contribution market, including corporate, government, healthcare, K-12 and higher education.

Press inquiries:

Joe Loparco, ING Americas, 580-580-2677 or jospeh.loparco@us.ing.com

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 more than 107,000 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 and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com/US.