AST Trust Company, a division of American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, has announced the launch of 10 ETF collective funds for retirement plans. AST is offering the ETFs as collective funds, which operate like mutual funds and offer same-date settlement, so that 401(k) and other retirement plan participants can invest in them like any other investment option.

The new AST ETF collective funds are available in a wide variety of investment styles, including large-cap, small-cap, mid-cap, international, emerging markets, equity, short-term and investment-grade bonds. FundSERV, the mutual fund clearing platform of National Securities Clearing Corporation, is making the ETFs widely accessible to plan sponsors.

"The retirement community has been thirsting for an attractive ETF solution, and AST is the first company to deliver it in a cost-effective and common structure for 401(k)s and other qualified plans," said Steve Ferber, executive vice president of collective fund operations at AST. "Until now, the features of ETFs have not been consistent with the trading needs of daily valued retirement plans. By leveraging our collective fund services, we've married the features of an ETF with the needs of the retirement market."

Though only several retirement platforms are picking up AST ETFs, the company hopes that many more will jump on the bandwagon, while AST is planning to launch additional collective funds for the retirement community.

"We at AST are dedicated to providing a full spectrum of fiduciary services to our institutional clients; we believe that many retirement plan sponsors, in search of lower fees, and investment managers, in seeking to grow their business, will look to leverage collective funds," said Greg Tschider, President of AST Trust Company.

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