Nearly nine out of 10 major financial firms has made serving the upcoming Baby Boomer retirement boon their No. 1 priority, according to a new report from Financial Research Corp.

While 88% are gearing up for this upcoming wave-primarily by coordinating sales, marketing, client service, product development, organizational alignment and retirement income service departments-the level of preparedness varies widely, FRC found. Insurers are the best prepared, primarily due to their existing arsenal of immediate annuities and fixed-income products. Record keepers, on the other hand, have been busy hiring additional staff or retraining them to get up to speed on estate planning, healthcare and retirement income.

Among the major companies that are gearing up to capture the $2 trillion in Boomer retirement rollover assets in the next decade, coordination and product development is the name of the game, FRC found.

"The No. 1 priority of nearly every major financial services firm today is to develop a sound strategy for delivering retirement income products and services," said Chris Brown, director of retirement market research, FRC.

Brown added that as retiree account balances decline, investment firms must have a sound strategy in place, or else risk "a gradual erosion of profits."

(c) 2005 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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