LPL Financial, The nation’s largest independent broker-dealer is partnering up to enhance its recently launched online retirement planning services platform.

Users of LPL's Worksite Financial Solutions will now have access to Morningstar Associate’s Employee Advice Solution software platform, Wealth Management Systems Inc.’s web and call center technology, and the financial education firm Financial Finesse’s online Financial Learning Center, according to an LPL statement released Thursday.

With the twin goals of improving advisor-client communication and creating more financially savvy 401(k) investors through advice, education, and transition services, LPL began the rollout of the retirement platform last summer.

“Through our launch of Worksite Financial Solutions, we are seeking to completely re-invent the world of retirement plan financial advice, in order to counteract the current inadequate and fragmented system of retirement planning prevalent at so many workplaces in America today,” said Bill Chetney, executive vice president of LPL Financial Retirement Partners, in a statement. “We are tremendously excited to work with some of the most outstanding and forward-thinking service providers in the industry, in order to give our nation’s workers the tools and resources they need to plan for all stages of their financial lives, including retirement, and to make our vision become a reality.”

The rationale for the project was obvious, Chetney said. Often assigned an investment strategy based solely on their age or forced to pick one with little knowledge or guidance, 401(k) participants were clearly not receiving adequate advice. Worksite Financial Solutions sought to fill that void.

“We’re trying to do is create a holistic approach to retirement readiness” said Chetney. “There’s an obvious deficiency in the 401(k) space. We’re just executing on the obvious”

Morningstar’s Employee Advice Solution software will help advisors tailor investment strategies to meet participants’ retirement goals. Users can choose their investment strategist from a list and opt for ongoing professional investment management or more time-sensitive advice based on an in-depth analysis of their financial situation.

LPL’s partnership with WMSI, one of the retirement planning industry’s leading providers of 401 (k) transition technology and services, will allow advisors to more efficiently move retirement plan accounts for those switching jobs.

Using Financial Finesse's Financial Learning Center, clients can undergo a financial wellness assessments and access educational tools to help improve their financial knowledge. Plan sponsors then receive comprehensive aggregated reports on the financial status of plan participants, which then allows LPL advisors to customize financial education programs based on the findings.

While further improvements are planned, with these additions, the platform’s principal components are now in place.

“We’ll continue to enhance the offering on an ongoing basis,” Chetney said. “But these are the foundation stones.”

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