Will Participate in Retirement Program Targeting Small Chamber Members

Ask many small business employees about their retirement plan and they'll likely laugh. It's a service these workers have traditionally done without. Considering small business employees make up more than 38% of the U.S. workforce, calling this niche an underserved market is an understatement that's equally laughable. But institutions and other organizations are perking up to the possibilities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the catalyst in a new program that brings 401(k) and other retirement products usually only offered by larger firms to the little guy, according to a story that appeared on Financial Planning Interactive that was adapted from a Financial Services Marketing article.

SunAmerica won a bid for the project and has launched a 401(k) plan through its network of 9,000 brokers aimed at U.S. Chamber of Commerce members with fewer than 100 employees. It's comparable to plans at larger companies, said SunAmerica spokesperson Sonia Fiorenza.

To increase the plan's reach, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has tapped St. Louis-based Edward Jones. The brokerage began selling the plan through a pilot program in May and plans to offer it nationwide through all 7,000 of its brokers beginning this month.

The plan offers a menu of nine investments, including a one-year fixed interest rate account with a minimum interest rate guarantee. Three of the investment portfolios are managed by SunAmerica Asset Management, while the rest are handled by Alliance Capital Management, Davis Selected Advisors, First American, Putnam Investments and Wellington Management.

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