MADISON, Wis. (10/30/08)--CUNA Mutual Group has upgraded and repackaged its Choice 401(k) program to provide retirement plan sponsors with a larger, stronger choice of institutional investments for their employees.
Using a low-cost group annuity platform, the program now offers more than 75 different sub-account choices from investment managers, said Tom Eckert, CUNA Mutual vice president of Retirement Plan Services. “We've increased the asset class coverage of Choice 401(k) to provide a great product for plan sponsors and advisers,” Eckert said. “We've got the asset classes covered, but we've kept the number of sub-accounts at a manageable level, so it's not too overwhelming.” Investment accounts include Vanguard, PIMCO, Oppenheimer, MFS, T. Rowe Price, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, Neuberger Berman, Lord Abbett, Putnam, Aim, Franklin Templeton, MEMBERS Capital Advisors and Dreyfus. The Choice 401(k) also includes target-risk and target-date allocation options that use multiple investment managers within the sub-accounts. Choice 401(k) includes CUNA Mutual’s Principal Guarantee Benefit Rider, which guarantees no loss of principal on the conservative or moderate allocation sub-accounts when held for at least 10 years. The 401(k) product portfolio also includes a Trustee product, featuring a national board of trustees responsible for the plan's investment selection and oversight. The trustees focus on building a plan with broad-based, low-cost, institutional-style portfolios. This plan is designed for plan sponsors who do not have the expertise or time to select and monitor the investment accounts of a 401(k) plan. CUNA Mutual serves an estimated 60% of the retirement plans sponsored by credit unions, representing about 4,300 plans with 129,000 participants.