Keep It Simple! TD Ameritrade Unveils a Branded, Turnkey Retirement Plan Solution for Registered Investment Advisors

Streamlined program makes it easier for RIAs to pursue an important source of new business by bundling essential plan services, yet still preserves open-architecture investment flexibility

ORLANDO, Fla.--()--The U.S. retirement plan market may represent a historic growth opportunity for registered investment advisors (“RIAs”), yet even experienced firms can be deterred by the time needed to assemble service providers and comply with additional regulation.

To address these concerns, TD Ameritrade Trust Company,1 a subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD), has created a turnkey program that simplifies the process of establishing a retirement plan business and, in conjunction with TD Ameritrade Institutional2, provides ongoing support to turn that opportunity into growth.

The new TD Ameritrade Retirement Plan was built with input from advisors. It offers RIAs a single point of contact for all their 401(k) plan-servicing needs, combining recordkeeping, custody and third-party administration from TD Ameritrade Trust Company, access to thousands of non-proprietary ETFs and mutual funds and the leading RIA services of TD Ameritrade Institutional. Advisors for the first time also can approach clients and prospects with a retirement plan product backed by the TD Ameritrade brand.

“We listened to advisors and they wanted a simplified, branded retirement plan solution to help them gather assets they’re not capturing today,” said Skip Schweiss, managing director, TD Ameritrade Institutional and president, TD Ameritrade Trust Company. “Our new approach gives advisors a streamlined solution with the TD Ameritrade name, which can be a key selling point with plan sponsors.”

The U.S. retirement plan market is enormous -- Americans have socked away some $5.6 trillion in 401(k) and other employer-sponsored defined-contribution retirement plans3 – and it has grown through good markets and bad thanks to a steady stream of new money with every paycheck. 4 It is an attractive business, but one long dominated by a few brokerage, insurance and fund-management giants.4

Advisors have largely watched from afar, as just 5 percent of RIAs service a meaningful number of 401(k) plans. 4 Recent regulatory changes designed to enhance investor protections, though, have tilted the playing field in the favor of RIAs.

The U.S. Labor Department now requires retirement plan providers to fully disclose their services, their compensation and fiduciary status. Industry analysts forecast that employers armed with these disclosures, will shift retirement plans to RIAs4, where advisors are held to a fiduciary standard of care.

“Regulators have changed the ground rules in a way that I believe truly favors fiduciary advisors. Opportunity is knocking and we want to help advisors open that door,” Schweiss said.

In a recent TD Ameritrade Institutional survey5, most RIAs agreed that advising on retirement plans would be a welcome addition to their business. Eight out of 10 advisors predicted RIAs as a group would expand their share of the retirement plan market.

Yet advisors also cited obstacles to entering the business – the administrative groundwork needed to deliver these services and the additional layers of regulation. Some advisors said they lacked time and resources, or felt they needed more education about the business. Just under half of advisors in the survey said they planned to pursue retirement plan business this year.

The TD Ameritrade Retirement Plan is designed to address those concerns and help more advisors take the next step. It streamlines the process of establishing and managing a retirement plan business by offering a single package for all recordkeeping, custody and plan administration.

RIAs will get the TD Ameritrade Retirement Plan Playbook, which offers step-by-step guidance on how to set up a retirement plan business, approach prospects and service clients. The program offers account management tools and materials for advisors, enrollment and education support for employers, as well as planning tools and IRA rollover assistance for plan participants.

Advisors still control their clients’ investment options thanks to TD Ameritrade Trust Company’s open-architecture platform, with its unbundled access to more than 13,000 mutual funds and over 1,000 ETFs, as well as access to TD Ameritrade’s self-directed brokerage platform.

The TD Ameritrade retirement Plan will complement the current service model, in which TD Ameritrade Trust Company matches RIAs with more than 80 leading independent TPA/recordkeepers. TD Ameritrade Institutional will continue to provide RIAs with choice and flexibility by offering a range of retirement plan solutions to meet the needs of plan sponsors and participants.

Serving the retirement plan market offers several benefits to RIAs, including a chance to expand relationships with clients and attract prospects. Steady flows of retirement assets can provide balance to a firm’s investment management business, which may shrink in down markets or see withdrawals Over the past five years, retirement plan assets grew three times as fast as non-retirement plan assets.2

“Retirement plans offer a tremendous opportunity for RIAs to diversify their revenue by attracting investors who add money every two weeks, in good markets and bad,” said Schweiss.

1 TD Ameritrade Trust Company, a non-depository trust company, provides custody, directed trustee, recordkeeping, plan design support and plan administration services and is not a member of FINRA/SIPC/ NFA. Brokerage services are provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC/NFA. TD Ameritrade, Inc., and TD Ameritrade Trust Company are separate but affiliated subsidiaries of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (“TD Ameritrade”).

2 TD Ameritrade Institutional, a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., provides business development support, guidance and tools to independent registered investment advisors.

3 Investment Company Institute, “Retirement Assets Total $21.9 Trillion in Third Quarter 2013,” Jan. 10, 2014,

4 Cerulli Associates, Cerulli Quantitative Update: U.S. Retirement Markets 2012 (Subscription required)

5 TD Ameritrade Institutional RIA Sentiment Survey – Retirement Plan Advice Market, November 2013.

About TD Ameritrade Institutional

TD Ameritrade Institutional, a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., is a leading provider of comprehensive brokerage and custody services to more than 4,500 fee-based, independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) and their clients. Our advanced technology platform, coupled with personal support from our dedicated service teams, allows advisors to run their practices more efficiently and optimize time with clients.

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

Millions of investors and independent investment advisors have turned to TD Ameritrade’s (NYSE: AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier. Our clients want to take control and we help them decide how -- online, over the phone, in a branch or with an independent investment advisor. We’ve been bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 36 years. An official sponsor of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade’s newsroom or for more information.

Custody, directed trustee, recordkeeping, plan design support and plan administration are provided by TD Ameritrade Trust Company, a non-depository trust company. Brokerage services are provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA /SIPC /NFA. TD Ameritrade Trust Company and TD Ameritrade, Inc. are separate but affiliated subsidiaries of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (“TD Ameritrade”). Business development support, guidance and tools are provided to independent registered investment advisors by TD Ameritrade Institutional, a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc.

Survey Methodology

Results are based on a survey conducted by Maritz, Inc. on behalf of TD Ameritrade Institutional. 300 RIAs participated in a telephone survey Nov. 4 through Nov. 15, 2013. RIAs who custody with TD Ameritrade Institutional, as well as other independent RIAs from across the United States, were asked to share their views on the retirement plan advice market. The margin of error is ±5.6%. This means that in just over one case out of 20, survey results based on 300 respondents will differ by no more than 5.6 percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking the opinions of all eligible RIAs. Maritz, Inc. and TD Ameritrade, Inc. are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other's products and services.


TD Ameritrade
Joseph A. Giannone, 1-201-725-8584 (M)
Communications & Public Affairs
Kristin Petrick, 1-402-578-8182 (M)
Communications & Public Affairs


TD Ameritrade
Joseph A. Giannone, 1-201-725-8584 (M)
Communications & Public Affairs
Kristin Petrick, 1-402-578-8182 (M)
Communications & Public Affairs