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Non-Profit Launching Retirement Plan for Uncovered Workers

Icon has been designed for independent contractors and ‘gig workers,’ people who work for an employer that doesn’t offer a plan, as well as employers who don’t offer a plan but want to help their employees save for retirement.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | December 08, 2016

Just as states are jumping in to fill the retirement plan coverage gap, a non-profit organization has announced the launch of a universal retirement plan.

The National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP) will launch Icon in 2017, a universal retirement plan designed to help the 75 million working Americans who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Icon integrates the best aspects of large employer-sponsored plans—such as low fees and simplified choices—along with complete portability and a well-designed user interface, the firm says.

NARPP has been working with some of the most respected industry experts, behavioral finance academics and designers to develop the first offering on the Icon platform—a “Smarter IRA” that will voluntarily default people into a target-date fund (TDF) that is based on the saver’s age. NARPP has negotiated with asset managers to provide institutional pricing, which means people using Icon will pay significantly less than average retail fees on an IRA.

NARPP offers behaviorally effective communications that lead to increased levels of trust, deeper engagement and increased savings rates. Icon is a sustainable and scalable offering that makes it easier to save more, making it more likely that people will be better prepared for retirement.

Icon has been designed for independent contractors and ‘gig workers,’ people who work for an employer that doesn’t offer a plan, as well as employers who don’t offer a plan but want to help their employees save for retirement. With a five-dollar per month membership fee, people will have access to an experience that provides enhanced features such as personalized information, curated and unbiased financial information, a community of mentors and peers, live education events, and access to Icon. The membership fee can be paid by the individual or by employers on behalf of their employees.

“Icon represents a new model—it is the first fully comprehensive retirement savings system,” according to Warren Cormier of NARPP. “Icon encompasses all major components of a successful retirement journey—accumulation, portability, quality and transparency, along with fairly priced funds and behaviorally effective communications that motivate people to save.”

More about NARPP can be found at www.NARPP.org.

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