Magazine article American Banker

Massachusetts Financial, IBAA Offering 401(k) Plans to Entrepreneurs

Magazine article American Banker

Massachusetts Financial, IBAA Offering 401(k) Plans to Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

Massachusetts Financial Services, one of the nation's oldest mutual fund firms, has teamed up with the nation's leading community bank trade group to offer 401(k) retirement plans to small-business customers.

The plans, geared toward businesses with 25 or fewer employees, are being offered by some of the 5,500 small banks represented by the Independent Bankers Association of America.

Massachusetts Financial, Boston, will manage the mutual funds behind the plans and Bankers Systems, based in St. Cloud, Minn., will be the administrator.

Bankers Systems is known for its expertise in the small-business market and for its competitive pricing-and low costs are a key to signing up small businesses, said Bill Reid, president of IBAA Financial Services, the trade group's broker dealer.

"The cost of administering a 401(k) plan had been a major barrier to small business for years," said Mr. Reid. "We've been looking for pricing that really fits the small-business niche, and this is what we've found with Bankers Systems."

Because the banks under the IBAA banner have close ties with small businesses in their communities, there is lots of potential for marketing retirement plans through them, said Lisa Jones, senior vice president and director of the financial institutions division for Massachusetts Financial. "This product is designed exclusively for that marketplace," she said.

Bankers Systems helped make 401(k) plans more affordable to small businesses by designing them in a more simplified-and thus less expensive way. …

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