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View More Press Releases by Smart

Press release:

Global Retirement Technology Leader Smart Launches in the United States with Industry Veteran Jodan Ledford at the Helm

Issued by: Smart

Date: Oct. 9, 2020

Offers Modern Recordkeeping and Retirement Income Solutions to Help Advisors, Employers, Participants and Partners Nationwide Navigate the SECURE Act

NASHVILLE, TN / October 8, 2020 / Smart, a leading retirement technology business and one of the largest global recordkeepers, with strategic investors J.P. Morgan, Legal & General, Barclays, the Link Group, and Natixis, has today launched in the United States. Smart's recordkeeping solution for PEPs will launch in 2021, aligning with the SECURE Act's roll-out.

With over 70,000 retirement plans already on its platform, Smart enters the US market with industry adoption already on a par with the country's second-largest recordkeeper by number of plans. Smart's proven, 100% cloud-based technology offers easy-to-use, turnkey solutions for plan advisors and employers of all sizes and ambition. Smart supports advisors just beginning to offer retirement business as well as seasoned plan advisors, and provides solutions for small businesses and members of the gig economy to the largest corporations. Founded in the UK, Smart's technology is the only US offering purpose-built for pooled employer plans (PEPs) and the facilitation of lifetime income in retirement plans that the SECURE Act allows.

Smart will be led by US CEO Jodan Ledford, a US retirement plan industry veteran and, most recently, Legal & General Investment Management America's Chief Client Officer where he oversaw an increase from $30 billion to $210 billion in assets under management. According to Ledford, "Retirement savings in our country is in a state of flux - 3 in 10 Americans have decreased or stopped their retirement savings in the Pandemic1 and more than 38 million US households do not own any retirement account assets. The SECURE Act provides an opportunity for all of us to help close this coverage gap. We at Smart saw that our technology was needed to help advisors, employers, and partners support even more Americans. With our global platform, we have already shown how we can expand retirement access by making it easy for even the smallest employers to offer cost-efficient retirement plans. We are proud to launch in the US today to help Americans realize the full benefits of the SECURE Act with our tested and proven technology, and look forward to making it simpler for advisors and employers nationwide to launch and maintain a retirement plan."

In the six years since its inception in 2014, Smart has revolutionized the way its users save, becoming the second-largest PEP (Master Trust) in the UK. In addition, Smart has expanded its reach and impact on world regions' savings habits through a number of international partnerships:

  • With the Dubai International Financial Centre's Employee Workplace Savings plan and Zurich Middle East as plan recordkeeper and advisor, providing the plan sponsor and participant portal
  • With Bank of Ireland's wholly owned insurer, New Ireland Assurance, as the selected technology partner helping to transform its pension offering for brokers and financial advisors ahead of the implementation of the IORPS II directive and the Irish government's roll-out of auto-enrolment in 2022
  • With the Link Group (Australia), Smart is delivering a paradigm shift in the retirement experience. It includes the provision of Smart Retire, a guided retirement journey that will enable Australians to see, understand, and make decisions in their retirement across their assets and income. Link Group has 10 million Superannuation participants and over USD$300bn assets under administration.

In the US, Smart's recordkeeping solution for PEPs will launch in 2021, aligning with the SECURE Act's roll-out. Smart will also be bringing to the US market technology to facilitate retirement income solutions. Its flexible platform model spans across PEPs and recordkeeping engagements, utilizing a conflict-free approach to partnering with financial services entities including asset managers, banks, advisors, administrators, and insurers.

Smart deploys an innovative and extensive end user engagement and testing process to ensure that it provides an optimal experience for the advisor, employer, and participant alike. For advisors, Smart offers intuitive setup, a guided proposal process, plans designed for startups and small businesses, real-time data insights at a home office, plan, and participant level, and white labeling. Employers benefit from a simple and affordable retirement solution with an easy-to-use dashboard that automates tasks to reduce the administrative burden and communicate with participants, whilst also reducing fiduciary risk through adopting the PEP structure for the plan. Participants gain a first-class digital experience across a range of devices, access to real-time account information, and innovative tools to manage their investments. To learn more about Smart US, please visit: http://smartretire.com

About Smart

Smart is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, Group CEO, and Will Wynne, Group MD, it is one of the UK's largest providers of retirement plans. Its award-winning master trust (UK pooled employer plan), Smart Pension, is overseen by independent professional trustees.

In 2020 Smart Pension was named Master Trust Offering of the Year at the Pension Age Awards. Other awards include DC Master Trust of the Year, DC Innovation of the Year and Retirement Innovation of the Year in the 2019 UK Pensions Awards. Smart Pension was also named European Pension Fund of the Year 2019 in the European Pension Awards.

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