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View More Press Releases by Franklin Templeton

Press Release

Franklin Templeton Transitions 403(b) Business to PCS Retirement’s Aspire Platform

Issued by Franklin Templeton

Sept. 13, 2022

Public and non-profit workers to benefit from enhanced low-cost professionally managed solutions

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- Franklin Templeton announced today that it is transitioning its 403(b) business to PCS Retirement’s Aspire 403(b) platform. This partnership brings together best-in-class investment options made available through Franklin Templeton’s global asset management expertise and the transparent, market-leading services offered by Aspire, a division of PCS Retirement, the nation’s largest independent recordkeeper serving K-12 retirement plans.

“Everything we do is guided by our core belief that every U.S. worker and household has the right to experience financial wellbeing throughout each phase of life,” said Yaqub Ahmed, Head of Retirement, Insurance & 529 – U.S. at Franklin Templeton. “By partnering with PCS Retirement, a leader in the public and non-profit space, we are able to provide a traditionally underserved group of workers with high-quality solutions – all with the goal of creating the opportunity for a better path towards financial independence.”

403(b) plans are the retirement savings vehicles of choice for employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations. To date, most 403(b) plans have included an annuity structure whereas the Aspire platform leverages mutual funds. Access to mutual funds allows participants to benefit from institutional-level pricing and creates a solution that is mindful of overall costs and focuses on transparency. With Aspire, existing and new Franklin Templeton participants can now gain access to new features, such as Roth 403(b) plans, enhanced financial literacy tools, and access to an unmatched lineup of independent specialist investment managers, including ClearBridge Investments and Western Asset. This partnership will also expand Franklin Templeton’s reach in the K-12 market.

“Franklin Templeton’s selection reinforces the low cost, transparent model that we’ve been promoting for the last 15 years,” said Pete Kirtland, PCS Retirement’s executive vice president of strategic sales. “In this partnership, we look forward to further innovating and evolving our solutions to support our mission of making retirement a reality for these employees who make such an important impact on our communities every day.” Matt Drummond, national sales vice president for PCS Retirement, added, “Giving 403(b) participants access to low-cost and transparent investments is one of our core beliefs, and the ability to work with a world-class asset manager like Franklin Templeton, to increase their focus on the 403(b) market is good news for 403(b) participants everywhere.”

Franklin Templeton has been committed to offering best-in-class 403(b) plans to plan sponsors and participants for decades, and this move to Aspire will only strengthen the firm’s commitment as well as its reach.

About PCS Retirement

PCS Retirement is among the nation’s largest independent and conflict-free retirement solution providers in the industry. PCS Retirement acquired Aspire in July 2019 and together, they provide recordkeeping services to 19,000 plans and 850,000 eligible participants representing $26+ billion in retirement assets. The Aspire 403b platform is a comprehensive retirement solution that includes business development tools for financial advisors and data-driven recordkeeping technology supporting individual retirement accounts and health savings accounts. With over 92,000 educators and school administrators and $6+ billion in retirement assets across 6,000 retirement plans, Aspire has developed a strong presence across the individual and multi-vendor retirement markets. To learn more, visit https://www.pcsretirement.com/.

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 155 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company offers boutique specialization on a global scale, bringing extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has 75 years of investment experience and approximately $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of July 31, 2022. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 

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