Unum adds managed retirement fund to 401(k) plan, pairs it with withdrawal options

June 19, 2021

Unum Group is looking to make its retirement plan more attractive to retirees.

The insurance provider added a managed retirement fund to its $1.8 billion 401(k) plan and paired it with managed cash-flow withdrawal options to make it easier for participants to draw down their savings in retirement, the company announced Friday.

"Bottom line, it was about expanding the choices and options available to meet our employees where they are in life," said Carl Gagnon, assistant vice president of global financial well-being, in an email.

The new managed retirement funds are professionally managed mutual funds offered by Fidelity Investments designed specifically for retirees and near-retirees who plan to use systematic withdrawals from their 401(k), Mr. Gagnon said.

The new funds consist of a mix of investments that correspond to the participant's age and become more conservative over time. They are "like a TDF fund for older investors," Mr. Gagnon said, "with a mix that guides investments and withdrawals over a retirement horizon."

The cost of the new investments is similar to actively managed target-date funds, he said.

The new funds come with automatic annual, semiannual, quarterly, monthly and biweekly withdrawal options to help participants draw a steady stream of income in retirement. Participants must be retired to begin taking automatic withdrawals, Mr. Gagnon said.

The new retiree-friendly plan options are the latest in a series of programs and resources the company introduced to support the health and well-being of its employees. In January 2020, for example, the company launched a program that allowed employees to convert their unused personal time off to pay off their student loans, an innovation that earned the company an honorable mention from the judges of Pensions & Investments and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association's Excellence and Innovation Awards in November 2019.