National independent record-keeping firm Alliance Benefit Group has announced a partnership with global asset manager Russell Investments’ Adaptive Retirement Accounts program in an effort to aid plan sponsors and advisers achieve an appropriate level of retirement income.

As part of the joint venture, Alliance plans to offer the managed accounts program to its clients as well as partner with Russell Investments’ defined contribution and intermediary sales teams to jointly promote the retirement program to the adviser community. In return, Russell seeks to complement the fiduciary advice advisers provide in selecting and monitoring plan investments.

Don Mackanos, president of Alliance Benefits Group, says managed accounts are a competitive differentiator because the program can provide lower-cost plans and save more retirement dollars than target date funds.

“This program is well positioned from a pricing and feature standpoint, and is fully integrated with industry leading recordkeeping software vendors such as the Relius platform,” Mackanos says. “The ARA program, coupled with Russell Investments’ distribution through advisers, makes this a home run in the market.”

Andrew Scherer, senior director of defined contribution for Russell Investments, says Russell’s retirement program will include customized asset allocation designed to increase likelihood of participants achieving an appropriate level of retirement income based on their needs.

“In addition, ARA delivers its asset allocation by leveraging the plan’s core menu, a process that accentuates an adviser’s value in selecting and monitoring plan’s investments,” Scherer says.

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Because of their longstanding relationship with many Alliance Benefits Group members, Scherer says he expects to have successful outcomes in the partnership.

“We are looking forward to partnering with ABG to capitalize on the benefits of our ARA program,” he adds. “A lot of time and effort went into building this program and we look forward to a very successful rollout.”

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