News Releases

Ascensus Adds Healthcare Actuarial Services, Expands Retirement and Consumer-Directed Healthcare Administration Capabilities with Agreement to Acquire Nyhart

Nationally Renowned Employee Benefits Consulting Firm to Become Part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—has entered into an agreement to acquire Nyhart, an employee benefits consulting firm that provides retirement (defined contribution, defined benefit, and actuarial) and healthcare actuarial services along with consumer-directed health and benefit continuation administration. Nyhart will immediately become part of the FuturePlan by Ascensus line of business.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Nyhart serves more than 2,400 clients in all 50 states from 9 strategically placed locations. With client assets that exceed $20 billion, the firm specializes in bringing a consultative approach to large, complex plans and is home to a talented employee population that features nearly 100 actuaries, employee benefit consultants, and administrators. Nyhart works with a diverse client base that includes states, cities, and municipalities; professional services firms; public sector entities; healthcare systems; religious organizations; and higher education institutions. Along with its retirement and healthcare solutions, the firm also offers Votaire, a proprietary health and financial wellness platform that allows employers to provide employees with the tools to help them develop a plan for reaching their financial goals.

“Nyhart’s unique strengths complement our already broad service offerings at FuturePlan and immediately increase our capacity to serve larger, more complex plans,” states Jerry Bramlett, head of FuturePlan. “We’re pleased to welcome Lisa Hague and her management team along with Nyhart’s exceptional group of associates—their skills and expertise will further strengthen our competitive edge in the retirement and benefits industry.”

“At Nyhart, we consistently look to hire and invest in high-quality people in order to provide the best possible service throughout our lines of business,” says Lisa Hague, Nyhart’s chief executive officer. “As part of FuturePlan, we can access the resources of a larger organization to the benefit of our clients while still providing them with the personalized experience and creative solutions that they’ve come to expect from us.”

“Nyhart has an outstanding track record of success, client focus, and service quality over multiple decades,” notes Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “It is a highly reputable and well-run company positioned for growth through the cultivation of strong industry relationships and the delivery of differentiated solutions to a diverse client base.”

“With this acquisition, we significantly expand our retirement and healthcare offerings on a national level while leveraging Nyhart’s healthcare actuarial solutions as a new service to our distribution partners and current and prospective clients,” concludes Nandagopal.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

 

About FuturePlan by Ascensus
FuturePlan by Ascensus is the nation’s largest retirement third-party administrator, combining high-touch local service with the strength and security of an industry leader. A line of business within Ascensus, FuturePlan’s dedicated team serves more than 46,000 retirement plan sponsors in more than 40 locations across the country as of September 30, 2019. For more information, visit futureplan.com.


Ascensus Appoints Dan Basile as Head of Product for the Firm’s Retirement Line of Business

Industry Veteran Will Shape a Robust Retirement Solutions Roadmap Tailored to Clients’ and Savers’ Needs

Dresher, PAAscensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Basile as head of product for the firm’s Retirement line of business.

In this role, Basile will lead retirement product strategy and development initiatives. He will also work closely with other business lines to advance integration opportunities and innovation efforts across the organization. Basile will report to Shannon Kelly, head of Ascensus’ Retirement line of business.

Prior to joining Ascensus, Basile spent nine years at BlackRock, most recently as managing director and head of product management for the firm’s U.S. & Canada defined contribution business. He led product efforts across both institutional and advisor-sold sales channels, while overseeing the team responsible for all aspects of product delivery, including pricing, implementation, and driving the technology agenda. Basile started his career as a pension benefit administrator at MetLife and has over 20 years of retirement industry experience covering nearly all aspects of the business, including plan design and administration, implementation, investments, and systems project management. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Gettysburg College and holds his Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses.

“Dan’s vast experience and deep domain knowledge make him an excellent choice for shaping our strategic vision for retirement products and services,” states Kelly. “With his leadership, we will continue to work with leading institutional and distribution partners to help meet the savings needs of our retirement plan clients and their employees.”

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. Explore the firm’s latest data and insights on savings behaviors at pulse.ascensus.com and view career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

 


Ascensus Enhances Retirement and Employee Benefits Administration Capabilities with Agreement to Acquire Goldleaf Partners

Multi-Faceted TPA Adds to FuturePlan by Ascensus’ Geographic Footprint and Product Offerings

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—has entered into an agreement to acquire Goldleaf Partners, a third-party administrator (TPA) that provides retirement administration and fiduciary, employee benefits, payroll integration, consumer-directed health, and COBRA services to a diverse set of clients across the country. The firm will immediately become part of the FuturePlan by Ascensus line of business.

Headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota, Goldleaf Partners’ business and services model helps clients concentrate on their core business by reducing their administrative task load. It delivers superior service by developing client-centric relationships, exceeding expectations, and deploying innovative solutions. Goldleaf Partners services clients nationwide and is committed to providing dedicated support that addresses each client’s unique needs.

“Goldleaf Partners is well-known for excellence and expertise in employer services,” states Jerry Bramlett, head of FuturePlan. “Their 100+ highly skilled professionals—along with their reputation for innovation and unparalleled service—will be welcome additions to FuturePlan.”

“We strive to be our clients’ most engaged and responsive partner so that they can focus on managing and growing their businesses,” says Michael King, Goldleaf Partners’ founder and chief executive officer. “New and existing clients of Goldleaf Partners can rest assured in the knowledge that, as part of FuturePlan, we’ll put them and their objectives first so that we can continue to deliver the best service experience possible.”

“In Goldleaf Partners, Ascensus is acquiring a well-respected and dynamic TPA that provides a highly desirable combination of services,” says Raghav Nandagopal, Ascensus’ executive vice president of corporate development and M&A. “The firm embodies the qualities we look for as we continue to execute on our growth strategy: a market-leading reputation, favorable geographic footprint, and solid leadership team combined with a strong company culture and an unrelenting dedication to servicing its clients.”

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus Appoints New Regional Vice President

Jonas Merk Joins Sales Team to Support Financial Advisors and Their Clients in the New York Metro Region

Dresher, PAAscensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonas Merk as regional vice president of the firm’s retirement plan sales team for the New York Metro region, covering New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County.

In this role, Merk will work with financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial institutions—including institutional and DCIO (defined contribution investment only) partners—to build and maintain Ascensus’ retirement plan distribution networks. He will report directly to Anthony Bologna, divisional vice president of the eastern region, retirement sales.

Merk brings more than 15 years of retirement industry experience to his role, including expertise in all aspects of distribution, brand exposure, and assisting partners to scale their practices. Prior to joining Ascensus, he served as a regional vice president for Nationwide Financial, where he achieved several notable accomplishments that included development of a top five sales territory (NY Metro) and recognition as NAPA DC Wingman. Merk attended Montclair State University and holds his FINRA Series 7, 66, and 63 licenses.

“In addition to routinely achieving exceptional results for himself and his partners, Jonas possesses interpersonal skills that allow him to develop long-term, trusting relationships with clients,” says Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “Adding someone of his caliber demonstrates Ascensus’ ability to attract and retain high-end talent, and is indicative of our commitment to help people save for what matters most.”

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


NAPA Names Two Ascensus Regional Vice Presidents to 2019 Top 100 Defined Contribution Wholesalers List

Jeff Simes and Matt Spicer, AIF®, PPC™ Recognized as Leading DC Wholesalers, as Voted on by Thousands of Retirement Plan Advisors

Dresher, PAAscensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—announced that two regional vice presidents, Jeff Simes and Matt Spicer, AIF®, PPC™, have been named to the sixth annual list of NAPA Top 100 Defined Contribution (DC) Wholesalers by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). This represents a second win for Spicer, who was previously named to the 2017 edition of the list. 

The finalists for this year’s list, which recognizes the top recordkeeping and Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO) external wholesalers, were selected by thousands of retirement plan advisors from a list of more than 600 wholesalers nominated by NAPA Firm Partner recordkeepers and DCIOs.

According to NAPA, the award winners—referred to as the “Wingmen” for consistently having the backs of their advisor clients—represent the top 7% of an estimated 1,400 recordkeeping and DCIO external wholesalers throughout the country.

“Being named among NAPA’s Top 100 DC wholesalers is a huge accomplishment and a well-deserved recognition of Jeff and Matt’s efforts to go above and beyond for our partners and their retirement plan clients,” said Jason Crane, head of retirement distribution at Ascensus. “Congratulations to them both from the whole Ascensus team. Their work is an excellent example of the value and expertise we strive to deliver to all those saving for their future retirement, and representative of the talent we have across the broader organization.”

The complete 2019 Top 100 DC Wholesalers list is available on NAPA Net and will be published in the fall issue of NAPA Net the Magazine.

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.


Ascensus’ Annual Savings Trends Research Reveals How Individuals Are Saving for Their Financial Futures

Proprietary Data Offers Valuable Insights into How Americans Are Contributing to 401(k), 529, Health Savings, and ABLE Accounts

Dresher, PA — Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—has released new insights across its universe of retirement, education, Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE), and health savings accounts on the Inside America’s Savings Plans microsite. As the nation’s largest independent recordkeeping services provider and government savings facilitator, Ascensus offers a unique, comprehensive perspective into how Americans are saving for the future.

Ascensus analyzed data across a population of over 88,000 retirement plans, 4.6 million 529 college savings accounts, 280,000+ consumer-directed healthcare accounts, and 20 ABLE plans for which it provided recordkeeping and administrative services as of 2018 year-end. The firm also highlighted health savings account (HSA) industry data from Devenir, a national leader in providing customized investment solutions for HSAs and the consumer-directed healthcare market. The following themes provide insights into how savers are engaging with these tax-advantaged savings vehicles.

Plan sponsors and savers see the value in automatic savings models:

  • 401(k) plans designed with automatic enrollment and automatic escalation features saw an average plan-weighted participation rate of 81%, which was 10 percentage points higher than that in plans without automatic enrollment.
  • In 2018, 35% of 529 account owners had scheduled recurring bank contributions and 20% of ABLE accounts leveraged automatic savings methods. Approximately 6% of 529 account owners utilize payroll direct deposit, but there is certainly more opportunity for employers to offer and promote 529 account payroll integration to help employees seamlessly make regular contributions.
  • According to Devenir, 26% of all HSA contributions came directly from an employer and 56% came from an employee through their workplace in 2018. By pairing HSAs with high deductible health plans and enabling payroll direct deposit, employers can help employees build a foundation of health savings.

Digital tools have a positive influence:

  • Ascensus’ Retirement Outlook Tool allows savers to refine retirement savings goals, illustrating how their current savings levels could impact future readiness. In 2018, 26% of first-time tool users were saving at an average rate of 8% within a few weeks of engaging with it. This suggests that access to the right planning tools can make a positive difference in getting employees closer to a savings rate of 9% or more, the minimum rate that “financially prepared” savers have selected according to Ascensus’ partner Financial Finesse, the largest independent provider of unbiased workplace financial wellness programs in the country.1
  • The firm’s Ugift platform enables family and friends to simply and securely make gifting contributions to beneficiaries’ 529 accounts. The Ugift website allows users to establish gift-giver profiles and schedule recurring gifts to streamline the process—and gifting behaviors are on the rise as a result. As of 2018 year-end, gift givers had established 26,284 online profiles and 10,438 recurring gifts. Overall, the Ugift program saw a 345% year-over-year increase in dollars gifted to 529 accounts.

Changing financial and market landscapes are influencing individuals’ savings strategies:

  • Ascensus’ 401(k) platform data highlights that individuals under 25 years old are saving at lower savings rates than those in older age groups, which suggests the need for further investigation into the impact of competing financial priorities, including student loan debt. However, there is a notable, positive difference in progress for savers between 25 and 34 years old: Of all retirement savers on our platform who have found that they are “on track” to meet their goals, 20% of them are between 25 and 34 (versus just 3% for the under-25 age group). 
  • As tuition expenses continue to rise, families see the value of investing in 529 accounts to build a foundation of education savings. The market downturn in 2018 had a minor impact on overall 529 account balances across all demographics, but this average balance still reached nearly $23,000 as of 2018 year-end. Another key trend tied to this landscape of higher education expenses is the entrance of older generations of account owners into the 529 market. Account owners ages 55 to 64 and over 65, with average beneficiary ages of 17 and 13 respectively, had the second- and third-largest average balances of all age groups, both exceeding $22,000.
  • Healthcare expenses continue to increase exponentially, with the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reporting that the average couple will now cumulatively need $399,000 for a 90% chance to cover their healthcare expenses in retirement. Heightened awareness for these staggering costs and the increasing popularity of high deductible health plans have driven HSA enrollment to new highs. There are currently over 25 million HSAs held by savers across the U.S. with a combined $53 billion in assets.

“We’ve seen a shift in the way that individuals across different life stages are saving for themselves and their families,” said David Musto, president of Ascensus. “To continue to address the savings deficit millions are facing, our industry needs to focus on offering tools and resources that make it quick, simple, and automatic for savers to track their progress.”

“Employers, state governments, and financial advisors will continue to play an integral role in encouraging individuals to make the most of the savings vehicles and tools available to them,” Musto concludes.

For additional trends and insights from Ascensus, visit pulse.ascensus.com.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

12018 Year in Review: A Closer Look, Financial Finesse Think Tank Research, May 2019.


Ascensus Associate Named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional

Kylie Kiser Recognized as an Exceptional Technology Community Leader

Dresher, PA—Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is pleased to announce that Kylie Kiser, customer relationship management (CRM) product owner, has been awarded this year’s Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award. This prestigious award, which recognizes just over 2,000 people worldwide, seeks to spotlight exceptional technology leaders in the Microsoft community who share a deep commitment to helping others.

Kiser has been an active member in the Microsoft community since 2010, specifically in the CRM User Group (CRMUG) in which she currently serves as a chapter leader for Washington, DC. Before being recognized as a Microsoft MVP, Kiser was named a CRMUG All-Star (2015) and the 2016 CRMUG chapter leader of the year.

Since joining Ascensus’ IT organization in May, Kiser has proven to be a critical member of the firm’s rapidly growing CRM team. With almost 10 years of experience driving significant CRM initiatives, her expertise has been critical to streamlining processes and creating value for clients and internal business partners. Her new Microsoft status will grant Ascensus access to Microsoft executives and senior product team members, along with the ability to engage with other MVPs and potentially impact Microsoft product innovations—keeping Ascensus on the cutting edge of the industry.

“We’re proud to have a team member like Kylie who has been recognized in the industry with such a distinguished designation,” says John Schroeder, Ascensus’ chief information officer. “It underlines our commitment to investing in Ascensus’ future as we strive to hire the industry’s leading innovators to provide our clients with the best user experiences possible.”

Along with the other members of this highly select group, Kiser’s profile is live on the Microsoft MVP website.

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.

 


FuturePlan by Ascensus Appoints Greg Taylor as Divisional Vice President for the Southern California Region

Industry Veteran to Provide Retirement Plan Clients with Enhanced Consultative Support and Expand Relationships with Strategic Recordkeeping and Financial Advisor Partners

Dresher, PA — FuturePlan by Ascensus—the nation’s largest retirement TPA—is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Taylor as divisional vice president (DVP) for the Southern California region.

In this role, Taylor will be responsible for helping to create and implement strategies that will drive the continued success of the FuturePlan sales team. He will also consult with sales representatives from FuturePlan’s recordkeeping partners and financial advisors whose prospective and existing small business clients could benefit from the support of a TPA in designing a retirement plan solution. Taylor joins FuturePlan’s national sales team that was announced earlier this year: Kasey Price (head of Institutional Sales), Jim Houpt (DVP of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Central regions), Richard Tatum (DVP of the Southeast and Southwest regions), and Eric Sharp (DVP of the Northwest region).

Taylor brings more than 40 years of retirement industry experience and extensive expertise in plan design, administration, actuarial services, and recordkeeping services. He most recently served as executive vice president in charge of QBI, an Ascensus company, which he co-founded in 1978. He has been an active member in industry organizations—including the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)—throughout his career. Taylor received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UCLA, where he was an offensive lineman on university’s football team.

“Greg is a well-established leader who has enjoyed tremendous success in the TPA industry by virtue of his superior work ethic and business acumen,” states Jerry Bramlett, head of FuturePlan. “Our business owner clients and key partners in the Southern California region will no doubt benefit from his ability to provide the support they need to meet their objectives.”

 

About FuturePlan by Ascensus
FuturePlan by Ascensus is the nation’s largest retirement TPA, combining high-touch local service with the strength and security of an industry leader. A business division of Ascensus, FuturePlan’s dedicated team serves more than 44,000 retirement plan sponsors in more than 40 locations across the country. For more information, visit futureplan.com.

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.