Ascensus Selects NextCapital to Develop More Personalized Investment Options to Better Address Client Needs and Improve Retirement Outcomes

Russell Investments’ Custom-Managed 3(38) Solution Is First Offering to Take Advantage of New Capabilities

Dresher, PA — Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—is implementing NextCapital’s customizable technology platform to accommodate a growing need for more flexible investment and fiduciary solutions at the institutional and participant levels. Russell Investments will become the first firm to provide participant-level 3(38) protection on their Personalized Retirement Accounts (PRAs) utilizing the NextCapital technology.

Ascensus chose NextCapital—the leader in enterprise digital advice® platforms—based on its stellar reputation for enabling institutions to deliver scalable, personalized planning and advice, both inside and outside of 401(k) plans. Third parties, including financial advisors and Ascensus’ key distribution partners, can customize the NextCapital platform and assume the role of the fiduciary. Alternatively, NextCapital can serve as fiduciary while providing advice to participants.

The collaboration with NextCapital allows Ascensus to expand on its ability to:

  • deliver valued-added advice solutions to advisors and their clients;
  • offer future institutional and distribution partners the ability to implement their own fiduciary solutions; and
  • improve retirement outcomes through higher usage of advice by participants.

“Ascensus’ collaboration with NextCapital will allow us to be much more nimble and flexible when it comes to offering in-plan employee advice solutions,” states Jason Crane, head of retirement sales at Ascensus. “The addition of NextCapital’s platform will help us adhere to our philosophy of an independent, conflict-free business model.”

This is the first of many technology investments for Ascensus as it broadens its fiduciary capabilities to help advisors and plan sponsors better manage risk. The enhancement offers an opportunity for Ascensus to expand relationships by supporting unique investment management approaches with partners that complement Ascensus’ business model, philosophy, and values. One such partner is Russell Investments, which will be launching PRAs with Ascensus in August.

PRAs are leading-edge personalized and automated advice solutions for participants that can also function as a plan’s qualified default investment alternative. These personalized investment portfolios are tailored to the specific needs of the account holder and are increasingly desired by retirement plan advisors and sponsors who are looking to provide an added layer of guidance for participants.

Unlike target date funds, PRAs include factors beyond a participant’s age and target retirement date, such as gender, salary, current account holdings, contribution rates, market experience, and additional retirement assets held outside of the managed account. According to John Uricchiobusiness development director of Defined Contribution at Russell Investments, one of the biggest benefits of a PRA is how easy it is to use.

“Participant information is pulled from existing data held by the plan’s recordkeeper, minimizing the amount of participant input required to provide customized advice,” says Uricchio. “Participants also have the ability to provide additional details—such as information about outside investments—to make the recommendation even more personalized.”

“Ascensus will continue to invest in, develop, and leverage purpose-built technology to help partners who are looking to expand their product capabilities and, most importantly, drive better retirement outcomes for both present and future savers,” concludes Crane.


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 View career opportunities at


About NextCapital

NextCapital is the leader in enterprise digital advice. NextCapital partners with world-class institutions to deliver personalized planning and managed accounts to individual investors across multiple channels including 401(k), IRA, and taxable brokerage accounts. Our open-architecture digital advice solution provides integrated account aggregation, analytics, planning and portfolio management, and allows partners to customize advice methodology and fiduciary roles. “NextCapital” is a brand name representing NextCapital Group, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries, NextCapital Software, Inc. and NextCapital Advisers, Inc. NextCapital Advisers, Inc. is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). NextCapital Software, Inc. is not registered with the SEC and does not provide investment advice.


About Russell Investments
With more than 80 years of experience, Russell Investments is a global investment solutions provider, dedicated to helping investors reach their long-term goals. Russell Investments offers investment solutions in 31 countries, manages US$290 billion in assets (as of March 31, 2019) and provides consulting services on $2.3 trillion in assets (as of December 31, 2018). Russell Investments specializes in multi-asset solutions and investment and implementation services with a goal of delivering the best investment strategies, managers and asset classes to its clients around the world. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments operates globally with 21 offices, providing investment services in the world’s major financial centers such as New YorkLondonTokyo and Shanghai.