(Securian Center in St. Paul. Source: Securian Financial.)
Securian Financial (St. Paul, Minn.) has announced that it is waiving all COVID-19 related 401(k) distribution fees for the retirement plans it serves as recordkeeper and, moving forward, will permanently make all hardship distributions fee-free to customers—regardless of the triggering event.
Additionally, the company says it will act as an ERISA 3(16) fiduciary for participant distributions and loans under the CARES Act, at no additional cost, for its existing full-service 401(k) employer customers. Securian Financial says that it will also provide these customers with a suite of wellness services to make available to their employees, free-of-charge, through the end of the year.
“Many of our retirement plan customers are struggling and need help during this challenging time. We are here to support them and their employees by providing financial relief and one-on-one wellness counseling resources, at no cost, to those who need it most,” comments Ted Schmelzle, senior director, retirement solutions, Securian Financial.
Under the recently enacted CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, individuals younger than age 59½ can withdraw up to $100,000 from their 401(k) without paying the usual 10 percent penalty provided the distribution meets certain criteria. Securian Financial decided it would not charge customers a fee for COVID-19 related 401(k) distributions, and to ensure equitable treatment, the company is permanently waiving all 401(k) hardship distribution fees.
For all full-service 401(k) employer customers who provide relief to their employees under the CARES Act, Securian Financial will assume the role of ERISA 3(16) fiduciary1 at no additional cost—reducing employers’ administrative responsibilities and lessening their fiduciary burden. Securian Financial will also waive the ordinary applicable plan amendment fee, according to the company.
The wellness services Securian Financial is making available free-of-charge to its 401(k) customers through the end of the year include access to professional financial and grief counselors, self-service tools to prepare legal documents such as a will, power of attorney or health care directive, and relevant education.