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Lincoln National (LNC) Unveils PEPs to Ease Retirement Planning

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Lincoln National Corporation (LNC - Free Report) recently introduced two extensive pooled employer plans (PEP), FlexPEP(k) and FlexPEP(b), tailored for 401(k) and 403(b) plans, respectively. The solutions are expected to raise awareness among plan sponsors of all sizes about the benefits of PEPs and therefore, enable small-to-medium businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the better management of retirement benefits.

Smart Retirement Solutions will act as the Pooled Plan Provider, providing independent fiduciary services and streamlining the burden of retirement plan sponsorship for employers. Meanwhile, Envestnet, entrusted to be the 3(38) investment provider for both the newly launched solutions, will take over the duty of selecting and monitoring investment options, thus relieving the plan sponsors from these responsibilities.

FlexPEP(k) and FlexPEP(b) offer plan sponsors access to in-plan guaranteed income solutions and a chance to avail group plan discounts, which in turn, may result in the reduction of overall plan costs. The availability of several qualified default investment alternative options empowers plan sponsors to customize investment options and subsequently, address a varied array of retirement needs of employees.

The latest move reflects Lincoln National’s efforts to enhance its group plan solutions portfolio that manages more than $1.3 billion in assets, bolster customer base and solidify presence across the 401(k) and 403(b) retirement marketplace. This, in turn, is likely to provide an impetus to the Retirement Plan Services segment.

LNC has three primary offerings in place that it provides through the Retirement Plan Services unit for the employer-sponsored market encompassing the 403(b), 401(k) and 457 plans. The products are named LINCOLN DIRECTOR group variable annuity, LINCOLN ALLIANCE program and Multi-Fund variable annuity.

The introduction of the solutions seems to be aptly timed as well in the light of the growing adoption of group plan solutions. Amid such a scenario, Lincoln National seems prudent in its introduction of the FlexPEP(k) and FlexPEP(b) solutions. The products assure to streamline the time and cost headwinds for small-to-medium businesses and not-for-profit firms. These two components have been mostly identified for their failure to provide enhanced retirement benefits. Suffering from the dearth of resources, retirement plan sponsorship often becomes a tedious and intricate task for them.

An aging U.S. population, which implies an increased number of persons attaining the retirement age, also substantiates the timeliness of Lincoln National’s recent launch.   LNC remains committed to introducing solutions to provide a comprehensive retirement plan for individuals and enable them to enjoy a financially secure retirement life.  

Shares of Lincoln National have gained 50.1% in the past year compared with the industry’s 29.4% growth. LNC currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the insurance space are Skyward Specialty Insurance Group, Inc. (SKWD - Free Report) , RLI Corp. (RLI - Free Report) and Assurant, Inc. (AIZ - Free Report) . While Skyward Specialty sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), RLI and Assurant carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The bottom line of Skyward Specialty outpaced estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 32.04%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SKWD’s 2024 earnings suggests an improvement of 24.6%, while the consensus mark for revenues indicates growth of 20.4% from the corresponding year-ago reported figures. The consensus mark for SKWD’s 2024 earnings has moved 8.2% north in the past 60 days.

RLI’s bottom line outpaced estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark once, the average surprise being 137.08%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RLI’s 2024 earnings indicates a 12.6% rise, while the consensus mark for revenues suggests 15.4% growth from the respective prior-year reported figures. The consensus mark for RLI’s 2024 earnings has moved 0.4% north in the past seven days.

The bottom line of Assurant outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 42.15%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AIZ’s 2024 earnings suggests a 3.5% improvement, while the consensus mark for revenues indicates 4.1% growth from the respective prior-year reported figures. The consensus mark for AIZ’s 2024 earnings has moved 6% north in the past 60 days.

Shares of Skyward Specialty, RLI and Assurant have gained 88.1%, 12.9% and 55.5%, respectively, in the past year.

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