LPL closing Worksite Financial Solutions 401(k) platform

Some LPL advisers feel the firm is offering less support to retirement plan specialist advisers

May 14, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

By Greg Iacurci

LPL Financial announced that it is closing Worksite Financial Solutions, a program that helps 401(k) participants and advisers with rollovers from retirement plans, at the end of September.

Andy Kalbaugh, managing director and divisional president of national sales and consulting at LPL, announced the firm's intent May 7 in a message to advisers, saying the firm would end the program over the next five months.

"We've determined the Worksite Financial Solutions program has not served a substantial population of our advisors, nor has it met the return on investment needed to continue," Mr. Kalbaugh said in the communication, which was read to InvestmentNews by an adviser who received it.

Lauren Hoyt-Williams, a spokeswoman for LPL — the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, with more than 16,000 financial advisers — confirmed the upcoming program closure.

Worksite Financial Solutions, launched in 2013, offers services such as education and advice to employees, as well as a so-called "transition solution" to provide rollover guidance to participants.

Some advisers who use the program said the rollover portion is most helpful to them, because LPL would deliver frequent reports with information about retirement-plan distributions — for example, detailing if a participant had rolled over to an IRA or cashed out a 401(k). That could help guide discussions with clients and participants, advisers said.

"It was a really good program," said one LPL retirement plan specialist adviser.

The adviser, who requested anonymity, called Mr. Kalbaugh's announcement "disheartening" because he believes the move — when assessed together with some other developments at LPL — hints at the firm's shifting attention away from the retirement plan group, called LPL Retirement Partners.

Instead, management is putting a lot of focus on LPL's Small Market Solution product, a kind of bundled platform that LPL advisers who are not retirement specialists can use to work with 401(k) plans, the adviser said.

"The guys that do plans, we're losing our services," the adviser said. "It feels like LPL is losing its focus on the retirement plan market."

Ms. Williams, the LPL spokeswoman, pushed back against this assertion, saying the firm remains "committed" to advisers serving employer-sponsored retirement plans.

"We will leverage savings from this program and reallocate it to enhance components of retirement plan support, including financial wellness, marketing resources and advice programs that enable advisers to serve in a fiduciary capacity," Ms. Williams said.

LPL is also "increasing capabilities within our Retirement Partner Consulting Program, and creating a suite of marketing materials for insurance, high-net-worth and trust clients to help our advisers capture ancillary business related to the employer-sponsored plan space," she added.

Worksite Financial Solutions aside, there have been some changes afoot in the LPL ranks.

Independent Financial Partners, a mega hybrid RIA with roughly $9.5 billion in assets under management and a large number of retirement plan advisers, is leaving LPL and creating its own broker-dealer. Resources Investment Advisors, another multibillion-dollar hybrid RIA, left LPL last year.

"There's been a number of large groups leave, and all of a sudden they announce this," the LPL retirement adviser said, referring to the Worksite announcement.

David Reich also left last year as head of the Retirement Partners unit, which is now helmed by Bill Beardsley.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

RIA Data Center

Use InvestmentNews' RIA Data Center to filter and find key information on over 1,400 fee-only registered investment advisory firms.

Rank RIAs by

Upcoming Event

Oct 09


Diversity & Inclusion Awards

Attend the industry’s first event celebrating diversity and inclusion as well as recognizing those who are leading the financial services profession in this important endeavor. Join InvestmentNews, as we strive to raise awareness, educate... Learn more

Featured video


What it took to win an Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award

Editor Fred Gabriel and special projects editor Liz Skinner explain how InvestmentNews chose the winners of our inaugural Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Awards.

Latest news & opinion

Ameriprise to pay $4.5 million to settle SEC charges that five reps stole more than $1 million from clients

Agency censures firm for not protecting clients from thieving brokers.

SEC slaps Lockwood with $200,000 fine over unseen trading costs to clients

Clients were forced to pay fees in addition to the usual wrap charges, the regulator maintains.

Gotcha! 10 lessons from brokers gone bad

These cases show why regulators nabbed reps and firms, and how to avoid their fate.

Tax-credit investigation may trip up Wells Fargo

Justice Department is investigating bank's dealings in tax credits for low-income housing, sources say.

10 biggest boomtowns in America

These metro areas are seeing the biggest influx of people, work opportunities and business growth.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print