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Morningstar Introduces Next-Generation Defined Contribution Participant Advice And Managed Accounts Platform

Stocks in this article: MORN

CHICAGO, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has announced the next generation of Morningstar® Retirement ManagerSM, an advice and managed account service for defined contribution participants in the United States. Together, Morningstar's registered investment advisory subsidiaries are the largest providers of managed accounts, serving more than 800,000 participants.

"Planning for retirement is extremely complex. Multiple accounts, income streams, expenses, funding goals, and the unpredictability of the market can overwhelm even the most seasoned investors. Participants need a solution that's sophisticated enough to account for these variables while delivering an actionable, easy-to-understand plan," Brock Johnson, president of retirement solutions for Morningstar, said. "The newest version of Morningstar Retirement Manager brings together our latest institutional asset allocation methodologies, forecasting and fund selection techniques, design, and technology to help people better prepare for a successful retirement."

The new version of the service combines the best features of the original Retirement Manager with the Advice by Ibbotson methodology. Among the most significant enhancements is the addition of Income Secure, a program that provides individualized, tax-efficient retirement income drawdown advice. A Morningstar research paper, "Alpha, Beta, and Now...Gamma," shows that a participant's withdrawal strategy—how much to take from a retirement portfolio each year and from which account (IRA, 401(k), taxable, etc.)—can have the most significant effect on the amount of income an investor has in retirement. Retirement Manager evaluates all of a participant's holdings across both taxable and tax-deferred accounts and provides a participant with a specific, individualized drawdown plan that outlines how much a participant can pull from each account each year, considering taxes and minimum required distributions.

Retirement Manager also offers enhanced investment recommendations that reflect the latest liability-driven investment methodology. Liability-driven investing recognizes that investors in or nearing retirement face different risks than those in the accumulation phase. For example, two investors may have the same stock-bond split in their portfolios, but the investor closer to retirement has greater need for inflation, currency, and interest rate protection than someone further from retirement. Participants who use Retirement Manager will continue to get investment recommendations that are suited to their risk capacity, but now they will also be more sensitive to the unique risks associated with their life stage.

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