Fidelity Investments reported a 20% increase over the past three years in the number of participants in its tax-exempt workplace savings plans at higher education, health care and other not-for-profit institutions.

This increase is partly due to regulatory changes in the not-for-profit industry that have prompted some employers to consolidate providers, Fidelity said in a press release. The regulations sought to make 403(b) plans more like corporate 401(k)s by increasing accountability in how employers select and monitor plans. As a result, many higher education and healthcare institution reduced the number of retirement providers offered in their plans.

“Many not-for-profit employers are looking for a provider that understands their unique needs, can handle the complexities of the new regulations, while also meeting the guidance needs of their participants,” said John Ragnoni, executive vice president, Tax Exempt Business, Fidelity Investments, in the press release. “As a retirement leader for workplace savings plans with a major focus on the not-for-profit segment, we’re seeing more higher education and healthcare employers choosing Fidelity as their recordkeeping service provider of choice.”

Fidelity has partnered with employers to achieve a variety of consolidation strategies, including moving to a single provider. Higher education institutions more often embrace a two-vendor model while health care organizations are more likely to move to a single provider, Fidelity said in the

In describing the advantages of a single provider, Ragnoni elaborated: “Maintaining relationships with multiple providers requires a substantial commitment of resources from an employer and, under the new regulations, also puts them at greater risk for noncompliance... We understand that consolidation is not a simple process, but with unparalleled knowledge of the regulatory environment and industry-leading support services, Fidelity is uniquely qualified to help not-for-profit employers through it.”



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