Dimensional Retirement Plan Services` Full Service DC Offering

Dimensional Retirement Plan
Services‘ Full Service DC Offering
By Matt Garrison, Senior Editor, Dimensional Fund Advisors
Dimensional is expanding its solutions in the defined contribution marketplace with the
introduction of Dimensional Retirement Plan Services, which offers an efficient, bundled
plan solution for advisors, consultants, and plan sponsors. Dimensional Vice President
Robyn Alcorta, who previously managed defined contribution and defined benefit client
services at Charles Schwab, was hired last year to launch and lead the new full service
offering. She was previously responsible for sales and marketing at The 401(k) Company. We talked
with Robyn about the evolution and goals of Dimensional Retirement Plan Services.
DC Dimensions: Could you tell us about yourself and
your professional background?
Robyn Alcorta: I‘ve spent the majority of my career
in defined contribution—I actually got my start in the
business by practicing law. I was an attorney focused
on ERISA plans. After a number of years, I moved into a
business role. At this point, I‘ve worked with retirement
plans of just about every size and level of complexity.
I‘ve always had great respect for Dimensional, and
worked with plans using funds managed by Dimensional
Fund Advisors in the past. When I learned Dimensional
Retirement Plan Services wanted to offer a recordkeeping
platform, I couldn‘t think of a better opportunity, and
thought the timing was right for a new solution.
DC Dimensions: Can you explain the genesis behind
launching a full service DC offering at Dimensional
Retirement Plan Services?
“We conducted focus group
interviews with advisors…and
brought their input into our
solution to make sure we‘re
providing what‘s needed right
now—and in the future.”
—Robyn Alcorta
Alcorta: Part of Dimensional Fund Advisors‘ overarching
philosophy with respect to its investment strategies is
to strive for better outcomes for investors, and so we‘re
really carrying that through to retirement plan investors.
One way is through Dimensional‘s strategies, another way
is through Dimensional Managed DC, a managed account
strategy for DC plans that targets retirement income,
and the third way is through our full service solution.1
decades. What makes Dimensional Retirement Plan
Services different?
DC Dimensions: Why is it the right time for this initiative?
Alcorta: The first difference is our approach to the
business and how we have built the solution through
working with advisors and consultants. They are the ones
doing plan searches and working with providers to try to
deliver the best plan design and investment solutions.
We conducted focus group interviews and individual
interviews with advisors, and asked them, “What‘s most
important to you when you‘re designing a plan or working
with a plan provider? What‘s most important to your plan
sponsor client?” And, ultimately, “What‘s most important
for participants?” We incorporated that input into our
solution to make sure we‘re providing what‘s needed
right now—and in the future.
Alcorta: From an industry standpoint, there‘s a huge focus
on outcome-based solutions. With the shift from DB to DC
over the past three decades, we‘re realizing that DC plans
may not put participants in the best position when they‘re
at the point of retirement. How do we put them in a better
position? We think that‘s through targeting appropriate
income in retirement. In addition, the heightened need
for transparency—the new requirements for disclosures to
both plan sponsors and participants—has brought a lot of
issues to the forefront. Plan sponsors and participants are
more fee-conscious, and part of Dimensional‘s philosophy
is to provide cost-efficient solutions. So we can bring
that cost efficiency, combined with transparency, to the
retirement plan marketplace. The time is perfect for that.
Another thing we‘re seeing is this desire for simplicity.
Many participants have to choose from among 25 or 30
funds, which has increased complexity—more options
doesn‘t necessarily equate to a more secure retirement.
Working with advisors and consultants, we will approach
retirement plans offering simplicity for participants that‘s
also cost-efficient and has a goal of ultimately getting
them to a better place and better outcomes.
DC Dimensions: Which segment of the retirement
marketplace are you targeting?
Alcorta: Our initial focus is on advisors and TAMPs that
currently have a relationship with us, and have a significant
focus on retirement plans. We are providing them with a
comprehensive solution for recordkeeping, administration,
and investments.
DC Dimensions: Many providers of fully bundled DC
plan services have been in the business for years, even
Second is our focus on outcomes. Rather than looking at
retirement from an asset-accumulation perspective, we‘re
looking at it from the perspective of a participant‘s income
needs at retirement and how they can get there. Advisors
and consultants told us that was really their top priority.
Third, Dimensional Fund Advisors brings academic
expertise to its investment strategies, and we have the
opportunity to do the same with our retirement plan
solution. Lastly, I would say value. Our solution is costefficient, transparent, and comprehensive. We have
enough flexibility to handle various plans while keeping
the solution cost-efficient.
DC Dimensions: How may the funds managed by
Dimensional Fund Advisors be integrated into the full
service solution that we offer, and at what level?
Alcorta: Funds managed by Dimensional Managed DC
and Dimensional Fund Advisors are available through our
full service platform. In addition, if we‘re working with a
plan sponsor or an advisor who wants to select different
investment options, other fund choices are available. n
1. Full service DC retirement plan solutions are offered by Dimensional Retirement Plan Services LLC in conjunction with DST Retirement Solutions.
Dimensional Retirement Plan Services LLC is an affiliate of Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. Dimensional Managed DC is a managed account solution
available through Dimensional SmartNest (US) LLC (“Dimensional SmartNest”), an affiliate of Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. Dimensional SmartNest
and Dimensional Fund Advisors LP are investment advisors registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The underlying investments in
Dimensional Managed DC are managed by Dimensional Fund Advisors LP.
“Dimensional” refers to the Dimensional entities generally, rather than to one particular entity. These entities are Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Dimensional
Fund Advisors Ltd., DFA Australia Limited, Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada ULC, Dimensional Fund Advisors Pte. Ltd., and Dimensional Japan Ltd.
Mutual funds managed by Dimensional Fund Advisors LP are distributed by DFA Securities LLC. Consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and
expenses of the Dimensional funds carefully before investing. For this and other information about the Dimensional funds, please read the prospectus
carefully before investing. Prospectuses are available by calling Dimensional Fund Advisors collect at (512) 306-7400 or at www.dimensional.com.
© 2013 Dimensional Fund Advisors. Reprinted from DC Dimensions Summer 2013.
The views and opinions of the third-party authors do not necessarily represent the views of Dimensional Fund Advisors.The articles are
distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment, tax, or legal advice or an offer of any security for sale.
Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
To read other articles from the magazine or for more information about Dimensional’s DC services,
please visit us at www.dfaus.com/service/dc-professionals.html.