Mercer’s bundled retirement plan solution Mercer Wise 401(k) passes $1 billion in AUM


New York, N.Y., August 31, 2020 – Mercer, a global leader in redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being, and a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), announces that its retirement plan solution, Mercer Wise 401(k), has exceeded $1 billion in assets under management[1].


Launched in 2017, Mercer Wise 401(k) is a bundled solution seeking to improve participant outcomes while reducing plan sponsors’ administrative burdens and fiduciary risk. This fully outsourced 401(k) solution enables Mercer to take responsibility for investment decisions within each plan as well as serving as named fiduciary under ERISA. Mercer also assumes responsibility for both administrative and operating functions on behalf of plan sponsors, which may often reduce costs for plan sponsors and lower fees and improve outcomes for participants.


Mercer Wise 401(k)’s latest AUM milestone comes at a time when regulatory reforms are expected to further increase plan sponsors’ access to bundled plans, as evident in the passage of the 2019 SECURE Act and the establishment of Pooled Employer Plans. However, these plans are only expected to be available starting in 2021, and are not expected to initially offer the scale, expertise and track record of Mercer’s bundled plan solution.


In addition to regulatory reform, the COVID-19 crisis is causing plan sponsors to consider even more ways to efficiently and effectively manage their retirement programs while remaining focused on improving participant outcomes. Two recent Mercer polls show that nearly 50% of respondents say they are spending less time than they would like to on their retirement plans[2], an issue which is being exacerbated due to the COVID-19 crisis.


Chris Mahoney, Senior Partner and Leader for Mercer’s U.S. Wealth business, said, “Exceeding $1 billion in AUM is another milestone for Mercer Wise 401(k) and demonstrates Mercer’s longstanding scale and experience in managing bundled plans, providing us with the ability to assist prospective clients at a time when scale and expertise are vital and many organizations are just entering this market. While more bundled plan options are expected to come to market next year, organizations do not need to wait until then to obtain the benefits of bundled plans, as these solutions are available now and can be customized and implemented today with the right provider.”


Mercer Wise 401(k) is part of Mercer’s growing Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) business, which surpassed more than $300 billion in assets under management in December 2019[3], and currently has U.S. Defined Contribution (DC) OCIO assets in excess of $58 billion[4].



[1] Based on company data as of July 31, 2020.

[2] Two Mercer surveys of approximately 200 retirement professionals conducted in June 2020 and August 2020.

[3] In providing OCIO services, Mercer typically exercises investment discretion by hiring and overseeing third party asset managers on behalf of client portfolios. Global OCIO assets data is primarily but not exclusively discretionary mandates.

[4] Based on company data as of December 31, 2019.


About Mercer

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s more than 25,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 76,000 colleagues and annual revenue of $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.