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Press release from PR Newswire

ING Offers 401(k) Plan Sponsors Expanded Service to Satisfy Fiduciary Responsibilities

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

ING Offers 401(k) Plan Sponsors Expanded Service to Satisfy Fiduciary Responsibilities12:00 EDT Tuesday, June 07, 2011New Portfolio Blueprint® 3(38) program allows employers to delegate role to a qualified ERISA investment managerWINDSOR, Conn., June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to growing customer demand, ING announced that it has expanded its fiduciary service offerings to help defined contribution plan sponsors better navigate their responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  Through its relationship with Morningstar Associates, LLC ? a leading investment advisory firm and provider of plan sponsor consulting services ? ING will be rolling out Portfolio Blueprint® 3(38) to its retirement plan customers.  The service allows employers to delegate fiduciary authority for the selection, ongoing monitoring and replacement of the plan's investments to Morningstar Associates, a qualified "investment manager," as defined by section 3(38) of ERISA. Under the Portfolio Blueprint® 3(38) service, Morningstar Associates is appointed to manage the investment process for the plan, thus relieving the sponsor of this fiduciary duty.  The service will be available to small and mid-sized companies that sponsor 401(k) retirement plans, and it represents one of the fiduciary service programs that customers can select from ING's Portfolio Blueprint® offerings."What we've heard from our customers is a growing interest in receiving expanded support to help them achieve their fiduciary plan obligations under ERISA," said Rick Mason, president of Corporate Markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services.  "Employers often require the assistance of a third party to ensure that good plan oversight becomes even better.  Portfolio Blueprint 3(38) is an invaluable service to address key plan responsibilities, allowing sponsors to focus more time on their business while helping participants achieve positive retirement outcomes."With the Portfolio Blueprint® 3(38) service, Morningstar Associates acknowledges its role as a fiduciary, as set forth in ERISA section 3(38) with respect to the selection, monitoring and replacement of plan investment options from those available through ING's platform. "Plan investment selection and its ongoing oversight are important fiduciary responsibilities for a plan sponsor," noted Ralph Ferraro, head of Small and Mid Corporate Markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services.  "We're pleased to be making this new service available, which is a natural extension of best-in-class fiduciary support.  It meets the needs of those employers who seek even greater help and prefer to delegate the administration of a plan's investment lineup to an outside manager.""There's a spotlight right now on retirement plan investment offerings and the obligations and responsibilities of those who select and advise on them," said Brock Johnson, president of retirement solutions for Morningstar's Investment Management division. "This service will continue to offer sponsors a diverse menu of high-quality investment options while giving them the confidence that comes with the fiduciary coverage from Morningstar Associates as an appointed investment manager to the plan."For more information on ING's Portfolio Blueprint® 3(38) program, including specific terms and availability, please contact ING Sales Desk at 1-866-481-3653, option 4.  ING's U.S. Retirement Services business holds top rankings in the defined contribution industry with more than $300 billion in combined assets under management and administration. It is one of the few providers that serves all types and sizes of customers, including corporate, government, healthcare, not-for-profit, K-12 and higher education employers. About INGING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 105,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 20 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.us.ING and its companies are not affiliated with the Morningstar family of companies and receive no fee or other direct financial benefits from Morningstar in connection with the use of its services.About Morningstar Associates, LLCMorningstar Associates, LLC is a registered investment advisor and a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc.  Morningstar Associates, along with Morningstar's other investment advisory subsidiaries, comprise the Morningstar Investment Management division. This division provides independent investment management and consulting services to institutions and advisors and has approximately $138.7 billion in assets under advisement and management as of March 31, 2011.  For more information, visit corporate.morningstar.com.Neither Morningstar Associates nor Morningstar, Inc. is affiliated with ING and its affiliates.SOURCE INGFor further information: Joe Loparco , ING Americas , Office: +1-860-580-2677, Cell: +1-860-462-6525, joseph.loparco@us.ing.com