Merrill Lynch has opened a new Retirement Services Office to help its financial consultants and other employees ease into retirement.
A firm spokesperson tells RR the Retirement Services Office was recently added to the human resources department to provide brokers with "a single point of contact" for retirement information.
A representative from the new retirement office spoke to a handful of Merrill brokers during a breakout session held at a recognition trip in August, according to a broker who was there. The representative said retiring reps might consider becoming a Merrill Lynch Investment Associate (IA)--joining a team, gradually giving up their production numbers and transferring their accounts over to other producers. One of the benefits of becoming an IA is that the broker keeps benefits such as the cash bonuses paid out under Merrill's Investment Certificate program, the broker says. The program rewards reps who've been at the firm for five and 10 years.
Until now, Merrill hasn't exactly gone out of its way to publicize any of the options available to retiring brokers, the producer says. "A lot of guys are leaving this firm without getting a penny," he says. "You have to ask. Some guys are leaving without asking for anything."