About ACES®

The basic principle behind ACES® is simple: Education and service are ultimately what make and break relationships with plan sponsors. Providing investment options is just the beginning. To really set yourself apart from the competition, you need to provide information that can help plan sponsors with bigger issues, such as understanding ERISA requirements and boosting employee participation rates.

ACES® organizes these resources for you into three key categories:


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Opening a dialogue with retirement plan prospects that can benefit from working with you.

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Setting service expectations and finalizing the relationship.

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Monitoring & Servicing

Fulfilling your commitments, earning the confidence of plan stakeholders and laying the groundwork for referrals.


Retirement Tools

So much about the retirement plan business is providing a proper assessment of a plan’s current health to plan sponsors, whether they be prospects or longtime clients. Here we provide tools to aid you in analyzing detailed information on prospects, which aid in the creation and maintenance of investment plan menus, as well as provide plan sponsors with important market and economic updates. 



The MPI Investment Analyzer

Unique Institutional-Level Reporting: Our relationship with Markov Processes International (MPI) provides unique institutional-level reporting with detailed reports that present a broad array of objective statistical measures for investment funds, generated using Morningstar data. 


FI360 Fiduciary Score

The fi360 Fiduciary Score is a quantitative evaluation of how well a fund meets a minimum set of due diligence criteria defined by fi360 to reflect prudent fiduciary management. We offer a selection of six custom fi360 reports upon request. 

Monitoring & Servicing

Anatomy of a Recession

Dashboard, which is comprised of nine key economic indicators. The Dashboard is designed to provide context around evolving market conditions, and it provides retirement plan advisors with data and analysis that may help support plan sponsors in their investment decision making.

Retirement Resources

Providing investment options is just the beginning. To really set yourself apart from the competition, you need to provide information that can help plan sponsors with bigger issues, such as understanding ERISA requirements and boosting employee participation rates. That’s the real key to building client loyalty and generating referrals. Here we provide important checklists, worksheets, surveys and more to aid you in capturing the information you need to assess and develop solutions and recommendations that truly fit plan needs. 


Plan Education

Education is the most visible element of your service to a plan. Here we provide thought leadership, practice management tools, and participant education to help you further engage with retirement plan prospects and clients, covering a wide array of topics including plan governance, plan design, fees, IRS examinations, and even evergreen investment concepts. The better you are at keeping both plan sponsors and participants well informed, the more likely that participation and total assets in the plan may grow over time, cementing your relationship and enhancing the plan’s value to your practice. 

Retirement Plan Timeline

Being selected as a plan’s Financial Professional is just the beginning. Be proactive in following through on your commitments. Staying ahead of the plan sponsor’s needs is the surest route to keeping them confident that you are the right choice for their plan. Here we provide a reminder of key plan milestones by month for educational initiatives, plan assessments, and other activities you provide. 

First QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth Quarter


January 31
Deadline for 1099-R reporting to plan participants for plan distributions in previous year

January 31
Deadline for Form 945 reporting for plan withholding on distributions in previous year 

March 15
Deadline to complete discrimination testing and correct ADP/ACP failure  

March 15
Employer contributions due (unless extension filed)  

March 31
1099-R electronic filing deadline (with IRS) 


April 1
Initial required minimum distributions for any employees who turned 70½ or retired in previous year  

April 15
Deadline for 402(g) excess deferral refunds to participants


July 31
Deadline to file Form 5500 (unless extension filed)  

July 31
Deadline to file Form 5330 (excise taxes on prohibited transactions) if applicable 

September 30
Deadline for providing Summary Annual Report (SAR) to participants (unless Form 5500 extension is filed) 


December 1
Deadline to provide annual notice to employees of ADP/ACP testing safe harbor provisions, automatic enrollment/ contribution provisions and Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) arrangements

Additional Resources

Retirement Focus Funds

A summary of fund availability on a wide variety of platforms is included to help you select the appropriate funds for your retirement plan clients.

Product Availability Guide - Collective Investment Trusts (CITs)

A listing of available collective investment trusts, including CUSIPs and expense ratios, currently available through our partnership with Wilmington Trust, N.A.

Product Availability Guide - Collective Investment Funds (CIFs)

A listing of available collective investment funds, including CUSIPs and expense ratios, currently available through our partnership with Hand Benefits & Trust.

Retirement Plan Advisory Group Scorecard

A valuable tool designed to provide clients with an independent assessment of the management and performance of select funds available for inclusion in qualified and non-qualified plans. 

Contact Us:

Retirement Sales Support  
(866) 807-0886 

All views expressed are subject to change. These are the general views of Legg Mason, and they are provided for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a forecast of future events. All references to third-party corporations and websites do not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC. 

Franklin Resources, Inc., its specialized investment managers and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to taxpayers. These materials and any tax-related statements are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used or relied upon, by any such taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties or complying with any applicable tax laws or regulations. Tax-related statements, if any, may have been written in connection with the “promotion or marketing” of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed by these materials, to the extent allowed by applicable law. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. 

Financial advisors should consult their own firm’s policies and procedures before applying any ideas presented.