Robert Melia was named the first executive director of the Institutional Retirement Income Council, a non-profit organization that provides information about best practices and legislative/regulatory issues covering retirement income for defined contribution plan sponsors.
Mr. Melia said in an interview he hopes to expand IRIC's scope to provide more information to sponsors about retirement income options and to expand the organization's membership beyond what primarily has been an emphasis on insurance companies that also are record keepers.
“Historically, IRIC has focused on guaranteed retirement income,” said Mr. Melia. “We will broaden the vision and mission to include guaranteed and non-guaranteed retirement income.” That means seeking members such as managed account providers, other record keepers and some mutual fund companies, he said.
Retirement income within the context of institutional retirement plans is becoming “more pivotal and more critical” as DC plans take on greater importance for retirement savings, he said. This growing role is a major reason why IRIC decided to hire an executive director, he said.
Mr. Melia is vice president of product development for Lincoln Financial Group's retirement plan services unit. His last day at Lincoln is Feb. 16; he starts at IRIC March 1.
With Mr. Melia's departure, “we are adding a position to the product and solutions management team — the vice president of product management — and we are currently recruiting for this position,” Kelly DeAngelis, a spokeswoman for Lincoln, wrote in an email. “This person will be responsible for the innovation, design, development and ongoing management of retirement products.”