Schwab Delays ETF 401k Launch (Again)

by Christopher Freeburn | October 8, 2013 11:40 am

Charles Schwab[1]Investors anticipating the launch of Charles Schwab‘s (SCHW[2]) long-promised ETF retirement plan, will have to wait longer[3].

The discount broker first announced the new 401(k) retirement plan which would use ETFs in March 2011. Earlier this year, Schwab said the plan would be introduced by the close of 2013. Now, an executive for the company tells IndexUniverse that “we’re not committing to a particular time, whether it’ll be at the end of this year or otherwise.”

This is at least the second time Schwab has delayed plans to include ETFs into 401(k) plans. Still, the Schwab executive said the firm isn’t concerned about the effect of the postponement. “We will be the industry leaders in intraday trading in 401(k)s,” he commented.

Delays in the plan’s launch have suggested to some observers that Schwab may be facing technology troubles implementing the intraday ETF trading system that the plan would require.

The Schwab executive indicated that the plan’s latest postponement wasn’t due to difficulties with fractional share trades. He noted that Schwab had created an “approach to be able to fractionalize ETFs so that participants can benefit from the ETFs without worrying about having enough money coming in to be able to buy ETFs.”

Shares of Schwab fell more than 1% in Tuesday morning trading.

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