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Annuity Board readying launch of new investment opportunities

DALLAS (BP)–New investment opportunities will soon be available to eligible Annuity Board participants, including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Personal Investment Accounts.

The approval of changes to the Annuity Board’s ministry assignment last year by the Southern Baptist Convention paved the way for the introduction of these new financial services.

“We are grateful to the convention for entrusting us with this expanded ministry and believe these new products will better serve our participants now and in the future,” said Annuity Board President O.S. Hawkins.

Since last year’s convention, Annuity Board trustees have approved the restructuring of the board’s investment funds from an unregistered fund environment to a registered mutual fund environment. This led to the creation of AB Funds Trust, a family of 13 no-load, registered mutual funds. AB Funds Trust will serve as the investment vehicle for the Annuity Board’s retirement plans.

In addition, arrangements were made for eligible participants to have IRAs and Personal Investment Accounts by purchasing shares in AB Funds Trust through PFPC Distributors, Inc., a registered broker-dealer. SBC Trust Services, Inc., also an Annuity Board affiliate, will serve as IRA custodian. Launch of the new fund structure and products could be as soon as July 2, but is not anticipated to be later than Sept. 1, 2001.

After the effective date, eligible investors will be able to purchase shares of AB Funds Trust mutual funds to open traditional or Roth IRAs and Personal Investment Accounts. Eligible investors will be:

— Participants in Annuity Board plans (retirement or life and health);

— Persons eligible to be participants in Annuity Board plans;

— Annuitants under Annuity Board plans; and

— Spouses of all the above persons.

“These are exciting and demanding times for the Annuity Board,” Hawkins said. “Our staff has responded with great enthusiasm and commitment to accomplish the many requirements of entering a registered environment and offering these new products. We are grateful for their second-mile effort.

“In addition, we believe this is a key step in positioning the Annuity Board to serve as a life partner more effectively in the days ahead and expands our service to all aspects of retirement planning,” Hawkins said.

Since 1918, the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has provided retirement investment products and services to employees of Southern Baptist churches, agencies and institutions worldwide. Currently, the Annuity Board has assets of $7.5 billion from more than 120,000 retirement participants.

A registration statement relating to AB Funds Trust has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. Shares of the funds may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This news story shall not constitute an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the funds’ shares in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities law of any such state.

For more complete information about the AB Funds Trust, including charges and expenses, call 1-800-262-0511 for a prospectus. Read it carefully before investing or sending money.

    About the Author

  • Curtis D. Sharp