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110+ years serving customers

The heritage of Empower Retirement, as well as Great-West Financial, dates back to 1891, when our parent company was founded by Jeffry Hall Brock on the Canadian prairie. U.S. sales began in 1906, with the company originally organizing in 1907.

Empower Retirement, along with Great-West Financial, is part of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A), which is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and "A Member of the Power Financial Corporation Group of Companies®." (See the corporate structure for more information.)

The following chronology shows how we’ve evolved through the years to address Americans' financial security.

Our history and heritage

  • 2018

    Empower recognized in Top 100 Innovators in Diversity & Inclusion by Mogul.

  • 2018

    Empower introduced PlanVisualizer to give plan sponsors and advisors unprecendented plan insight.

  • 2017

    Empower and Optum launched an innovative, integrated HSA solution for retirement plan participants.

  • 2017

    Empower introduced Empower Dynamic Retirement Manager.

  • 2016

    Empower named retirement leader of the year at the 23rd Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards 2016.

  • 2016

    Empower realigned institutional recordkeeping business FASCore, LLC as Empower Institutional.

  • 2015

    Empower teed off a partnership with professional golfer Robert Streb.

  • 2015

    Empower launched enhanced web experience for 7.5 million participants.

  • 2015

    Empower inked partnerships with the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs as official sponsors.

  • 2015

    Empower's parent company launched the Empower Institute to provide thought leadership on issues and challenges related to retirement savings, guaranteed income and investing solutions.

  • 2014

    Bringing together three organizations, Edmund F. Murphy III named to head Empower Retirement. Empower business became the nation’s second-largest retirement services provider with more than 7 million plan participants.1

  • 2014

    Empower acquired J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services' large-market recordkeeping firm.

  • 2014

    Robert L. Reynolds named CEO of GWL&A, leading both Great-West Financial® and Empower.

  • 2011

    The company introduced a financial literacy grant initiative to help promote financial education among students in Colorado schools.

  • 2007

    Franklin Templeton Investments transitioned its 401(k) recordkeeping business to Empower.

  • 2006

    Empower acquired a block of 401(k) and defined benefit plan businesses from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and its affiliates as well as General American Life Insurance Company and New England Life Insurance Company. It also acquired U.S. Bank’s bundled, full-service defined contribution business.

  • 2003

    Empower acquired 401(k) administration subsidiary EMJAY Corp. and the group retirement business of Federated Insurance Companies.

  • 1993

    GWL&A established Financial Administrative Services Corporation (renamed FASCore, LLC), as a wholly owned subsidiary to provide recordkeeping and administrative services for retirement plans offered by other financial institutions.

  • 1992

    The Great-West Life Assurance Company (Great-West Life) completed the transfer of its U.S. operations to U.S. subsidiary GWL&A. GWL&A's retirement business, now known as Empower, introduced a proprietary retirement plan recordkeeping platform.

  • 1985

    The company began offering services to 401(k) defined contribution plans for private employers.

  • 1983

    Outgrowing its downtown Denver location, the company moved its U.S. headquarters to its current campus in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

  • 1979

    The formal process of splitting U.S. and Canadian operations began. The company built a new office complex in downtown Denver to house its U.S. headquarters.

  • 1978

    Empower began offering services to Section 457 deferred compensation plans for public sector employees in the U.S.

  • 1962

    The company began offering services to Section 403(b) retirement savings plans for nonprofit organizations. U.S. customers accounted for half of Great-West Life’s annual sales.

  • 1940

    Empower began offering services to tax-advantaged retirement savings plans for U.S. employers under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a).

  • 1907

    The company, now known as GWL&A, was incorporated in Kansas as The National Interment Association.

  • 1906

    Great-West Life opened its first U.S. sales office in Fargo, North Dakota.

  • 1891

    The Great-West Life Assurance Company (Great-West Life) was incorporated in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1 Ranking based on total defined contribution plan participant accounts as of December 31, 2014. Source: PLANSPONSOR magazine, June 2015. Information refers to all retirement business of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.