colorado mountains and lake in summer


Our History

Since its inception, Empower Retirement has been guided by a vision to revolutionize how people save, invest and plan for their future.

We believe people deserve better than a one-size-fits-all solution

That’s why we take a collaborative approach to retirement savings that’s driven by personalization, simplification and exceptional service. And we’re committed to constantly improving this approach — by holding ourselves accountable and leading the way through innovation — so we can deliver the results our clients deserve.

The genesis of Empower dates back to 1891, when our parent company was founded as an insurance provider on the Canadian prairie. After more than a century of expansion and a profound evolution of service offerings, the modern iteration of Empower was launched in 2014, when the retirement businesses of Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments came together to form an integrated workplace retirement savings company.

Empower Retirement is now the second-largest retirement plan provider1 in the United States, with more than 12 million participants2, and with the acquisition of the digital first wealth management platform Personal Capital in 2020, Empower Retirement is even better equipped to help millions save for the future they imagine. 

Yet our founding mission remains unchanged. We believe helping people pursue a better future means giving them the tools and resources to take control of their finances. That's why we're called Empower.

110+ years serving customers


Empower Retirement closes acquisition of MassMutual retirement plan business.

Empower Retirement acquires Truist retirement plan recordkeeping business.

Empower Retirement achieves $1 trillion assets under administration.

Empower selected by Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association to administer $5 billion in DC retirement plans.


Empower waives fees on new loans and hardship withdrawals during pandemic. 

Empower launches national ad campaign to elevate importance of retirement savings. 

Empower Retirement acquires Personal Capital.

Empower recognized among ‘Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion’ by the Disability Equality Index.

Empower named 2020 Retirement Leader of the Year in the annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards organized by Pageant Media.

Empower Retirement named to InvestmentNews’ 2020 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion.

Empower Retirement and Fifth Third acquisition agreement.

Empower Retirement announces agreement to acquire retirement plan business of MassMutual.


Empower named ‘Best Company to Work for in Colorado’ by career website Zippia.

Empower expands its roster of PGA Tour pros, announcing a partnership with three-time PGA Tour champ Brendan Steele.

Edmund F. Murphy III named president and CEO of GWL&A, the US subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and the parent of Empower.

Empower closes sale of individual life insurance and annuity business to Protective Life Insurance Company, the primary subsidiary of Protective Life Corporation.

Empower Retirement enters into a 21-year deal for naming rights to the Broncos’ stadium, known as Empower Field at Mile High.


Empower partners with PGA Tour professional and US Open Champion Webb Simpson.

Empower named one of the Top 100 Innovators in Diversity & Inclusion by Mogul.

Empower introduces PlanVisualizer™ to give plan sponsors and advisors unprecedented plan insight.



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

Empower introduces Empower Dynamic Retirement Manager™.



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

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



Empower tees off a partnership with professional golfer Robert Streb.

Empower launches enhanced web experience for 7.5 million participants.

Empower inks partnerships with the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.

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



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

Empower acquires J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services’ large-market recordkeeping firm.

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



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



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



Empower acquires 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 acquires U.S. Bank’s bundled, full-service defined contribution business.



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



GWL&A establishes 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.



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



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



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



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



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



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



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


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


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


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

1 Pension & Investments Defined Contribution Survey Ranking as of April 2020.

2 As of January 4, 2021. 


Carefully consider the investment option’s objectives, risks, fees and expenses. Contact Empower Retirement for a prospectus, summary prospectus for SEC-registered products or disclosure document for unregistered products, if available, containing this information. Read each carefully before investing.

Securities, when presented, are offered and/or distributed by GWFS Equities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. GWFS is an affiliate of Empower Retirement, LLC; Great-West Funds, Inc.; and registered investment adviser, Advised Assets Group, LLC. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice.

IMPORTANT: The projections, or other information generated on the website by the investment analysis tool regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes, are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. The results may vary with each use and over time.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Insurance products are issued by or offered through Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Corporate Headquarters: Greenwood Village, CO; or in New York, by Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York, Home Office: New York, NY. Guarantees are subject to the terms and conditions of the contract and the claims-paying ability of the insurer.

The managed account service is part of the Empower Retirement Advisory Services suite of services offered by Advised Assets Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

The Empower Institute is a research group within Empower Retirement, LLC.

All features may not currently be available and are subject to change without notice. ©2021 Empower Retirement, LLC. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted: Not a Deposit | Not FDIC Insured | Not Bank Guaranteed | Funds May Lose Value | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency.