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Today, at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced the introduction of a groundbreaking longevity training program for human resources (HR) and benefit plan professionals. Developed in partnership with the University of Southern California’s renowned Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Longevity Training Program is designed to drive greater awareness and understanding of the evolving needs of the nation’s aging population and their families.

This first-of-its-kind program offers insights into the latest advances, research and experiences associated with the sociological, psychological and physiological aspects of aging and their implications across all generations of the workforce. The program will soon be available to companies for whom Bank of America Merrill Lynch provides retirement and benefit plan services, which represent more than 35,000 companies and more than 5 million employees. Program participants will learn about the importance of and issues associated with longevity and retirement planning through a deeper exploration of seven life priorities, including health, home, family, giving, leisure, work and finances.

“Designing benefits programs and delivering financial guidance to employees today requires a profound appreciation for the longevity revolution and a deeper understanding of issues associated with aging,” said Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Providing HR professionals greater access to this knowledge can help them better connect with employees as they progress through their careers and toward their later years.”

Participants must complete up to five hours of training over the course of four to eight weeks, delivered through a combination of on-demand videos featuring USC professors, online courses and reference materials, and web-based best practice presentations and knowledge-sharing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, including director of financial gerontology Cyndi Hutchins. Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from USC.

“Increased longevity leads to longer retirements, changing health care choices, more housing transitions, and many other challenges to financial security,” said Pinchas Cohen, dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. “As more people reach retirement age, there needs to be deeper knowledge inside every company regarding the realities of longevity in order to engage in relevant and supportive discussions with employees about their goals and concerns.”

The introduction of this new program follows an initial rollout in April to Merrill Lynch’s more than 14,000 financial advisors to provide them greater knowledge of and appreciation for various aspects of aging and to help clients pursue their goals leading up to and through retirement.

This program is the latest example of how Bank of America is serving as a pioneer on the topic of longevity. The company is also working with organizations such as the CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s, the Global Coalition on Aging, Stanford Center on Longevity and the MIT AgeLab. The knowledge and experience represented by these institutions has greatly influenced and intensified Bank of America’s focus on providing resources to its clients, financial advisors and HR professionals.

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Founded in 1975, the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology is the oldest and largest school of its type in the world. The school offers the most comprehensive selection of gerontology degree programs found anywhere, a variety of outstanding research opportunities, and a challenging yet supportive academic environment. As a school rooted in a world-class research university located in Los Angeles, the Davis School and its research and services arm, the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, are home to current and future leaders in the field. Faculty and students study the human lifespan by exploring the biology, psychology, sociology, policy, economics, medical, and business dimensions of adult life. The Leonard Davis School curriculum is aimed at equipping future professionals in the field of aging with the specific skills and knowledge necessary to respond effectively to the needs of an aging population.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail financial centers and approximately 15,900 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 17 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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