CUNA Mutual Group said it will sell its individual retirement account services division to Ascensus, a retirement services firm. The sale, which is expected to close on July 31, is part of CUNA Mutual's overall corporate strategy to simplify its business and focus on its core insurance business and products, the company announced on July 1. The Dresher, Pa.-based Ascensus services more than 26,000 defined contribution plans and is a division of Crump Group Inc., a wholesale insurance distributor. The news follows on the coattails of an announcement by CUNA Mutual that it would cut staff by 52; at year-end 2008, the company reported a $149 million net income loss and total assets declined by 13%. The 47 employees of the IRA services division will become Ascensus associates when the sale closes, according to CUNA Mutual. They will continue to work from the same location in Middleton, Wis. CUNA Mutual acquired the IRA services business from CUNA & Affiliates in 1999. "This action reinforces our efforts to focus our company on those products that are core to our customers and to CUNA Mutual's future success," said Jeff Post, president/CEO of CUNA Mutual. "In addition, this sale further ensures our continued financial strength. Ascensus is a strong company, a good business partner and a quality employer. Ultimately, our product and our staff benefit from this transaction." –[email protected]

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