Empower Retirement, the No. 2 U.S. retirement plan provider, has reached a deal to buy Prudential’s retirement plan business, Investment News reported. Empower will pay $3.55 billion for the business, along with $2.1 billion to support it, with the latter coming from Prudential Retirement’s balance sheet and capital from Empower, according to the announcement. The transaction will create one of the biggest U.S. retirement plan entities, giving Empower a combined business of about $1.4 trillion in assets and 71,000 plans. Prudential oversees about $314 billion in retirement plan assets among more than 4,300 plans, while Empower manages about $1 trillion for more than 12 million plan participants. Colorado-based Empower is already the second-largest U.S. retirement plan manager by number of participants, behind Fidelity Investments. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approval. The acquisition includes a share purchase and a reinsurance transaction.