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Mobile Technology Coming to a Retirement Plan Near You

SmartphoneAccording to interactive discussions fostered by a DC based consulting firm working with financial services companies, website and mobile technology innovation is starting to take off focused on helping people to save more and smarter in retirement.

With Millennials perhaps addicted to their smartphones and other generations not far behind, delivering financial wellness through technology only makes sense. 401k and 403b record keepers are in an especially key position to help because they have critical data about each person including salary, deferral rates and account balances and they can get the attention of people even if they are just checking their accounts.

So what are some of the major providers working on to help people to save and get on track to retire?

  • Customization – Responsive websites are tracking people and starting to become more customized.
  • Benchmarking – Websites and mobile technology are alerting people about whether they are on track to retire while some are benchmarking peer groups.
  • Communications – Providers are creating more customized communications like e-newsletters for participants.
  • All Benefits – Some providers are incorporating all benefits into a worker’s accounts.
  • Text Messaging – Using texts to alert people can generate better results while lowering costs.
  • Smart Messaging – Analyzing a person’s account, some technology is suggesting the next best action like increasing contributions.
  • Simple Solutions – Touch IDs and interactive games are becoming more available.

Many consumer oriented websites are leveraging both mobile technology and big data. Whether because of privacy concerns or inertia, the financial services industry in general and the defined contribution market specifically has lagged behind. Because DC plans touch over 80 million people which should include many more with state initiatives requiring more private companies to offer workplace retirement plans, there is no better opportunity to engage people not just in financial literacy but in their own retirement plan which incorporates all aspects of financial wellness. The technology surge is hopefully just beginning.

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at 401kTV | TRAU | TPSU
Fred Barstein is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of 401kTV. Fred is also the Founder and CEO of The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU), a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education and The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU).Mr. Barstein was also Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NAPA Net.
Fred Barstein
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