Administration

Boosting Participant Engagement With Tools and Services

There are strategies plan sponsors can adopt to make the most of technology and digital tools, so that participants can boost their retirement readiness.

By Javier Simon editors@plansponsor.com | April 28, 2017
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Plan participants today have access to a wealth of digital tools designed to help them manage every facet of their financial lives, from basic budgeting to long-term planning for retirement.

However there is some evidence that standalone tools and services offered to plan participants are not always fully utilized, for a variety of reasons. Some participants will not be aware of the full palette of tools and solutions made available by their plan sponsor and providers, for example, while others may feel the tools are too complicated or time-consuming to figure out on their own.

And so to push for better digital tool usage—and by extension better outcomes—retirement plan providers and their sponsor clients are moving beyond the first generation of stand-alone digital support tools and into the realm of “gamification,” wherein participants are saving for retirement in a way that considers the key lessons of behavioral finance.  

Below are outlined a number of emerging strategies plan sponsors can adopt to make the most of technology and digital tools, so that participants can boost their retirement readiness.

Consider the User Experience

When it comes to participants and their usage of new planning technologies, it’s all about user experience. It only takes seconds for a person to decide if they’re going to stick with an app or not.

Speaking to PLANSPONSOR, Shane Bartling, senior retirement consultant at Willis Towers Watson, says the most effective tools “deliver very crisp, personalized experiences … We’ve seen in the last few years an appreciation for improved user experience.”

Bartling notes that these tools ”need to be honest.” They need to deliver “a message that doesn’t feel like someone is trying to sell you something.”

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