Participants Look for Answers, Access and Control From Tech Tools

Participants Look for Answers, Access and Control From Tech Tools

This article was updated on July 27, 2018.

More and more, technology is being used to engage retirement plan participants and help facilitate better retirement outcomes. From interactive videos and web-based calculators to mobile and tablet apps to data analytics, plan providers are developing tools that adapt to the on-the-go lifestyle and needs of today's workers.

Tech tools can be used to make it faster and easier to enroll, learn, get answers and make account changes — wherever and whenever participants want. While the Millennial generation will soon outnumber other generations in the active workforce, mobile and digital tools aren't just in demand with this generation — access to mobile and digital information and tools is important to workers of all ages. In fact, three out of four participants today over 50 have a smartphone, and the numbers go up from there: 82 percent of participants ages 35-49 and 91 percent of participants under 35 own a smartphone.

These devices have changed the way we live — and have given participants the mobility to stay connected to their retirement plan and get answers on the go:

  • More participants are using smartphone and/or tablet applications to interact with their retirement plan – up from 26 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2015 (Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey, Deloitte Development, LLC; 2015)
  • The use of hand-held devices has increased from 9 percent to 14 percent at group and individual meetings to allow workers to take immediate action and enroll and make investment and allocation changes (Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey, Deloitte Development, LLC; 2015)
  • About 20 to 30 percent of participants watch videos on financial websites — across all ages, incomes and genders (DC Participant Insight Series Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions, Spectrum Group; 2015)

The Kind of Experiences Today's Participants Seek

  • Easy to access and use. Access should be simple and available to them while on the go.
  • Helps them make good decisions. This means useful information that gets them engaged in planning their retirement, provides answers and lets participants see the potential results of taking action — like personalized messaging and data-driven communications, interactive workshops, videos and online articles and tools.
  • Allows them take action in the moment. Mobile capabilities need to go beyond just allowing participants to check their account balance. A fully transactional experience with a range of features that participants can manipulate while on the go, like changing their deferral rates or investment allocation, will let them take action when they want.

To see how mobile technology can help engage participants and deliver answers, access and control over their retirement accounts, watch this video.