Category: Retirement

401k Specialist: Service Provider Ascensus Perfectly Positioned For This 401k Trend

Service Provider Ascensus Perfectly Positioned For This 401k Trend

Recap: Rise of state-sponsored 401ks.

  • Tech will also be (and is currently) a major focus for the company this year. Last week, it launched a new, redesigned www.ascensus.com.
  • The new corporate website highlights the company’s retirement, college, and health savings account services while helping partners and clients connect with Ascensus’ team of experts to assist with all of their needs
  • Key features include a new web-based newsroom where site visitors can find the latest in Ascensus company news, thought leadership, and savings industry regulatory updates; an optimized user experience, allowing site visitors to self-identify and then see all products, services, and savings plan information available to them; and a login portal for current clients.
  • Ascensus will also roll out redesigned retirement plan and participant websites at the close of the first quarter.

    “We listened hard to what our clients were asking of us with our upcoming digital initiatives—the new solutions are truly being built with our clients in mind.”

John Hancock and NextCapital Announce Enterprise Digital Advice Partnership

John Hancock and NextCapital Announce Enterprise Digital Advice Partnership

Recap: John Hancock Retirement Plan Services will integrate NextCapital’s digital 401(k) platform and begin offering its automated retirement plans and IRA rollovers over the next 12 months.  DOL-motivated as robo-advisory is expected to play a key role for advice in best interest of clients.

Features:

NextCapital’s robo-platform allows retirement plan participants to have portfolio tracking, planning, savings advice and portfolio management online. The financial advice will be automated, but live help will be available to service the accounts, said Peter Gordon, chief executive of John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, which is part of John Hancock Financial, a division of Manulife Financial Corp.

  • Custom user experience and ongoing engagement
  • Proprietary or third-party investment methodology
  • Self-service and advisor-assisted service models
  • Multi-channel supporting 401(k), IRA, and retail brokerage accounts
  • Integrations with 401(k) recordkeeping systems and retail custodians

Accenture: 2017 GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING CONSUMER STUDY

2017 GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING CONSUMER STUDY

Recap: Rise in acceptance of robo services creates challenge for financial services industry: strike a balance between humans and robots

Stats:

  • Seven in 10 consumers around the world would welcome robo-advisory services
  • Consumers are now open to robo-advice to help determine which bank account to open (71 percent), which insurance coverage to purchase (74 percent), and how to plan for retirement (68 percent).
  • Nearly one-third would switch to Google, Amazon or Facebook for banking services (31 percent), insurance services (29 percent) and financial advisory services (38 percent).
  • Nearly the same percentage of global consumers would also consider switching to a supermarket or retailer for their banking (31 percent) and insurance (30 percent) services.
  • The survey found nearly two-thirds of consumers are interested in personalized insurance (64 percent) and banking (63 percent) advice based on their individual circumstances, and when asked about wealth management advice, that increases to 73 percent.

The Survey:

  • Accenture surveyed 32,715 respondents across 18 countries and regions including the US, Canada, Benelux, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Nordic countries, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Respondents were consumers of banking, insurance and wealth management services; they were required to have a bank account and an insurance policy and were asked if they used an Independent Financial Advisor, Wealth Manager or Asset Manager, with total financial advisory responses totaling 9,987. Respondents covered multiple generations and income levels. The survey was conducted during May and June 2016.

WaPo: Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement

WaPo: Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement

Recap: The personal finance website NerdWallet recently estimated that millennials need to save 22 percent of their paychecks to have enough cash in retirement if stock market gains are weaker going forward.

Predictions:

  • A roundup of the figures shows that strategists project the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index will gain 4 percent on average in 2017 — the lowest expected annual gain for the stock market since 2005
  • If those gloomier outlooks hold true, workers saving for retirement today may not get as much from their portfolios in the long term as previous generations did

Upgraded Retirement Calculator Tool: RetireSmart Ready

MassMutual RetireSmart Ready Tool

RetireSmart Ready Tool

Recap: Sharpening an online tool to give retirement plan savers clearer information and help them make better decisions

New Features:

  • Refreshed step- by-step navigation to make planning easier and quicker than before
  • Ability to include balances from other plan/provider accounts
  • New focus on income replacement success gives you an accurate picture in dollars OR income percentage of financial wellness in retirement
  • Changes to the site’s look, feel and navigation
  • Graphic illustration of how much income savers will potentially need in retirement and whether they are saving enough to get there
  • Savers can obtain guidance on what steps to take if their current savings strategy is falling short of their retirement goals.  Savers can choose to implement the recommended strategies by themselves, or work with a financial advisor on a recommended strategy

 

Americans Are Putting Billions More Than Usual in Their 401(k)s

Americans Are Putting Billions More Than Usual in Their 401(k)s

Recap:  Automatic enrollment + auto-escalation.  Fees on 401(k) plans are falling.

Stats:

  • The typical baby boomer, whose generation is just starting to retire, has a median of $147,000 in all of his retirement accounts, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies
  • 1 in 3 private sector workers don’t even haveretirement plan through their job
  • On average, workers in 2015 put 6.8 percent of their salaries into 401(k) and profit-sharing plans, according to a recent survey of more than 600 plans. That’s up from 6.2 percent in 2010, the Plan Sponsor Council of America found.
  • About $7 trillion is already invested in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, according to the Investment Company Institute.
  • Employers pitched in 4.7 percent of payroll in 2015, the same as in 2013 and 2014.
  • In such plans, 89 percent of workers are making contributions, the survey finds, while 75 percent make 401(k) contributions under plans without auto-enrollment.
  • Auto-enrolled employees save more, 7.2 percent of their salaries vs. 6.3 percent for those who weren’t auto-enrolled
  • Less than a quarter of plans auto-escalate all participants, while 16 percent boost contributions only for workers who are deemed to be not saving enough
  •  The total cost of running a 401(k) plan is down 17 percent since 2009, to 0.39 percent of plan assets in 2014. The cost of the mutual funds inside 401(k)s has dropped even faster, by 28 percent to an annual expense ratio of 0.53 percent in 2015