Is it time to assess your Financial Wellness offering?
Financial Wellness programs have improved a great deal over the past decade. The pandemic exposed many things, among which the increased importance of emergency savings, education, and planning for the accumulation and decumulation phase of retirement. Ask yourself: Is the time right to add emergency savings vehicles? Can we better educate plan participants in drawing down their wealth during decumulation? Are there components that, if added, will benefit both the plan sponsors and participants? As providers look to enhance or re-evaluate their Financial Wellness offerings, our Healthchecks are here to guide them.
There are six key components of a well-designed financial wellness program: the Communications Plan, Tools and Resources, Targeted Messaging, the Wellness Score, Advice/Counseling, and Aggregation. Enterprise Iron’s assessment enables your business to document the current offering and identify potential gaps, areas of duplicity or overserving, and differentiation. The Market Scan enables clients to uncover new potential components for their offering and our Prioritization Plan defines the future state, serving as a roadmap for success for your Financial Wellness program.
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Tools and Resources
Inventory and evaluate the tools you make available via the participant portal to ensure that those resources help along the Financial Wellness journey. Tools and resources with low adoption can signal that they are not useful to the participant, so consider sunsetting those and adding new ones to make the participant experience more beneficial.
Begin by outlining the goals and objectives of the Plan Sponsor. Some goals will be common across all Plan Sponsors, while others will be unique and custom. Equally critical is to look at what the data is telling you. As recordkeepers, we have a lot of client and participant data. Leverage that data as you build your Client Communications Plans.
Advice and Counseling
According to PwC 2021 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, only 13% of respondents said they do not need anyone else’s help regarding their personal finances. 51% indicated they want to make their own decisions with someone to help validate that decision, while 36% of respondents were looking for specific advice. Offering counsel as part of your program is a wise choice.
The ability to generate a wellness score serves two purposes: 1) provides participants with a sense of direction or benchmark of where they are along the journey and 2) enables participants to visualize progress and take steps toward their goals.
Take a holistic view of your finances. Aggregation providers like Yodlee enable participants to pull in outside assets (i.e., IRA’s, after-tax savings, DB balances, and other retirement balances) for better planning and understanding of their financial situation. This improves your ability to make smarter decisions and grow savings as part of your overall Financial Wellness.
Tailor the messaging to your participants. If done correctly, personalization can help create an enhanced customer experience while simultaneously driving additional revenue growth via new product development.
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Enterprise Iron’s Financial Wellness Assessment takes 12 – 14 weeks and varies based on the needs of the client.
The process begins with a formal Kickoff session where the project team agrees on the project scope, goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities, reporting, and governance structure. Our Assessment enables an organization to:
Document Current State — Conduct Discovery Sessions and review supporting project documentation to assess, and capture details and perspectives on the current Financial Wellness offering, inclusive of documenting findings.
Benchmark against Industry Best Practices — Identify gaps, potential areas of over-servicing, and differentiation.
Conduct Market Scan — Bridge program gaps, eliminate areas of duplicity or overservicing, and identify the new component that would enhance the overall Financial Wellness offering.
Establish Future State and Create Prioritization Plan — Document future state offering, inclusive of roadmap and prioritization plan.