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Recently, I enjoyed dinner at a fantastic local restaurant using a gift card I had received over the holidays. My gift card covered most of the bill and I paid for the remainder – and the tip – using my credit card. As a result, my tip appeared outrageously generous on my receipt and it didn’t go unnoticed. Shortly afterwards, I received an email alert from my credit card company. The friendly language made me laugh because it said something like, “We noticed that you gave an extra generous tip and we hope it’s because your service was amazing...” They also asked for my feedback because they wanted to make sure that the alert was helpful. Bottom line, I loved the personal attention and their willingness to listen to me.
This experience also made me think in terms of the retirement industry, “What if 401(k) retirement plans provided the same kind of service to participants – and what should that look like?”
Retirement service should include alerts similar to those that my credit card company provides, ensuring that participants, plan sponsors and financial advisors are all aware of plan activity and savings opportunities. According to a recent America Saves Week survey, people who have a “savings plan with specific goals” are more successful at planning for the future. By providing useful and actionable information, timely alerts could go a long way in helping participants create a better plan for their retirement income.
Just like my credit card company provides transparency into my spending habits, retirement service should give the same kind of insights into 401(k) participation – and most importantly, retirement readiness.