With so much information populating the internet, how can you gain the ear of your plan participants?
It’s getting so that a plan participant has almost too much
information these days. In an information-driven society, they’re hit from all
sides with advice and retirement planning strategies – not all of which are
useful. It’s a world that promotes do-it-yourself planning, and that type of
planning could have your plan participants going in the wrong financial
Yet often, investors are overconfident in their actions, and
they convince themselves that their research is solid. A study on the effects
of opinions broadcast by overconfident senders, conducted by professors at
Stanford University, shows that audiences are receptive reviews by strangers if
the reviews and information shared is done so in a highly confident manner.
According to study authors, an overconfident sender will often exaggerate the
Just one internet search on retirement investment advice
reveals that overconfidence is just as rampant in the retirement world.
Everything from expert advice to personal opinion populates the results,
including reviews of plans and personal planning advice that comes with no real
And your plan participants are using that information to
make key retirement decisions.
With all the noise regarding retirement, how do you help plan participants sort through it all? Actually, it may be surprisingly simple – by being first with the right information your plan participants need to make sound decisions.
Retirement advisors and plan sponsors can:
Offer tools and guidance. In other words, today’s advisor has to outperform the robo-advisor. It’s no secret that today’s workforce – millennials in particular – is drawn to the convenience of 24/7 access to retirement advice. If you want your plan participants to have the best information, provide it.
That includes tools that help your clients prioritize both
retirement and life goals – online articles, retirement calculators and Q&A
information that give investors a clearer direction for their retirement
Regularly review plan with participants. More than the
once-yearly meeting, advisors should be meeting with plan participants to
review plan performance, answer questions, and share updates or
economic/legislative changes that could impact their retirement portfolios. A
quarterly meeting can help increase participation by sending the message that
the advisor is looking out for participants’ interests.
Explain the ‘why’ behind plan asset allocation. It’s one
thing to stand in front of plan participants and spout the latest fund
performance figures. It’s wholly another to explain the numbers in relation to
the goals of the individual. Just a simple shift in delivery, including
explaining how each investment class can align with intended outcomes, can
vastly improve the confidence and understanding plan participants have of their
Provide ongoing education. An email series dispelling
retirement investment myths can keep the conversation going in the right
direction. By inviting plan participants to submit content for discussion,
advisors and plan sponsors can actively engage them in learning to discern
between questionable advice and sound advice.
Advisors have all the tools necessary to compete with
today’s information overload. It takes a bit of diligence, innovation, and willingness
to nurture the relationship with plan participants through the channels they
prefer and with the information they want most.
Clients want these things from their advisor: that their goals and retirement needs are understood, and that their advisor is a partner in the process. The advisor who can create a more comprehensive experience for the investor and who leads the conversation will see better participation and more retirement-ready plan participants.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal