Take Retirement Programs to the Next Level Through User-Friendly Technology

CUNA Mutual Group offers tips on how to empower online users so that they have more control over their plans.

11/12/2019

Fast, convenient internet – it’s what we all have come to expect. Today, your employees interact with their retirement plans using web, mobile, and social media for access to things such as account information, advice, and research. They no longer just prefer accessible and personalized digital experiences – it’s expected.

There are a host of technological approaches that can truly enhance the user experience. Strategic Link partner, CUNA Mutual Group, offers credit unions access to customizable, simple, and practical retirement programs that are customer-focused and offer best-in-class technology.

“To keep pace with a rapidly evolving retirement market, credit unions should consider solutions that use technology to enhance the user experience,” said Jason Smith, VP of Strategic Resources at Northwest Credit Union Association. “Offering advanced technology solutions can boost engagement and allow users to feel in control of their retirement.”

Karnail Kooner, Retirement Specialist at CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions, suggests credit unions consider adopting technology advancements to take a retirement program offering to the next level.

Upgrade Retirement Income Calculators

Most retirement websites feature a retirement calculator, but they’re not all equally effective. If the default display emphasizes the total amount saved to date, you may be missing an opportunity.

Switching the default view to show the monthly retirement income the account is currently projected to generate may appear more attainable to plan participants than a lump sum. This could be especially relevant to a younger audience.

But the switch to emphasizing monthly retirement income is just the first step. The next is to make it easier for users to understand how to adjust that amount. For example, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions offers its 401(k) plan participants a tool that prominently displays the projected monthly income and three main levers that can affect that amount, including:

  • Contribution percentage;
  • The target percentage of current income that will be replaced by retirement assets; and
  • The year the employee intends to retire.

Adjusting any of these levers shows users in real-time the impact on their projected monthly income and whether they’re on target to reach their retirement goal. Being able to analyze this level of detail boosts engagement and allows participants to feel in control of their retirement.

Mobile Retirement Apps Increase Engagement, Improve Access

According to the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) 2019 Annual Survey, more than 43% of surveyed employers offer plans that use mobile technology.

Credit unions should work with retirement plan providers to offer participants an app that’s specific to your retirement program. A dedicated app gives you a versatile communication channel that helps users engage with their retirement plan anytime, anywhere. The use of advanced fingerprint or facial ID logins can add an extra layer of security.

Employ Data Insights to Target Messaging and Measure Success

Today’s data and analytics capabilities can give administrators important advantages. More frequent data updates can help you track the immediate and long-term effects of program changes. This informs planning strategies, such as the amount of matching funds to set aside.

Historically, plan administrators have received updated data about participation rates, contribution percentages, investment allocations, and retirement outcomes semi-annually. But today, this data can be updated every pay period, so you can react more quickly if necessary.

It’s also easier than ever to deliver personalized messages to your participants, then measure how your messages are received. You can even link data, such as email open rates, to changes in contribution percentages, and adjust tactics accordingly.

Keeping up with digital technology advances has become imperative. Keep your users engaged with their retirement plan by making sure your retirement plan is up to speed.

Editor’s Note: CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions is a division of CUNA Mutual Group. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Jason Smith, VP Strategic Resources, at 208-286-6794.