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Improving Participant Communications

It’s always been important to communicate effectively with plan participants. Not to mention that law and regulation set certain bottom lines for performing that function. A recent paper offers some insights on how those communications can be improved based on current circumstances.

“Retirement communications have reached a tipping point, says Broadridge in “Transforming the Participant Experience.” Broadridge says that plan providers seek to “embrace a new path” that “enables powerful — and empowering — participant experiences. The paper says that the retirement savings gap amounts to $7 trillion, and as a result, plans have to work harder.

This, argues Broadridge, is due to:

  • changing workplace demographics;

  • technological innovations;

  • evolving participant demands;

  • increasing margin pressure;

  • low savings rates; and

  • added regulatory scrutiny.

Younger workers are entering the workforce “at an unprecedented pace”; at the same time, workers at retirement age are staying on the job longer. These groups are diverse, the paper notes, and require different kinds of communication.

It can be “daunting” to meet these communications demands, says Broadridge, especially at a time when plans face pressure to cut fees and costs. In addition, it observes, heightened regulatory scrutiny and frequent plan changes exacerbate the challenges.

Bu while it is difficult, the paper argues that meeting these demands is worth it. “Engaging today’s diverse segments is far from an exact science, but it is possible to create personalized experiences that can be easily delivered across channels,” Broadridge says. “When executed well, these relevant participant experiences can drive up participation by 30%,” it goes on.

To do this, the paper says, “Providers must seek tools designed for business users with flexibility and access, control and security.” It argues that “New and innovative solutions promise to streamline workflows, allowing retirement providers to keep the focus on outcomes.”

These solutions include:

  • self-service workflow tools hosted securely in the cloud;

  • software that makes it easy to streamline content management; and

  • the ability to orchestrate experiences based on personas.

.“The convergence of several trends is driving change, which presents both challenges and opportunities to plan administrators,” the paper says.