Recordkeeping in the retirement industry is essential to help plan sponsors navigate the increasing complexity of managing 401(k) plans. The changing nature of the workforce, the rising number of plan participants, and ever-changing compliance regulations are just a few challenges faced by recordkeepers.
Despite the challenges, there is a growing need for intelligent recordkeeping services as plan sponsors, regulators, and participants increasingly rely on data to make decisions. Recordkeepers need to provide them with accurate and up-to-date records. Amidst deepening fee pressures and increasing competition delivering value is now indispensable for recordkeeping firms.
Personalized advice has immense value potential for all stakeholders of the retirement industry. In this article, let’s look at how you can use personalization to your advantage as a recordkeeper.
The key to offering personalized advice is considering each client’s requirements and providing the most valuable recommendations. It would help if you shortlisted strategies that are most likely valuable for each client. It would involve assessing the following-
- Financial aspects: You must assess the financial wellness of plan sponsors and participants. Ensure your advice helps them meet their specific financial objectives and addresses the financial challenges they may be facing.
- Portfolio: Risk assessment, investment, and managing costs are essential to maintain better client relations. You must understand their aspirations and offer advice based on each client’s risk tolerance. Proactively addressing any concerns that might lead to fines or penalties is highly valuable for all clients.
- Time: Another critical factor to track is time. Your clients may not have the resources, willingness, or ability to perform crucial tasks like Compliance Testing, Form 5500 filing, or building investment strategies. You can advise them to initiate or outsource retirement plan administration tasks to mitigate the risk of penalties or late fees.
Recordkeeping firms deal with a large amount of participant data. It can be used to derive actionable insights to help participants improve their retirement readiness. Understanding plan sponsors and their participant’s current situation and providing personalized advice based on that analysis is an effective way to improve plan outcomes.
You hold a great deal of responsibility in ensuring that the plan sponsor and participant goals are met. Personalized advice is one way to show dedication and help clients reach their financial targets.
By taking the time to understand each client’s goals and plans, you can provide a higher level of service that can improve plan outcomes. In addition, by making the value of their services tangible to clients, you can gain a competitive advantage. It will also help attract and retain more business.
There are many ways to provide personalized advice, but some standard methods include the following:
– Conducting financial wellness seminars or webinars
– Offering one-on-one financial counseling sessions
– Creating personalized retirement income projections
– Developing retirement plan contribution recommendations
You can decide on the best course of action based on your analysis of the historical data and other critical aspects as mentioned above.
The true value of advice lies in personalization and continuity. You can efficiently deliver the most value by ensuring the following-
- Regularly following up with your clients on their 401(k) plan performance
- Helping clients achieve their intended goals
- Reassuring clients by sharing the required data analytics
- Tracking each client’s compliance with regulatory requirements
- Reminding them of annual compliance tasks and their due dates
- Suggesting opportunities for tax-loss harvesting or asset allocation
By offering these services, you can add significant value to your clients. You solidify the client-advisor relationship for the long term, which is essential for client retention. It is worth noting that many of these services require little effort once you have established the initial protocols. Automation can take care of the data analytics and personalization aspects, giving you more time to focus on high-level tasks that require your attention.