There is a lot of talk about Financial Wellness right now. Every provider seems to be offering something tied into their system. However, the most important thing you as an investment committee member or plan sponsor should know, is like those before them, they are all almost entirely all Self-Service-Programs.
In our opinion the retirement plan service industry’s greatest shortcoming is found in participant engagement. If you don’t already have a plan and advisor in place with boots on the ground to engage and help your participants with the existing retirement plan, simply adding a self-service/do-it-yourself financial wellness program isn’t going to move the needle for very many participants.
Arcwood works with many providers including Fidelity, MassMutual, Dave Ramsey, etc. to help our plan sponsors drive Financial Wellness Programs and offer more than just access to an online tool. Here are some of the main options and resources available to most sponsors when considering a Financial Wellness program:
THIRD-PARTY ONLINE WELLNESS PROGRAMS
There are several programs on this list which is growing daily. They include: Questis, Retiremap, Financial Finesse and of course Dave Ramsey’s Smart Dollar. They are all traditionally used online by employees at a self-service pace. Arcwood combines these online courses with other financial wellness meetings and engagement for those sponsors who have additional funds and are looking to provide more resources. For those sponsors who like the Dave Ramsey baby step approach the program includes a free budgeting tool. Signing up for the program through Arcwood provides sponsors a 30%+ discount to per head pricing.
401K PROVIDER (Record-Keeper) WELLNESS PROGRAMS
Through their Record-Keeping platforms many providers are now offering version of online wellness tools that go beyond simple gap analysis. MassMutual’s program, Map My Benefits, for example can help guide participants through other aspects of their financial life like short term savings needs, college education funding and any possible life insurance gaps. Prioritizing them based upon the employees stage in life, current resources and liabilities. While companies like Vanguard and Fidelity both have budgeting tools that can pull in outside liabilities, like student loan debt, and advise on savings plans for both those and the 401k. Our advisors focus much of the wellness education we provide on the tools already available like these combining them with other other financial wellness courses.
ADVISOR LEAD & SPECIALIST SEMINARS
There are also many resources available to sponsor and advisor through their existing fund provider relationships. For example both Franklin Templeton Investments and BlackRock Funds have speakers available to provide educational seminar meetings on Social Security Benefits. Arcwood combines these specialist meetings with other financial wellness meetings we provide ourselves as well as local 501(c)3 not-for-profit speakers available on other topics like debt management and budgeting.
Financial Wellness is important to us. If you are looking into programs and would like some advice please reach out to one of our business development advisors and we would be happy to discuss your options.