Bells & Whistles | Published in June 2012

Bells & Whistles

Each month, Bells & Whistles highlights recent product introductions that plan sponsors may find of interest.

By PLANSPONSOR staff | June 2012
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Illustration by Jon Burgerman

More information about these announcements can be found on If you have a product announcement that you believe would be of interest to our readers, drop us a line at


The Fidelity Investments application was updated to enable stock plan participants to better access and track their portfolios and conduct transactions from their iPhone, iPod touch or Android smartphone. With the updates, participants with stock option plans can now exercise and sell their options by following simple prompts within the app.

MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division enhanced its defined benefit (DB) plan termination services offering to existing clients. The offering provides existing retirement plan advisers and sponsors with resources, education and consulting.

Mercer launched “My Retirement Workshop,” an online retirement planning and education campaign for employees whose 401(k) plans it administers. The website provides interactive tools and hands-on instruction to help investors “fix up” their retirement plans.

Financial Engines’ Income+ has been integrated into J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services’ 401(k) offering. Income+ is available as part of J.P. Morgan’s in-plan professionally managed account program, J.P. Morgan Personal Asset Manager, which works within a 401(k)’s existing investment lineup to administer personalized portfolios designed to provide a stream of retirement income.

The Principal Financial Group created an online resource to help plan sponsors grasp the new retirement plan disclosure regulations. “Assessing Retirement Plan Value” offers tips and tools for understanding and evaluating retirement plan fees, services and overall worth.

HR consultant Findley Davies launched “Retirement Focus,” a mobile application for the iPhone and Android. The app allows client plan sponsors and their plan participants to get real-time information about their retirement accounts.

Wells Fargo made enhancements to the website for 401(k) participants in the employer-sponsored retirement plans it administers. A customizable dashboard gathers a participant’s most important retirement information all in one place. Using a series of questions that assess a participant’s confidence in retirement planning, appetite for advice and risk tolerance, the site is now able to determine what content might be most relevant to the individual.

The “Participant Perspective Satisfaction Tool,” introduced by Anova Consulting Group, enables plan sponsors to survey their participants, as well as nonparticipants, and interpret their level of satisfaction on an absolute and relative basis. By gathering constructive feedback from employees, sponsors will be able to better understand their participants’ needs, increase plan participation and gain insights as to how their participant satisfaction levels compare with those at similar firms.