American Express RS Draws Up "BluePrint"

May 10, 2005 ( - American Express Retirement Services (AERS) has introduced BluePrint, a retirement plan service and communication model with a new approach to serving retirement plan sponsors.

According to the firm, BluePrint moves beyond measuring traditional elements such as plan participation, deferral rates and diversification, to help plan sponsors learn whether their plan is truly working for their employees, their business and their shareholders.  

Stage “Coach”

BluePrint employs a 3-stage approach – from Assessment to Execution to Results:

  • A Foundation to help plan sponsors understand what their plan objectives are and learn if the plan is truly doing what it is designed to do.   That analysis can include plan metrics, employee behaviors, investment selections, plan design consideration, fee structure, service expectations and more, according to AERS.  
  • A Framework that produces an effective retirement strategy complete with plan and investment changes, targeted employee education and fiduciary support.   Once the Success Plan is established, American Express Retirement Services works with the plan sponsor to research and analyze plan data, ultimately creating a Retirement Strategy. This strategic work includes recommendations for plan design changes, investment changes, new products or services, and targeted employee education opportunities that can affect the plan measures.   Using a “Retirement Plan Diagnostic Management Report” created specifically for each client, BluePrint provides a detailed analysis of retirement plan data to help them better understand participant behaviors and identify opportunity segments in the population where savings decisions can be influenced. Driving these changes in behavior ultimately improves participant retirement readiness and contributes to the overall success of the retirement plan, according to the firm.
  • A Building and Refining stage that focuses on tracking and measuring results over time with improved plan metrics.   This stage is where the Foundation and Framework give rise to the structure of the plan’s success by initiating a series of comprehensive financial and retirement programs over time that deliver on the plan sponsor’s most specific objectives.

American Express Retirement Services also targets communications to distinct segments of employees identified by their retirement plan behavior and other key demographics and life events. Over the course of time, employee behavior changes are mapped in response to the programs and communications are adjusted to further that participant down the path toward retirement readiness in an iterative process.