Financial Engines Offers Advice to More 401(k) Participants

Participants no longer have to be enrolled in the managed account program to speak with an investment adviser.

Financial Engines is making its investment adviser representatives available to more customers.

Now, all 401(k) participants with direct access to Financial Engines can pick up the phone and talk with a Financial Engines adviser at no additional charge—whether they use the company’s investment advisory services or not. Previously, access to the company’s advisors was a feature for those enrolled in the Financial Engines managed account program

Financial Engines’ advisers are experienced and licensed, and provide plan participants with personal, unbiased help with retirement plan accounts, income planning and a variety of financial topics. Participants can reach advisers via phone, webcam and live chat. Advisers are non-commissioned and do not sell investment products.

Financial Engines’ advisers can talk with participants about their specific situations, including analysis of their retirement plan and outside accounts, savings rate recommendations, and assistance with Social Security claiming strategies. In addition, they can help participants with a variety of other topics that can impact a participant’s financial wellbeing, including

  • How to respond to market volatility;
  • How to use target-date funds appropriately; and
  • Other financial wellness topics, including budgeting, creating a rainy day fund and deciding between Roth and traditional IRA programs.

“We’ve found that many 401(k) participants value the ability to talk with a financial professional, and that has informed our hybrid strategy that combines technology-enabled advice with a human touch,” says Kelly O’Donnell, a Financial Engines executive vice president. “Plan sponsors want their participants to have access to conflict-free advisers. This enhancement makes broader access to our advisers official so that more people—regardless of account balance and at no cost to them—can get the independent help they need.”