New York Life Program Aims to Help Employers Tailor Retirement Planning

May 30, 2007 ( - New York Life Investment Management's retirement plan services division has come out with a program to help employers better understand workers' retirement planning behavior by categorizing plan participants into six segments.

According to a press release from the company, the program uses various behavioral, attitudinal and demographic factors to group retirement plan participants into six categories so that employers can tailor their services to participants’ different needs.   

“Delivering the right product and message to the right employee at the right time is a key factor in helping companies do a better job educating employees and encouraging them to participate in their retirement plan,” said Don Salama, senior managing director and head of New York Life Retirement Plan Services. “One-size-fits-all does not work in this industry so we’re helping companies know what best fits the various segments of their participant base and then offering the products to suit their needs.”

One of the six segments include lower-paid participants who are juggling financial priorities, in which case the employer might have to focus on basic 401(k) education concepts as well as offering such “do-it-for-you” tools as managed accounts, which essentially do the investing and saving for the participant, the news release said. Another might include a plan that has a low participation rate, in which case auto enrollment might work best.

The program is based on a similar tactic that retailers use to understand what a customer is likely to want or need in the future. New York Life uses similar behavioral and preference information – derived from sources such as Web interaction, participant data and its own recordkeeping system – along with plan and demographic data, to define personalized participant educational programs.

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