Recordkeepers Amping Up Financial Wellness Resources

Forty percent of the recordkeepers within Corporate Insight’s Retirement Plan Monitor (RPM) coverage group are either completely overhauling or making significant enhancements to existing content.

The majority of the recordkeepers within Corporate Insight’s Retirement Plan Monitor (RPM) coverage group recognize the importance of providing holistic financial wellness education: 80% provide enough content to warrant coverage in its report, which identifies 38 financial wellness topics.

Focusing on financial wellness education is one of the past year’s most prominent trends in the digital retirement space, with 75% of RPM firms adding new financial wellness content to their participant websites and 40% either completely overhauling or making significant enhancements to existing content.

Firms employ a variety of techniques to create more engaging educational content. The use of narratives in content can help make the information more relatable to participants as opposed to simply providing dry information on the topic at hand, Corporate Insight says. Approximately 56% of firms covered in the report frame at least some of their financial wellness educational content as narratives. Coverage group firms also provide resources that encourage interactivity, such as worksheets, quizzes, lessons, tutorials and games. Three-quarters of firms provide at least one interactive financial-wellness-themed quiz on the participant site, 56% provide worksheets or checklists, and half feature curriculum-based lessons or tutorials.

Ten of the 16 firms covered in the report (63%) provide participant site educational materials that cover at least half of the 38 topics identified. Every firm offers content that focuses on general investing tips or strategies and Social Security. Three-fourths of the firms provide materials on asset classes, estate planning, managing debt, college savings/debt and savings strategies/priorities. At least half of firms cover 16 additional financial wellness-related topics, including creating a budget (69%), health care costs (63%), life insurance (63%), taxes (56%) and emotional investing (50%). Fewer than half of the group provides content on the following noteworthy topics: long-term care insurance (44%), identity theft (44%), women and finances/investing (38%) and caring for aging relatives (31%).

NEXT: Easy access

Coverage group firms’ participant websites generally provide easy access to financial wellness educational content. Twelve firms (75%) employ an education center that centrally houses the majority of available content, a best practice that expedites navigation to specific resources. Of the 12 firms that provide an education center, seven (58%) offer access to it from a dedicated main menu tab and four (33%) from a subtab or flyout menu link. Many of these firms also implement a variety of additional features that further enhance what Corporate Insight calls the findability of specific content, such as organizing resources by topic (92%), allowing users to filter materials by topic (42%) or medium (25%), and organizing content by reader acumen level (17%).

Firms also employ a number of features to enhance the findability of resources beyond housing them in a centralized education center. Approximately 88% provide homepage quick links to educational content, and 62% offer links to related content on various participant site pages, such as transactional screens and account data pages. Firms also provide links on educational resources that lead users to related educational content (75%), tools or calculators (62%) or transactions and/or account data pages (13%).

In addition to ensuring participants can locate the financial wellness content on the participant site, multiple leading recordkeepers go one step further to promote select content. Six firms (38%) highlight featured content on the participant site through dedicated sections on the homepage or within the centralized education center.

A synopsis of the report may be found here.