Dream Forward, a provider of turnkey 401(k) and 403(b) plans for small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofits, has built what it says is the first conversational artificial intelligence (AI) chatbox to address plan participant questions.
To a plan participant, the AI chatbox looks like an online chat with customer service. The 24/7 chat support offers employees easy-to-understand answers to their questions and concerns.
The AI is able to recognize the true meaning behind participant questions such as, “What happens if I get hit by a bus?” for example, by directing participants to set up beneficiary designations. “We’ve built an AI that goes beyond simple keyword matching and instead uses context to support different types of retirement plans and varying levels of user sophistication,” the firm says.
Retirement plan sponsors can customize the AI chatbox by deciding when HR or benefits teams get looped in on specific employee questions.
In addition to helping participants understand their retirement plans, the AI chatbox addresses other financial challenges participants face. For example, if a participant tells the chatbox he cannot save for retirement because he needs to save for his child’s college education first, the chatbox would respond, “Think of it this way. Your child can always get student loans. No one is going to give you a loan for your retirement. Your child could end up having to support you for 20-30 years in your old age because you didn’t save enough for retirement. Make sure your children thrive in adulthood by saving for retirement. It’s actually a much higher priority than you might think.”
According to Dream Forward, it is unrealistic to assume that the average participant will take the time to go through a long online calculator that maps out competing financial priorities. “Over the course of our internal product development and testing, we’ve learned that conversational chat interaction is more effective at getting lower- and middle-income Americans to save for retirement,” the firm says.More information about Dream Forward’s services may be obtained from http://dreamforward.io/for-businesses/.