The Invesco DC PlanAnalyzer app offers retirement plan benchmarking data and analysis with more than 42,000 data points. According to Invesco, it is the first of its kind in the industry and allows advisers to benchmark specific plan criteria, quickly and easily, against data from PLANSPONSOR’s annual DC Survey, which this year included 7,021 respondents.
“The inspiration for the app was the laborious processes people had to go through before it was developed,” Terry Kelly, director of retirement sales, Invesco Distributors, told PLANADVISER.
Previously, a consultant had to get together with a representative, fill out a form several pages long with the categories they wanted to see, Kelly said. “Then we’d send a PowerPoint or PDF with the information.”
“Benchmarking is huge in the DC space,” David L. Bachert, media relations director, Invesco Distributors, told PLANADVISER, which means the app can make business more relevant as well as more portable.
Benchmarking data across more than 40 industries and five plan sizes can be accessed, and reporting can be customized with benchmarking information in 11 categories, including auto features, target-date funds, participation and eligibility, and plan oversight.
When the app is downloaded, the adviser has complete usability of the data with no need for wireless access, since all the information is stored on the device. Invesco said the data will be updated annually and pushed automatically to the device.
“Invesco now provides two distinct benchmarking tools for advisers working closely with 401(k)s and other DC plans,” Kelly said. The first is the online tool, which creates a formal, customized benchmarking report that is ideal for annual plan reviews or meetings with prospects.
“And now, with the new app for iPad, we also offer advisers the ability to pull up comparative data quickly, giving them access to all responses to the survey, not just those that match a particular plan—all at the touch of a finger,” Kelly said. “We believe this app is a real game-changer for advisers.”
The app brings specifics to life, Cindy Fontno, senior channel marketer, Invesco Distributors, told PLANADVISER. “You can quickly change from micro size to small to see differences between two different size plans—it helps to do comparisons very quickly,” Fontno explained.
The intuitive design of the app’s features allow an adviser to navigate changes quickly; for instance choosing “advice and advisers” to look at the percentage of plans that use the services of a financial adviser. “You can look at adviser fee arrangements,” Fontno pointed out. “How are advisers getting paid for small and micro plans?”
The user interface allows advisers to change a search immediately without re-entering parameters, and results can be emailed in chart form directly from the app.
“It’s about listening to our clients,” Kelly said. The previous service was very good, but now is much easier to use. “Advisers can log in and look at the information at their own pace, with a client sitting down beside them.”
Instead of wading through 55-page industry reports to find out one data point, which was time-consuming and difficult to use, the app helps to make it easier to deliver information. For those clients who “only want five data points,” Kelly said the company asked how they could come up with a solution for advisers to quickly and easily answer client questions.
“Clients always have a different question than what you originally [expect],” Kelly noted. “The app makes it easier to service clients,” with an interactive capability to answer unanticipated questions. “It is definitely a speedier way to navigate those 55 pages,” Kelly said.
The app is available for iPads, because the company noted which devices were visiting Invesco’s website. “They were all iPads,” Fontno said. “If those numbers change, we’ll certainly explore rolling out an Android version.”
The Invesco DC PlanAnalyzer app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store.
Invesco Distributors is the U.S. distributor for Invesco Ltd.’s retail mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and institutional money market funds.