John Hancock Retirement today is introducing a new retirement application for participants that is fully in sync with its website, giving participants access to their accounts, along with their balances, additional financial tools and even education and advice tailored to their retirement savings strategies and financial priorities.
“This is much different from what is currently available to participants from competitors,” Sue Reibel, CEO, John Hancock Retirement, tells PLANADVISER. “It includes all of the functions of the website” and makes them available on the native capabilities of a mobile device. “This includes biometrics, thumbprint and facial recognition, and the user doesn’t have to remember a password.”
John Hancock Retirement thinks this is where the evolution of technology is headed, Reibel says. Today, mobile and smartphone users expect financial services apps to include ease of use and biometrics, she notes.
Based on information that customers can voluntarily share with John Hancock Retirement, the app will use “push” notifications to send them reminders of steps they need to take to reach the financial goals they have set.
The net result is that participants’ interactions with the app make them more engaged with their retirement savings accounts, Reibel says.
Research by John Hancock Retirement has found that showing people details on their income and expense projections in retirement prompts 17% more engagement with accounts, as well as 17% more time spent engaged with their accounts, Reibel says. Perhaps even more striking, 94% of users of this app personalize it.
“We think this is a good thing, because it leads to higher savings and better preparedness for retirement,” she says.
The new app uses the existing capabilities of applications that John Hancock Retirement has already rolled out, including the Retirement Income Planner, based on advanced analytics.
“Participants receive individualized guidance and education and can track their progress toward their retirement goals at their convenience in the new app, which we believe adds to better engagement and better outcomes,” Reibel says.
She explains that the app is designed to take users through “layers” of their accounts and goals, and to make important changes to their accounts, such as increasing their deferral rate.
The amazing thing, Reibel says, is all of this can be done “in the palm of your hand.”