New Tool Helps Participants Project Retirement Readiness

John Hancock's retirement planner suggests steps that will help participants get on track if they’re behind or improve their general financial health if they’re retirement ready.

John Hancock Retirement has introduced a digital tool for individuals in retirement plans it serves to help them project their own retirement readiness and model the impact of taking different steps to improve it.

The retirement planner, located on a newly redesigned participant website, goes beyond providing projections based on a flat income replacement ratio. Instead, it shows retirement readiness based on an individual’s personal projected spending in retirement using demographic and behavioral data points that consider shifts in lifestyle over the course of one’s retirement. Helping participants better understand their expenses in retirement allows them to implement the most appropriate withdrawal strategy based on individual income sources and needs such as health, lifestyle and other assets.

Using each participant’s current retirement funds and savings strategy, John Hancock’s retirement planner provides insight into longevity risk, future spending patterns and predictive analytics to generate a personalized projection of how income in retirement compares with the anticipated costs over the course of the participant’s retirement years. Participants receive a personalized action plan with steps that will help them get on track if they’re behind or improve their general financial health if they’re retirement ready.

Participants can also adjust and model several variables in the retirement planner, such as when and where they plan to retire and their health status, lifestyle and outside savings, to see how different inputs can affect their retirement outcomes. Addressing participant concerns about health issues in retirement, the retirement planner factors personal health data into both the analysis tool and actual needs projection. This helps provide a unique, and more accurate, scenario for individual participants, rather than relying on base assumptions using the same income replacement ratio for everyone. The company notes that health data is not retained due to privacy reasons, but the impact of the health information is retained in the projection.

“We know from our research that more than half of participants feel they are behind in savings for retirement, and nine out of 10 participants agree that projections of their retirement expenses would motivate them to save more. The retirement planner has the potential to encourage greater engagement and to drive more positive action resulting in better preparation for participants when it comes to their retirement,” says Sosseh Malkhassian, head of participant experience, John Hancock Retirement. “We’re using customer-centric design to enhance our participant experience, and this tool makes planning personal for each participant and provides suggested contribution level guidance that can be easily implemented in just two clicks.”

“The retirement planner addresses top concerns and satisfies the needs of participants as they plan and prepare for retirement, giving them a realistic and tangible retirement goal,” says Patrick Murphy, CEO of John Hancock Retirement. “And in times of increased uncertainty, we want to reinforce that having a plan is the very best way to stay focused on what can be controlled and alleviate the stress that can accompany the unknown.”