OneAmerica Teams Up With Benartzi on New Retirement Income Product

The personalized strategy to provide a monthly retirement paycheck was designed by behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi; a pilot program is in the field with retirement plan advisers and plan sponsors.

OneAmerica is bringing the retirement income brainchild of industry expert Shlomo Benartzi to market, the Indianapolis-based insurer and annuity provider announced Thursday.

The company, OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., announced a personalized retirement withdrawal strategy called PensionPlus, which is designed to provide a tailored decumulation plan resulting in a monthly paycheck from retirement savings. The product will also allow users to control their plan assets and how they are invested, according to the company.

OneAmerica teamed up with Benartzi on what it is dubbing a “first-of-its-kind solution” that uses behavioral insights and digital “nudges” not used in existing retirement income projections. Benartzi is a behavioral economist who has made his mark in academia, as well as in the private sector, with a specialization in retirement savings and income.

“As people accumulate assets, they also accumulate differences,” Benartzi said in a statement. “This means that personalization is an essential part of retirement income planning. PensionPlus makes it extremely easy for every American to create a sustainable retirement paycheck that fits who they are and what they want.”

PensionPlus, a service platform that is independent from OneAmerica, will ask retirement plan participants approaching retirement to fill out a form that will run projections showing how different preferences can change their retirement income levels, according to the announcement.

Sandy McCarthy, OneAmerica’s president of retirement services, said in the announcement that “participants have been conditioned since their first paycheck to save a portion of their income for their future; yet, when retirement begins, there may be a psychological barrier to reverse course and begin decumulation.”

Advisers and plan sponsors have participated in beta versions of PensionPlus. OneAmerica noted that those first users have appreciated using the service to build customer relationships and that plan sponsors liked the tools ability to help participants understand decisions such as whether to delay Social Security to increase benefits or how to factor family inheritance into their retirement income plan.

“Personalization has always been the key,” McCarthy said in the statement. “Helping participants achieve financial confidence is only possible if what we’re offering them is relevant, meaningful and actionable for that individual at that point in their life. We have to go beyond one-size-fits-all.”

In his academic career, Benartzi is a professor emeritus and co-founder of the behavioral decision-making group at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, according to his website. In the private sector, he is a senior academic adviser for the Voya Behavioral Finance Institute for Innovation—the retirement and investing firms research arm—as well as Acorns, Blast, Lili, Personal Capital and Wisdom Tree.