Security Benefit has launched its first mobile app for retirement plan participants, called My Security Benefit. It covers 401(k)s, 493(b)s and other types of defined contribution (DC) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts (IRA)s.
Greg Kratz, head of mutual fund platforms, tells PLANADVISER that the application is intuitive and multi-functional. “You can get your account balance, review contributions and track investment performance,” Kratz says. “One of the things we are excited about is the retirement calculator. It allows users anywhere, or with the help of their adviser, to rightsize their contributions based on their personal goals, to enhance their retirement readiness. It walks participants through five questions, including their salary, deferral rate, outside assets or savings and what percentage of their salary they would like to live on in retirement. If they don’t know the answer to a question, to make it easy to use, the calculator tells the participant what the typical answer is.”
The calculator then can tell the participant if they are on track for a successful retirement or if they need to make adjustments, Kratz says. The score is based on a value of zero to 100.
Participants can change their allocations through the mobile app, Kratz says, but to increase their deferral rate, they need to work with their employer.
Doug Wolff, senior vice president of Security Benefit, adds: “What we are really trying to do is bring the services and technological conveniences you typically find in a large 401(k) plan to the smaller 401(k) and 403(b) market and the advisers that serve these plans.”
In conjunction with the new application, Security Benefit is also rolling out a new platform that combines health care and wealth management. The platform includes educational articles on a range of topics. When participants take classes, they receive points that they can redeem at large retailers, Kratz says. “You can even sync your fitness tracker to the platform and build points when you take steps. Enrollment is paperless, which is another feature we think clients will like.”
On the investment side, the platform offers SmartChoice, an open architecture investment platform that offers fiduciary services to advisers, he says. “But if a sponsor or adviser wants to use their own fiduciary services, we can unbundle this,” Kratz says.
Wolff adds: “While this has been a time when many companies have taken a step back or paused in the retirement space, we have been moving forward and upgrading our service capabilities to improve the experience and ease of use for retirement plan participants.” Wolff adds that the interactive nature of the app gives financial professionals the opportunity for more contact with participants, on a more consistent basis, which advisers should find particularly useful at this time of COVID-19 lockdowns preventing many advisers from having group or one-on-one meetings with participants.