TIAA Says New Mobile Enrollment Experience Is a Sign of the Times

Consumers spent a collective 1.6 trillion hours on mobile devices during the first half of 2020, with a 220% increase in time spent on business apps.

TIAA has introduced a new mobile platform that makes it easier for retirement plan participants to manage their accounts.

The firm says the enhanced experience allows clients to quickly and securely enroll in their plans, change contributions, set investment strategies and update personal details. The platform compresses the enrollment process into a small number of steps and provides recommendations for participants who may need guidance.

“It is important that plan sponsors continue to encourage retirement plan participation—even in times of crisis—to help create positive long-term financial outcomes for their participants,” says Doug Chittenden, head of institutional relationships at TIAA.

Chittenden says the mobile experience features a “sleek and responsive design” that shows participants only the most important and action-oriented information, in order to ease the on-boarding process and help facilitate the right decisions. The firm says these updates will help participants save for their retirement as they navigate unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19.

One notable feature of the mobile experience is the presentation of three investment approaches. These include the “choose for me” option, in which participants will be quickly enrolled based on their plan sponsor’s default option; the “help me choose” option, in which TIAA will walk participants through options based on their retirement goals and help them make decisions on all account options, including information on how guaranteed income can impact a participant’s financial future; and finally an option labeled as “choose from a list of available investments.” This final option is meant for participants interested in creating their own asset allocation, who can choose from a list of available investment options.

The announcement from TIAA reflects the increasing digitization of the retirement plan onboarding and account management process. This dynamic was already playing out prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but as TIAA’s leadership explains, the challenges presented by social distancing and remote-first work environments have redoubled the importance of digital plan management technologies.