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2016 Monitor Awards Gold Winners: Retirement

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Welcome to the fourth annual Retirement Plan Monitor Awards Report. This report highlights the best retirement plan resources and features that lead the online defined contribution plan participant experience. This year, we distribute awards in six categories: Participant Homepage, Participant Account Data, Transaction Capabilities, Educational Resources, Tools and Calculators and Mobile Participant Experience. Within each category, we award a gold, silver or bronze medal based on how well firms meet our criteria.

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2016 Monitor Awards Gold Winners: Retirement

  1. 1. Retirement Plan Monitor 2016 Gold Medal Winners
  2. 2. Corporate Insight provides competitive intelligence, consulting and user experience research to the nation's leading financial, health and education institutions. For more than two decades, the firm has tracked technological developments in the end-user online experience, identifying best practices in online financial services and investing, mobile finance, social media and other emerging areas. Corporate Insight offers subscription-based Monitor services in 14 verticals, including banking, healthcare and alumni relations, along with custom research, digital capabilities audits, special studies, user research and other consulting services. About CI 2 Connect with CI
  3. 3. Retirement Plan Monitor Awards 3 Connect with CI Welcome to the fourth annual Retirement Plan Monitor Awards Report. This report highlights the best retirement plan resources and features that lead the online defined contribution plan participant experience. This year, we distribute awards in six categories: Participant Homepage, Participant Account Data, Transaction Capabilities, Educational Resources, Tools and Calculators and Mobile Participant Experience. Within each category, we award a gold, silver or bronze medal based on how well firms meet our criteria. The Gold Medal is reserved for capabilities that offer an exceptionally valuable and comprehensive service to customers in a user-friendly, well-designed interface. We award a Silver Medal for functionality that offers strong capabilities while suffering from a few small flaws. Finally, a Bronze Medal goes to features that, though imperfect, offer participants an excellent or uniquely valuable service.
  4. 4. Medal Chart 4 Connect with CI
  5. 5. Category Overview Participant Homepage Participant Account Data Transaction Capabilities Educational Resources Tools and Calculators Promote Your Firm’s 2016 Monitor Awards! Corporate Insight is happy to assist all award-winning firms in promoting their honors. For more information and for examples of past promotions, contact us at pr@corporateinsight.com. Mobile Participant Experience
  6. 6. The homepage is the first place plan participants form an impression of their plan provider, and usage statistics show a significant percentage of participants typically do not advance beyond the homepage when accessing their account information digitally. As such, it is essential for firms to provide a well-balanced, attractive homepage that incorporates a solid selection of account data, resources and links to key site functionality. Homepage organization, account information and on-page resources all feature similar importance ratings in this category. With respect to information and resources, we weigh quality far more heavily than quantity. Participant Homepage 6 Wells Fargo’s significant enhancements to the homepage retirement income projection resources cement its standing as the gold standard for participant homepages for the second consecutive year. The well-organized homepage provides DC plan participants with an impressive selection of plan data and an abundance of desirable features including the unique ability to customize the selection and positioning of account modules on the homepage. © CORPORATE INSIGHT
  7. 7. Participant Account Data 7 A firm understanding of account balances, contribution information, holdings and performance is essential to success in retirement planning. In this category we examine the information and organizational structure that retirement plan providers offer participants to inform them about their retirement accounts. New to this year’s report, we also now include analysis of account documents and statements, which many participants turn to for an understanding of their accounts. We specifically reward firms that not only provide a deep selection of data but also present it in an intuitive manner with visualizations or contextual elements. © CORPORATE INSIGHT The new unified Empower Retirement website earns the firm its first gold after the legacy Great-West platform, which many of the account-related pages are taken from, earned consecutive silver medals in this category. The firm provides best-in-class retirement income projection information directly on the homepage along with an impressive selection of plan- and fund-level balance data supplemented by multiple charts and graphs.
  8. 8. Transaction Capabilities 8 Participants’ ability to manage their retirement plans online instead of through a plan sponsor or intermediary is vital to the digital experience. Accordingly, firms must provide plan participants with the capability to conduct a variety of common transactions online, such as to change the contribution rate, rebalance the portfolio, change current and future investments, conduct a rollover, and take money out of the plan via loans or withdrawals. For this category, we grade the accessibility and usability of each transaction individually and assign varying importance ratings to each transaction as well as the specific features for each. © CORPORATE INSIGHT TIAA made a number of improvements to an already best-in-class suite of online transaction capabilities to bolster the firm’s standing atop the podium in this category and earn its third consecutive gold. The firm provides participants with universal access to all transaction capabilities from dedicated links within the My Account main menu tab. Most transactions include dynamically updating components such as pie charts, graphs and contribution calculators that demonstrate the impact of making the inputted change—a clear best practice.
  9. 9. Educational Resources 9 Financial literacy with retirement concepts is essential to success in retirement planning; however, it represents only one piece of the puzzle. A major hurdle facing participants’ ability to adequately prepare for retirement is outside financial factors, such as student loans, credit card debt and medical expenses. With this in mind, this year we analyze financial wellness and retirement-focused educational content separately within this category, in order to place proper emphasis on the importance of each. Like all other categories in our RPM awards, quality is of paramount importance, far outweighing the simple quantification of the number of resources provided. © CORPORATE INSIGHT Fidelity earns a gold medal for the fourth year in a row, despite adjustments to our research methodology for this category. This year, we analyze financial wellness and retirement-focused educational content separately to emphasize the importance of providing both, as the best retirement plans are formed within the context of participants’ overall financial circumstances.
  10. 10. Tools and Calculators 10 Retirement-focused tools and calculators can help participants accomplish any number of tasks, ranging from providing retirement income estimates to determining the take-home pay impact of changing the deferral rate. However, financial wellness tools that help individuals budget for additional goals, such as saving for college, healthcare expenses, building an emergency fund or a buying new home, are also important. Similar to the Educational Resources category, we analyze financial wellness and retirement-focused tool content separately within this category, in order to place proper emphasis on the importance each offering. We reward firms that offer both comprehensive retirement planners that import account data and provide actionable suggestions as well as basic calculators that help participants accomplish specific tasks. © CORPORATE INSIGHT Fidelity earns its fourth consecutive gold medal in this category. Fidelity created separation between itself and TIAA, which previously shared the gold, by adding multiple calculators, including the When Should You Claim Social Security, Bridging the Gap to Medicare and Power of Small Amounts calculators.
  11. 11. Mobile Participant Experience 11 Mobile accessibility has become a crucial component of the overall DC plan participant digital experience, and our survey data show that engagement with the plan via mobile channels is on the rise. The increased reliance on mobile over desktop computing places a significant emphasis on a highly usable mobile platform. In this category we examine the overall mobile experience provided to participants and specifically reward firms for providing an optimized experience to both phone and tablet users. We grade each firm’s mobile platform individually based on the criteria outlined above, then we weigh each platform based on importance, with phone apps by far the most important, followed by tablet apps and mobile websites. © CORPORATE INSIGHT Fidelity overhauled its tablet app this year and now offers a best-in-class DC plan participant tablet experience, helping the firm increase its podium standing from last year’s silver to a gold. The firm also implemented a number of modern features into both the phone app and mobile site, which provide near-identical experiences, in order to improve the overall user experience of each.
  12. 12. 12 Connect with CI Senior Analyst Retirement Plan Monitor 646-751-6975 away@corporateinsight.com Andrew Way Contact Us

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