CONVERGENCE - Are you ready?
Are you ready for the convergence of retirement, health, and wealth in the workplace employee benefits space from both a people and technology standpoint?
The typical American gets the vast majority of their financial needs taken care of at work by their employer’s compensation and benefits programs. These plans have grown not only in their number, but also in their complexity and cost; yet we continue to ask employees to make annual enrollment decisions that they have little training, education, or experience in making. And decisions made on one employee benefit can dramatically impact not only the affordability of other benefits, but also how other benefits work. Plus…your spouse’s benefit elections where they work can negatively impact your benefit elections.
The decision support matrix of these benefits is converging, necessitating ONE RESOURCE for all your participant’s questions. And these are no longer just benefits questions, but rather they are financial planning issues.
Consequently, retirement, health, and wealth are all converging in the employee benefits space, with worksite financial wellness programs being the mortar that binds them all together. To truly be successful these programs must be much more than pretty technology solutions focusing merely on education and attached to a 401(k) recordkeeping platform that prompts less than 10% of its participants to take any action. But rather, they must coordinate people smarts with great technology that immediately engages the participant, motivates them to add additional information, and provides direct access to professional advisors for actual advice when desired.
The wealth management industry is addressing these financial wellness issues for owners, upper management, and the affluent. But this same industry acknowledges that they have little time or interest in providing this service for the 99% of Americans that they openly refer to as “the underserved.”
Is financial planning the next BIG THING in employee benefits? How does the benefits industry scale to deliver this service profitably to the typical American? And who will provide the technology to “make it REAL?”
The Corona Crash has exposed the poor overall financial health of the American worker. It’s time that we as an industry must find the answers so that we can truly “over-serve the underserved.”