2017 Retirement Plan Mobile Enhancements

by on Jan 26, 2018

Over the course of 2017, multiple Retirement Plan Monitor coverage group firms launched new mobile apps and revamped existing apps, integrating more account data, introducing transaction capabilities and harnessing new mobile technologies to add app features. These are all welcomed enhancements as Americans continue to increase their already-high level of dependency on mobile devices for internet access. A recent report finds that in the U.S., 71% of time spent online is on mobile devices, and 87% of time spent on those mobile devices is in apps. In the following sections, we review this past year’s major mobile enhancements and link each firm name to the corresponding RPM Update covering the related change in full; each section lists changes chronologically.

Four firms introduced new mobile apps across a variety of device types:

  • Prudential launched phone and tablet apps that allow users to easily review balance, performance, investment and contributions data and to update their salary deferral elections in a few simple steps. For more information, see our blog post covering the apps.
  • Empower Retirement introduced an iPad app. Identical to its smartphone counterpart, it includes a retirement readiness tool, basic account data and some transactional capabilities.
  • Lincoln Financial Group added an Apple Watch app that allows participants to view balance and allocations data, a transaction history, and their income projection and goal.
  • MassMutual unveiled its RetireSmart app, which provides a mobile-optimized version of the firm’s retirement income projection tool.

Prudential App Home Screen, Lincoln Apple Watch Screens and MassMutual Retirement Calculator Results Screen

Four firms made significant improvements to mobile apps:

  • Transamerica revamped its phone app to provide access to versions of the participant site’s responsively designed pages. The app now features more account data screens, the income projection tool includes modeling components and participants can conduct contribution rate and current and future investment allocation transactions.
  • Vanguard updated its mobile app home screen to reflect participant site changes, with notable additions including a monthly retirement income projection with gap/surplus analysis and personalized, recommended action items.
  • Charles Schwab also updated its phone app home screen to reflect participant site changes, adding a retirement income projection tool with a modeling feature and robust peer comparison data with numerous data visualizations.
  • MassMutual revamped its mobile app home screen, adding significantly more account data.


Transamerica (Left) and Charles Schwab (Center) App Income Projection Tools and MassMutual Home Screen

Three firms introduced mobile transactional capabilities:

  • TIAA added a fund exchange transaction.
  • Lincoln introduced a contribution rate transaction that allows users to adjust their rates with a single click.
  • Fidelity added beneficiary management capabilities.

Seven firms integrated new mobile technologies into mobile app offerings: