Lincoln Financial recently launched its new participant website with a clear focus on fostering its participants’ understanding of their retirement readiness and overall finances and facilitating engagement with their plans. The firm incorporated responsive design into two key site areas: the participant homepage and, underscoring its emphasis on education, the new Learning Center. The firm also introduced two comprehensive retirement planning resources to the homepage, designed to encourage engagement and action, and a range of financial wellness resources to the Learning Center. By making its sites easy to use on any device and providing participants with resource-rich and interactive content, Lincoln positions itself as a leader in participant education and engagement.
As mobile devices proliferate, more and more people expect websites to present optimized browsing experiences across all types of devices. The demand for mobile retirement plan access is clearly demonstrated by changes within Corporate Insight’s Retirement Plan Monitor coverage group firms: within the past year alone, a total of eight firms have introduced responsive design to at least some areas of their public or participant websites. Lincoln, too, has responded to this demand by incorporating responsive design into its new participant homepage, which includes two robust retirement planning resources, as well as the new Learning Center. The decision to make these two site areas responsive reflects the new site’s emphasis on retirement education.
Lincoln Financial Participant Site Homepage – Mobile and Tablet Views
The new site prominently positions a retirement income projection tool on the participant homepage, underscoring the industry-wide consensus as to the importance and efficacy of income projection tools, a sentiment also reflected among the RPM coverage group: over the course of the past year, 12 firms have made signification additions or improvements to their retirement readiness tools, eight of which added retirement readiness figures directly to homepages. Further, the demand for retirement income projections is clearly demonstrated by recent Corporate Insight survey data, where we polled approximately 1,500 DC plan participants on a myriad of digital-related retirement plan topics. Roughly 63% of all respondents answered that a retirement income projection is a feature that is either extremely important or very important to include on the participant site, and a full tool whose results include this projection was deemed extremely or very important by 65%. However, the data also shows while individuals deem these tools as important, many do not take advantage of their availability; only 24% of all respondents stated they viewed their retirement readiness rating or chart in the previous 12 months, and only 23% used a retirement planning tool. A full report on the survey, Satisfying Today’s Retirement Plan Participant, will be available for purchase in December 2016.
Similar to many of their competitors, Lincoln Financial Group made a clear, concerted effort to close the gap between the number of participants who deem retirement income projection resources as important and those who actually take advantage of the resources made available to them online. Lincoln’s homepage retirement projection tool automatically imports data to provide participants an overview of their retirement readiness immediately upon login. By providing this information directly on the homepage, without requiring participants to input any information, the firm helps ensure that even their less engaged participants have a sense of where they stand in terms of retirement.
The income projection tool’s drilldown approach also encourages participants to engage with the tool and, by extension, their plans. The tool initially displays some general retirement readiness information, but it also prompts participants to enter some basic information to receive a more in-depth look at their retirement readiness, including monthly income projections and related gap analysis. If participants enter this information, the tool then generates a What If I Tried Other Retirement Scenarios? link, encouraging participants to model different scenarios to see the potential impact on their retirement income. As participants model scenarios, the tool generates a Want to Get into More Detail? link, leading participants to the even more robust My Retirement Outlook tool. The homepage also includes an interactive contribution planner. Participants can see the impact that various rate increases could have on their paychecks, retirement contributions and assets at retirements and then change their rates directly from the homepage. The design of the income projection tool ensures that even those who do not engage with the tool will still have access to some retirement readiness information, while also drawing participants into the planning experience with each consecutive step and encouraging them to take action.
Retirement Income Projection Tool
The firm also unveiled a new Learning Center that houses educational articles, tools and calculators. As with income projection tools, there is also growing industry-wide consensus as to the importance of helping participants prepare for retirement not in isolation but in the context of their entire financial lives. Notably, within the past 12 months, eight firms in the RPM coverage group have made significant additions or improvements to their overall financial wellness resources. In keeping with this, the Learning Center includes an ample selection of overall financial wellness resources, including a dedicated Manage Your Finances section that includes articles, videos and tips to help participants “master financial decision making,” as well as life insurance needs and college tuition planners.
Lincoln’s new participant site has a clear focus on retirement readiness and education. Not only does the firm provide the resources participants need to understand their retirement readiness and overall financial wellness, but it takes steps to encourage participants to do more than just learn. By making it easy for participants to access its interactive retirement planning tools and Learning Center from any device, Lincoln facilitates participant education, engagement and action.