TIAA’s and Vanguard’s New Retirement Readiness Resources Embody Industry Trends

by on Jul 26, 2017

The proliferation and evolution of retirement readiness resources continue to be of the most prevalent trends within the digital retirement space. As more and more recordkeepers introduce new and upgrade current resources, the selections of retirement readiness tools and calculators available on participants have become increasingly user-friendly and comprehensive. To this point, in 2017 alone, 12 different firms within Corporate Insight’s Retirement Plan Monitor coverage set have introduced new retirement readiness content to their participant sites, ranging from educational articles and videos to comprehensive planning tools. TIAA and Vanguard are two firms that have recently made particularly noteworthy additions.

TIAA recently unveiled a new public site page promoting the TIAA Personal Portfolio program, which provides investment management services and links to two new tools: Retirement Check-Up and Big Purchase. Both tools include particularly intuitive inputs and offer clear, actionable results. The Check-Up tool’s inputs, for example, include an income replacement goal slider that notes the monthly retirement income and offers information about the retirement lifestyle associated with various replacement percentages. The results tell users whether they need to save more for retirement and provides the retirement income projection, goal and gap/surplus with a related infographic.

TIAA Retirement Check-Up Tool

The Big Purchase tool asks users about their savings goals; multiple questions take an in-depth look at their investment styles, for example, whether they are active or passive and what their risk levels are. Throughout the process, the firm provides context to help users accurately answer questions. The results provide a portfolio recommendation, including suggested asset classes and investment allocation percentages.

TIAA Big Purchase Tool

As part of a recent site revamp, Vanguard introduced a new income projection tool that follows many of the best practices outlined in our November 2016 RPM Report on retirement projection resources: it automatically imports participant data to provide immediate results, allows users to input a litany of additional information, supplements data with intuitive visualizations, includes a dynamic modeling feature and allows participants to enact changes directly from the tool.

For both participants’ current and modeled scenarios, the tool’s results include the monthly income projection, goal and surplus/gap with a related infographic that also breaks the projection down by source. Each input on the interface is accompanied by a balloon tip definition, and as users adjust the inputs, the modeled scenarios’ results dynamically update. A link opens screens where participants can enter a litany of additional information if they choose. Participants can save modeled scenarios and enact contribution rate changes directly from the tool.

Vanguard Retirement Income Projection Tool