Vanguard’s Revamped Participant Site Provides a Modernized, Simplified Digital Experience

by on Apr 20, 2017

Vanguard recently unveiled its new participant website, Vanguard Retirement Plan Access, its 401(k) offering for small and mid-sized plans. The firm introduced a revamped homepage, consolidated main menu and new site design. The new homepage clearly communicates key participant data and houses the firm’s updated Retirement Outlook tool. Its selection of quick links, coupled with the simplified main menu, makes navigating the site easy and efficient. The new design is significantly more appealing than its predecessor and matches that of the plan sponsor site, which the firm also recently revamped. For a full review of the plan sponsor site update, see our post.

The first section of the new homepage lists key retirement readiness metrics, including the total account value at retirement and monthly income, and houses the Retirement Outlook tool. A link asking Is This Enough? opens the tool’s inputs, allowing participants to enter more information or model alternative savings scenarios to update projections dynamically. Participants can then request savings rate changes directly from the homepage.

The new design embodies many of the best practices we here at Corporate Insight outline in our November Retirement Plan Monitor Report on participant site retirement projection resources: the tool provides participants with key data immediately upon login without requiring them to input any information but allows participants looking to engage in deeper planning experiences to provide more information and obtain more precise results. Further, it easily allows participants to see the impact of changing savings strategies on their retirement readiness and allows them to execute changes immediately.

Retirement Outlook Tool – Inputs and Dynamically Updating Results

The ensuing homepage sections clearly communicate many of the most important pieces of account data, including key balance, performance and investment information. Its contextually placed quick links provide easy access to pages where participants can review and manage their portfolios and a dedicated quick links section at the bottom of the page facilitates access to other important site areas. The homepage also highlights and provides links to Vanguard’s Lessons, an impressive suite of multi-media webinars that cover retirement and other financial wellness topics.

Homepage Current Balance and Balance by Quarter Sections

The new, consolidated main menu has only three tabs: Home, My Account and Company Details; previously, it contained seven. The My Account tab facilitates navigation to most site pages, but organizes links into three intuitive categories: Plan Information, Make Changes and Withdraw. Like the sponsor site, the new design features more clearly delineated sections, larger, more readable font and less page clutter. Its more modern appearance reflects the type of site users have come to expect from their financial service providers.

New Main Menu

Vanguard Retirement Plan Access has clearly invested in improving its participant and plan sponsor digital experiences. The new homepage ensures that, immediately upon login, participants can obtain overviews of their current portfolios and retirement readiness and easily navigate to pages where they can take action. The new main menu and design enhancements also make for a more modern and user-friendly online experience. Together, these changes may encourage more participants to log on, review their information and make positive changes and, therefore, may help Vanguard accomplish any recordkeeper’s goal: help people retire with security and confidence.