Recordkeepers can look to best practices for retirement plan participant homepages and dashboards identified in a recent report. Homepages and plan dashboards can have a significant impact on overall satisfaction with the retirement plan digital experience. The results of Corporate Insight’s 2019 DC plan participant survey show that participants generally log in to their recordkeeper’s website for two reasons: to perform a specific task or to check on their accounts. Account check-ins often do not require participants to navigate past the homepage or plan dashboard, as they are key components of participant sites.

Firms should look to the best practices identified in our recent report and webcast:

  1. Prioritize the data that participants feel is most important
  2. Provide retirement readiness sections with modeling and transactional capabilities
  3. Incorporate design elements and data visualizations to maintain a clean display

Prioritize the data that participants feel is most important

The graph below shows the eight most important homepage and plan dashboard data points—based on the percentage of survey respondents who said a metric is “very” or “extremely important”. It also shows the percentage of RPM firms to include each metric on a homepage or dashboard. Firms lacking top-rated metrics should consider integrating them to improve their plan summary experiences.

 

Some of the most important metrics are lacking across recordkeepers’ homepages and dashboards

Metrics dictating best practices for retirement plan participant homepages and dashboards

Provide retirement readiness sections with modeling and transactional capabilities

The results of our survey also show that participants want access to retirement readiness analysis:

  • About 55% of respondents said income projections are “very” or “extremely important,” and 54% said the same about retirement readiness scores
  • Both metrics are common across firms’ homepages and dashboards: 83% list the monthly income projection, and 61% offer a readiness score
  • Retirement income goals and gap analysis provide important context to income projections—something most firms recognize, as 72% of homepages and dashboards include these metrics

The ability to adjust inputs, like contribution rate and retirement age, to view the impact on retirement readiness analysis also proved popular:

  • About 49% of respondents assigned this feature a top-two box importance rating
  • Over half of firms (56%) provide adjustable inputs, and 39% dynamically update retirement readiness data as participants model alternative scenarios

To encourage positive retirement planning behaviors, we consider it a best practice to provide personalized, actionable advice and transactional capabilities within retirement readiness sections:

  • Only 22% of firms offer actionable advice
  • Only 39% allow participants to enact modeled changes from homepages and dashboards

Incorporate design elements and data visualizations to maintain a clean display

Leading homepages and plan dashboards rely on organizational devices to house a wide selection of data without increasing screen length or cluttering page display. This is valuable to participants, with 60% of respondents in our survey saying it is “very” or “extremely important” that pages are concise and do not require excessive scrolling.

Common homepage and dashboard organizational devices include:

  • Intrapage tabs or section view filters (94%)
  • Expandable sections (67%)
  • Carousel sections (38%)

Merrill’s homepage stands out when it comes to content organization, incorporating all these elements.

Merrill's homepage incorporates design elements like intrapage tabs to maintain a clean display. This is an example of best practices for retirement plan participant homepages and dashboards.
Merrill Homepage Activity Center

The benefit of providing a robust selection of homepage data decreases if the site does not communicate the data in an intuitive, digestible manner. Providing effective visuals—like the ones on Fidelity’s dashboard—can help participants absorb information and make more informed judgements. In our survey, 55% of respondents assigned a top-two box importance rating to homepage and dashboard data visualizations.

Fidelity's dashboard includes asset class, investment and contribution source allocation visuals. This is an example of best practices for retirement plan participant homepages and dashboards.
Fidelity Dashboard Your Investments Data Visualizations

Subscribers can read the full report on best practices for retirement plan participant homepages and dashboards on our client portal. Or, for more information on the user experience leading recordkeepers provide to participants, check out our retirement plan participant platform research services.

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