Retirement plan health resources are changing the way recordkeepers communicate key metrics and other plan data to sponsors. In the past, many plan sponsors had to rely on reporting tools to gather the information necessary to evaluate their plans’ health. This process could prove difficult, as reporting tools are often complex and time-consuming to use.

In recent years, many recordkeepers have unveiled plan health tools, which communicate this information more efficiently and intuitively. The latest report from Corporate Insight analyzes coverage firms’ online plan health resources.

Plan health resources successfully contextualize data yet fail to foster sponsor engagement with recommendations for next steps

Firms generally provide the essential plan health metrics, like the participation rate (100%) and contribution rate (90%); however, outside of these statistics, there is little consistency across firms’ data suites. Recordkeepers clearly understand the importance of contextualizing data, as an impressive 90% of firms with plan health tools provide benchmarking data, and another 90% offer historical data.

Wells Fargo Outcome Optimizer Plan Health Tool – Average Deferral Rate Benchmarking Data

Throughout the report, we emphasize the importance of balancing comprehensiveness and usability, and overall, firms adhere to practices that help strike that balance. Nearly three-quarters (70%) offer plan health dashboards, and 100% incorporate data visualizations. However, while 80% color-code information to indicate the direction of variance or change, only 30% follow up with recommendations for improving metrics.

Research reveals industry trends for plan health resource offerings

Certain key findings emerged in our review of plan health resources offered by leading retirement recordkeepers. These findings include:

  • Beyond key plan health metrics, firms provide wide-ranging data suites
  • Firms define plan health metrics differently
  • Most firms contextualize metrics with benchmarking and historical data
  • Firms generally strike effective balances between comprehensiveness and usability
  • Over half of firms have made notable changes since 2017

Subscribers can view the full report on retirement plan health resources on our client portal. For access, or for more competitive intelligence on the user experience that recordkeepers provide plan sponsors, check out Corporate Insight’s Retirement Plan Monitor – Institutional research service offerings.