Empower Retirement to launch enhanced web experience to 7.5 million participants

Jul 8, 2015
Press Release

Behavioral data from Empower Retirement Participant Experience shows motivating factors spurring participants to take positive action to drive better retirement outcomes

Empower Retirement, the nation’s second largest retirement services provider, today announced that it will launch an enhanced responsive design website for all 7.5 million Empower plan participants. The new site offers an unrivaled retirement planning experience that integrates modern plan design elements with proven behavioral science to help participants better understand their future savings needs.

“We are taking a significant step forward and launching the new Empower Retirement Participant Experience for the benefit of millions of participants and their families,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, President of Empower Retirement. “This new web user experience builds on our award-winning user interface with enhancements to design and functionality and is aimed at motivating people to create better retirement outcomes.”

The Empower Retirement Participant Experience has been enhanced based on how participants behave and the information they choose to consider when making decisions related to their retirement savings strategy. The site offers a personalized view of a participant’s financial picture, including factors impacting their ability to save, and provides recommended tasks on which participants can take action.

The site is designed to make use of Empower’s state-of-the-art recordkeeping system and uses a fully responsive mobile design to accommodate any device a participant chooses to use including a laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Features include:

  • Healthcare cost estimator: Shows data relating to the potential cost of future healthcare
  • “How Do I Compare?”: Demonstrates how a participant’s retirement preparedness compares to peers in their age, gender or income cohort
  • Personalized retirement income goal-setting: Allows participants to customize retirement income goals
  • Plan-specific, personalized ‘next steps’: Provides expanded, customized action items on which participants can act

In addition, the site can take into account assets held outside the plan and makes Social Security assumptions in its retirement income calculations.

The previous generation site, which was initially launched in 2010, delivers enhancements to design and functionality based on a years-long analysis of factors that drive participant behavior. Empower data shows that participants in defined contribution retirement plans tend to take action when offered personalized tools and information to help them understand specific factors relating to their preparedness for retirement.

For example:

  • Participants who were shown data about the potential monthly cost of healthcare in retirement increased deferrals by 25 percent, going from 8.02 percent to 10.06 percent, on average. Action rates were highest among those closer to retirement, with participants over age 50 taking more action than younger participants. The average age of a participant in the sample group was 41.5 years.1
  • Personal data showing a participant how he or she is faring versus others in the same age, gender, and income cohort also spurred action. Participants in the sample who were, on average, deferring 7.27 percent of their pay toward retirement were found to be inspired to keep up with top peers, by increasing savings to 9.07 percent (25 percent). However, peer comparison usage proved especially effective to a slightly younger audience, with the average user taking action under age 40.2
  • On average, participants increased their deferrals by over 18 percent3 when introduced to specific, personalized information about their retirement preparedness.

“These findings indicate to us that when you engage participants in a way that is meaningful to the individual, they will take action,” said Murphy. “Good savers will become better savers and participants who need to save more will very often do so.”

In addition to the web, each of the site’s features will become part of Empower’s holistic participant engagement strategy. Participants who wish to learn more about their plan through educational seminars, meetings and printed materials will be able to access much of the same information as digital users.