PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 37

planning at eMoney Advisor in Philadelphia. Communicating
with employees and gauging the state of their
finances is crucial when choosing benefit strategies.
Advisers and employers can then utilize employee feedback
to make improvements to their wellness benefit offerings-e.g.,
provide holistic education and technology that
addresses the workforce's physical, mental, spiritual and
relational, as well as financial and health needs. In doing so,
Revelli says, they can foster a workplace community dedicated
to financial well-being.
Hockenmaier concurs, adding that the best programs are
those that suit the overall participant demographic, whether
they include voluntary benefits such as student loan debt
assistance, an emergency savings plan, longevity insurance
or disability insurance.
Hub International firms assess their clients' participants
individually, based on personal information such as age and
gender, plus they also evaluate the company's workforce
overall-in doing the latter, they consider variables such as
industry, region and geography.
The goal of the analysis is to create the ideal financial
wellness program for that group of participants, explains
Daniel Bryant, president of retirement and private wealth
for Sheridan Road Financial, a division of Hub, in Northbrook,
Illinois. Bryant says he believes that, in the future,
participant data and analytics will exclusively drive what
tools and benefits get offered. " Fast forward the next couple
of years, employers won't need to provide a bunch of benefits
their employees will not want, " he contends.
However, while wellness programs typically aim to
correct existing personal finance problems, there are core
benefits that help employees work toward financial security
throughout their career. Retirement, for example, is one
of the primary benefits employers offer their workers that
leads to financial security, Hockenmaier notes.
Health-care benefits, including health savings accounts
(HSAs), are also widely requested by employees, who see
them as a priority and a key to financial security. Additionally,
employees view emergency savings benefits, student
loan debt repayment and debt negotiation as being contributors
to financial wellness-and success.
Just as the definition of " financial security " is different
to each participant, what a program needs in order to help
people achieve it differs among the providers. For instance,
some providers' strategy is to help plan participants work
toward saving at their optimum deferral rate, while others
stress budgeting or saving.
Plan sponsors can coordinate all services through one
provider or work with unrelated providers that each supply
a benefit. Hockenmaier points to how crucial advisers are in
helping plan sponsors select and understand each option,
especially as more providers launch new offerings-e.g.,
recordkeepers integrating third-party vendors' services
while also developing their own solutions.
" We've seen a revolution in the recordkeeping space,
where they're really starting to offer these other services
such as student loan refinancing capabilities, budgeting
capabilities, managed accounts, etc., " she says.
Deliberation and Integration
Voya partners with third-party administrators (TPAs) that
specialize in financial wellness benefits, including student
loan debt refinancing and caregiving assistance, and offers
the programs to advisers who successfully recommend it
as recordkeeper.
When selecting a provider, Jeff Cimini, head of retirement
product at Voya in Windsor, Connecticut, values the
expertise and experience a TPA brings to the financial wellness
equation. He also appreciates how collaborating can
streamline the process. " A lot of it is integration, which we
can work on together, so the participant thinks of it as a
single experience, " he says.
Other programs were integrated into Voya's financial
wellness plan after advisers requested them for their
clients, Cimini says. One such program was Wellthy, a caregiving
support and counseling service. " Our thought process
is that our clients are looking for this, and if their employees
really like the financial experience they have with us as
their retirement plan provider, then we can partner with
somebody who has expanded content into other areas of
[participants'] financial lives, " he says.
The employee, his needs and the steps necessary for
him to achieve financial wellness all should be kept in
mind when considering integration with multiple service
providers, vs. one recordkeeper, Bryant says. A possible
downside to working with one recordkeeper end to end is,
if a plan sponsor changes recordkeepers, it will lose access
to all of the integrated benefits. To mitigate this problem,
Hub International works with FinPath, a cloud-based technology
that also integrates with WorkDay; this helps the
participant. " So if you leave, you can take it with you, " says
Bryant. The key is having a cloud-based, portable end-toend
solution. "
Advisers should know the amount of complexity participants
will face when trying to obtain each service the
sponsor provides, Hockenmaier points out. Say an offering
is linked-to on an employer's benefit site-ask yourself
how many steps it will take for an employee to access the
program. " We know that if things are easy, employees will
be more likely to adopt them, " she says. " If it's complicated,
that could be a big hurdle to utilization. "
An obstacle to simplifying authentication is the need
for tight cybersecurity measures, especially when working
with significant financial information. Hockenmaier recommends
helping the sponsor understand what it needs in
cybersecurity services and also what potential risks can be
mitigated through contracting with the correct provider.
However the benefits are integrated, Hockenmaier says
to encourage the provider to verbally interact with participants
and not let it only supply an online tool. This can
boost engagement with the program and financial security,
too. A wellness provider that can meet participants where
they are, and adjust its offerings accordingly, will produce
better results for them, she says. -Amanda Umpierrez
planadviser.com September-October 2021 | 37
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PLANADVISER - September/October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - September/October 2021

Masterminds of the Plan
"PLANADVISER’s 2021 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers"
How to Optimize Connections
Defining Roles
Building Strategic Partnerships
Different Strokes
Cybersecurity Considerations
Provider Recommendations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover1
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover2
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 1
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 2
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 3
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 4
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 5
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 6
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 7
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 8
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 9
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 10
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 11
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 12
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 13
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 14
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 15
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 16
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 17
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Masterminds of the Plan
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 19
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 20
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 21
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - "PLANADVISER’s 2021 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers"
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 23
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 24
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 25
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 26
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 27
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - How to Optimize Connections
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 29
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 30
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 31
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Defining Roles
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 33
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Building Strategic Partnerships
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 35
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Different Strokes
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 37
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cybersecurity Considerations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Provider Recommendations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 40
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover3
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover4
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