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Emerging Technological Innovations in the 401(k) Retirement Industry

June 2024

Emerging Technological Innovations in the 401(k) Retirement Industry

David Schmid, AIF®
Vice President
401(k) Plan Advisor

Technological innovations are transforming the 401(k)-retirement sector, offering increased personalization, security, and efficiency. These include AI-driven robo-advisors, blockchain technology, advanced mobile applications, and enhanced cybersecurity measures. These advancements empower individuals to take informed, proactive roles in financial planning.

Here are some key technological trends:

  • Managed Account Programs:
    • Managed accounts use algorithms to provide automated and personalized investment solutions based on an individual's risk tolerance, retirement goals, and other demographic data. This technology makes it easier for 401(k) participants, especially those who have less investment experience, to make informed decisions about their retirement savings.
  • Mobile Applications and Online Tools:
    • Proliferating mobile apps and online platforms allows participants to monitor their accounts, change contribution levels, adjust investment allocations, and view retirement projections. This easy access increases the likelihood of people actively engaging with their retirement savings regularly.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning:
    • AI and machine learning are being used to personalize investment strategies and provide predictive analytics. This can include forecasting future retirement needs or suggesting adjustments based on changing market conditions.
  • Blockchain Technology:
    • While still emerging, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the administration of 401(k) plans. It can enhance the security and transparency of transactions, streamline processing rollovers and loans, and potentially reduce administrative costs.
  • Data Analytics and Big Data:
    • The use of big data and advanced analytics helps plan sponsors and financial advisors gain deeper insights into participant behaviors. This can inform the development of more effective communication strategies and educational resources, tailored to the specific needs of different participant demographics.
  • Cybersecurity Enhancements:
    • As 401(k) plans increasingly rely on digital platforms, cybersecurity has become a major concern. Technological advancements in encryption, multi-factor authentication, and continuous monitoring are crucial for protecting sensitive financial data.
  • Integration with Financial Wellness Programs:
    • Technological integration allows 401(k) plans to be a part of broader financial wellness programs. Participants can have a holistic view of their financial health, including retirement savings, other investments, debts, and budgeting, all on one platform.
  • Personalized Communication and Engagement Tools:
    • Advanced communication tools, including AI-powered chatbots and personalized email campaigns, are being used to engage participants in a more meaningful and effective way. These tools can provide timely information and reminders, helping participants stay on track with their retirement goals.
  • E-Signature and Digital Documentation:
    • Adopting e-signature and digital documentation streamlines the process of plan implementation, enrollment, beneficiary designation, and other administrative tasks, making it more convenient for participants and reducing paperwork for plan administrators.

These innovations are not only making 401(k) plans more user-friendly and efficient, but are also playing a crucial role in helping participants achieve better retirement outcomes through enhanced decision-making tools and personalized strategies.

David Schmid
Vice President
401(k) Plan Advisor
David Schmid is exclusively responsible for managing and advising Parkside Financial Bank & Trust 401(k) plan clients. He works closely with administrative partners to ensure our clients receive the unparalleled service they deserve. David listens to each client’s unique objectives in order to design and maintain a plan that evolves with the growth of the company and the needs of its participants.

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is intended to provide thought-provoking commentary. The information presented herein has been obtained from and is based upon sources and vendors deemed to be reliable, but may be incomplete. Parkside Financial Bank Trust does not itself endorse or guarantee, and assumes no liability for, the accuracy or reliability of any third party data or the financial information contained herein.

Parkside Financial Bank & Trust does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Investments are not insured by the FDIC or any government agency, provide no bank guarantee, are not a deposit and may lose value.

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