Financial wellness programs offer the advisor an opportunity to use creative ways to provide value-added services and programs to their plan sponsor clients. This support can range from broad-based programs to specific services.
LIMRA SRI finds almost all DC advisors who provide financial wellness services offer retirement savings services and investing support (96 percent and 95 percent respectively). Other financial wellness offerings include:
- Rainy day / emergency funds (71%),
- Budgeting and managing spending (66%),
- College savings (66%),
- Short-term saving to support planned expenses (59%) and
- Managing debt including college loans and credit cards (58%)
While most advisors support financial wellness services, managing debt is one of the least likely features to be included in the wellness programs, but as previous LIMRA SRI research has found, it has one of the strongest ties to one’s retirement savings. Helping advisors add this benefit to their offerings will increase their competitiveness as well as the effectiveness of their DC plans. Alleviating financial stress, especially around retirement, has widespread benefits for plan sponsors and their participants.
LIMRA SRI finds advisors who include wellness offerings are also more likely to include other key participant services such as advice to plan participants, retirement income advice, advice to departing participants and custom allocation models.
While LIMRA SRI research shows most advisor groups are not inclined to increase the services they offer, 15 percent of those who don’t currently offer financial wellness said they planned to do so in the next two years. In general, for those groups not looking to increase the number of services they offer, the best way to add value to their current offerings would be to enhance the services they already offer in their portfolio.