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Wells Fargo Enhances Online Tools for 401(k) Participants

The firm has rolled out three new features designed to encourage participants to visualize their retirement readiness goals and take action. 

By Javier Simon editors@assetinternational.com | March 13, 2017
To help its 401(k) participants boost their savings and manage their accounts, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust has added three new features to its participant website for tablet and desktop users. 

A new How do I compare? dashboard tool presents investors with visuals illustrating the average account balance and saving deferral rates of people in their age group and income levels who are on track to replace at least 80% of their income in retirement. Wells Fargo points to research that indicates that these figures can put participants in a competitive mode and encourage positive behavior by motivating people to save more.

Another addition to the dashboard is the Retirement Income Estimator, which helps participants visualize how close they are to replacing at least 80% of income in retirement. The tool also allows users to model different contribution amounts to see how small changes can impact overall retirement income by using an interactive slider bar with a corresponding graph. The contribution rate slider also highlights next best step recommendations for increasing contributions by increments of 1%, up to the amount needed to take full advantage of the company match if offered. 

The new Manage My Investments page allows users to update investment elections. The page also offers interactive features and visuals to measure the potential impact a particular investment change would have on overall assets. This feature is also accessible via smart phones.

In addition, the firm is enhancing components of its mobile app. If applicable, participants will now be able to sign up for, or change their automatic rebalance settings; choose to invest exclusively in a portfolio of pre-selected investments based on their risk tolerance; or choose to invest exclusively in a diversified investment option based on their date of birth and estimated retirement age. 

These additions to Wells Fargo’s 401(k) management services are examples of an industry trend seeing recordkeepers amping up financial wellness resources. In fact, Wells Fargo’s Financial Health site now offers participants in the accounts it services access to One Little Thing, a dashboard component under the “Simple steps to better financial health” box. It is designed to provide simple tips for better budgeting, debt management, emergency savings building, and student loan repayment.  

“We continue to invest in new digital options for the more than 3 million participants in plans we manage, always with the goal of making it easier to increase retirement savings and drive better outcomes,” says Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. “Providing a participant with information about peers who are better prepared for retirement may spark ideas for changes they can make to increase their retirement savings trajectory. Simplifying the investment options and illustrating them visually can help people quickly manage their investments digitally in one space.”