Now more than ever, employees are turning to their employers for support as they navigate their finances and plan for the future.
Bank of America has expanded its suite of workplace benefits to include Personal Retirement Strategy, a new digital advisory program that gives employers the opportunity to provide employees with an easy-to-use retirement plan and personalized investment strategy, accessible through a mobile app or desktop.
“Employees are looking for help to navigate the complexities of retirement planning, to really see how their savings can actually translate into a paycheck for the rest of their life,” says Tom Matarazzo, managing director for institutional retirement advisory programs and financial wellness solutions at Bank of America. “Our tool helps close the gap and puts participants in a successful position for the future and addresses those [retirement] stressors and priorities.”
The program, which is managed through Merrill, Bank of America’s investment and wealth management division, will provide employees with no-fee personalized insights, advice and tools as well as access to digital investment management services that will help them prepare for a financially secure retirement.
Retiring with a nice little nest egg is no longer a given for today’s workforce. While TIAA recommends the average employee put 10% to 15% of their yearly income toward retirement, the reality is that saving for the future has become more difficult and less of a priority as employees are burdened with an increasing amount of immediate financial concerns like student loans, child care and health care. Twenty-two percent of employees have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, according to a study by Northwestern Mutual.
“We want to help every employee be successful in achieving their retirement goal,” Matarazzo says of the new Bank of America offering. “And that’s going to start with an intuitive straightforward experience. We wanted to allow participants to be able to go to one place and get all the help that they need.”
In order for employers to meet the specific retirement planning needs of their employees, they must move away from the traditional idea that retirement benefits can be generalized and instead focus on individual needs, he says. By setting employees up with a financial adviser, employers are helping them meet their financial needs today and securing their future.
“If you’re a company that cares about its employees,” Matarazzo says, “then you naturally want to help them with things that they’re concerned about.”