Navigating the Next Normal in the Retirement Industry

Coming out of a transformative event such as the COVID-19 pandemic, people may look for a “new normal.” At the same time, the pace of change we all face may lead to a series of “next normals” vs. a singular new normal. In this article, we consider: What will the series of next normals be for the retirement plan industry?

The needs of plan sponsors and savers are changing, and that means advisors may want to view their services differently, too. A next normal value proposition needs to look beyond the “three Fs” of funds, fees and fiduciary to include customized plan design and robust client engagement.

Enhancing retirement readiness

Customized plan design seeks to optimize participant outcomes and income replacement through tools like auto enrollment, auto escalation and stretch matches. Additionally, intentional engagement focuses on addressing holistic needs, including financial planning, budgeting, emergency savings and overall wellness.

Employers and workers are already signaling change. We observe an example of the next normal in the participant’s view around saving and finance. Our 2024 Voice of the American Workplace Survey indicates the importance of financial wellbeing is rising among workers. Two-thirds of workers surveyed (65%) said they have overhauled their relationship with money.