Introducing Participant Services - a New Multnomah Group Solution


Today we are excited to announce the rollout of our Participant Services solution, a comprehensive financial education and fiduciary advice program for retirement plan participants. The Participant Services solution combines a financial wellness curriculum with fiduciary participant advice to improve employees’ success in achieving a secure retirement.

Over the past 12 years, we have worked with clients to improve the effectiveness of their retirement plan programs. While employers have made great strides in developing fiduciary oversight programs for their retirement plans, reducing fees, and creating diversified investment menus, retirement plan education has largely lagged in terms of its methods and its effectiveness in changing participant behavior to improve retirement outcomes.

Our new Participant Services solution is designed based on our philosophy of participant education and advice. For more information regarding this philosophy, please see our white paper, Addressing Retirement Readiness. While we have been providing participant education and advice services to a few clients for many years, now more than ever we see a need for these services. As the Department of Labor’s recent Conflicts of Interest Rule has made clear, plan sponsors and participants are looking for independent, unbiased fiduciary advice for participants.

The Participant Services solution will consist of two modules. First, Multnomah Group will deliver a financial wellness curriculum to employees either through group presentations or recordings that can be viewed by employees on-demand. Intuitively, we know that retirement planning is just one component of employees’ financial lives. Recently, more and more research is identifying outside factors (student-loan debt, rent, health care costs, etc.) impacting employees’ ability and willingness to save for retirement. Our financial wellness curriculum is able to look beyond the narrow discussion of the retirement plan to help participants understand their full financial life and make informed decisions within that broader context.

The second module consists of fiduciary advice to plan participants. Our fiduciary advice service separately addresses the needs of Young Savers, Accumulators and Pre-Retirees. In our experience, Young Savers and Accumulators are looking for advice that is quick-to-receive and straight to the point. For this group, the primary questions are: “Am I saving enough?” and “How should I be invested?” We are able to quickly answer these questions and give employees next-step action items to improve their financial plan.

Pre-Retirees, however, face a more challenging task. Most have spent their working lives accumulating significant assets but are facing the uncertainty that comes with transitioning into retirement. They have more complicated questions than those asked by the Young Savers and Accumulators; Pre-Retirees have more unique circumstances that need to be addressed. For this group, our advice service works with them to understand how much income they can reasonably expect in retirement, how to maximize social security benefits to supplement their income, and how to convert a portfolio to the steady stream of income that they are accustomed to from their working live. In our experience this is the group that needs the most help and benefits the most from individualized, fiduciary advice.

For more information about Multnomah Group Participant Services, please download our fact sheet. If you would like to talk with us about how our Participant Services solution might work for your organization, please feel free to give us a call.

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