Robo-advisers play increasingly important role

Register now

Technology is increasingly evolving: from miniature scanners that monitor a cancer patient’s chemotherapy treatments right down to financial advice being offered to more than just the 1%.

The retirement landscape should no longer be a one-size-fits-all approach, said Andrew Wank, director of business development at Blooom. From the DIY to the HENRYs (high earners not rich yet), there is a middle group of employees that can be a challenge to reach in providing retirement advice, he added.

Robo-advisers lend themselves to helping employees in all aspects of life, Wank said Wednesday at EBN’s Benefit Forum and Expo in Nashville. “Plan sponsors recognize the limitations of what they’re already doing,” he said. “How can we provide a service or solution?”

Robo-advisers can be that solution, panelists agreed, because they reach all kinds of employees who don’t have easy access to financial advice. It combines technology with a human touch to most benefit employees, Wank said.

“Selecting a robo-adviser is going to be the same sort of process as picking your adviser,” added The Wagner Law Group’s Tom Clark, in agreement. “Make the decision in the best interest of your plan participants.”

And with the DOL’s effects coming into play in April, Betterment for Business’ General Manager, Cynthia Loh, added that while the final rule is widely talked about, it still isn’t very well understood.

“Explore all your options out there,” she advised. “Employees are more likely to engage with digital tools they can look at on their time. But given where we are today, it’s prudent with the DOL rule coming, on what’s out there. Make sure you understand what your fees are and what your employees are getting and what your employees’ needs are.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Robo advisors Retirement readiness Retirement education Retirement income Retirement benefits Retirement planning Benefits Forum & Expo