Unstable Financial Markets Have US Consumers Keeping Close Eye on Retirement Accounts via Fintech Apps – Report

The unstable financial markets in the United States during the past few years have people keeping a wary eye on their retirement accounts and, increasingly, they are doing so via mobile apps, the team at J.D. Power notes.

According to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Retirement Plan Digital Experience Study, improved market performance has “helped lift overall satisfaction with retirement plan digital tools.”

However, for those firms that want “to differentiate and increase customer satisfaction in good markets and bad, more work needs to be done on digital, especially when it comes to mobile apps.”

Craig Martin, managing director and global head of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power, said:

“The good news is that overall satisfaction with the retirement plan digital experience is up considerably this year, but … it’s clear that retirement plans still have a lot of opportunities to improve their digital offerings.” 

Following are some key findings of the 2023 study:

  • Retirement plan digital experience improves but continues to lag other industries: Overall satisfaction with retirement plan digital experiences increases to 685 (on a 1,000-point scale) this year, a 22-point increase from 2022. However, just 38% of retirement plan participants give their plans high marks for their digital capabilities. Overall satisfaction lags significantly behind other industries in which J.D. Power conducts studies, such as wealth management (701),1 property and casualty insurance (702)2 and automotive (718).
  • Strong digital experiences drive strong bottom line: More than one third (34%) of retirement plan participants who give their provider the highest marks for their digital experience have rolled over money from other retirement accounts, compared with just 20% among clients who give their retirement plans poor ratings on their digital experience.

Jonathan Sundberg, director, digital solutions at J.D. Power, said:

“More clients than ever are interacting with their brands via mobile apps, and when they do, virtually every mark of customer engagement, retention and asset acquisition increases.”

The U.S. Retirement Plan Digital Experience Study, formerly known as the U.S. Retirement Plan Participant Satisfaction Study, “measures customer satisfaction across four factors: information/content; navigation; speed; and visual appeal.”

The study is based “on responses of 5,804 retirement plan participants and was fielded in May-June 2023.”

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