The beginning of the year often means planning and anticipating new achievements. That’s why this month we would like to ask our experts about what trends they can observe in 2021.
Jared Porter has a proven track record doing everything from client relations to regulatory compliance for massive multiple employer plans (MEPs). His vast experience gives him the vision to lead the disruption of an antiquated 401(k) industry. As co-founder of 401GO, his unrelenting focus has been on increasing the availability of retirement plans for as many hard-working Americans as possible. While the rest of the industry tries to improve broken and antiquated processes, Jared and his team have started from scratch and built a modern 401(k) solution that costs less, is easier to manage, and provides more Americans with the ability to prepare for retirement.
We asked Jared to share what industry trends he does observe, and what major changes in today’s world may affect the wealth management industry and retirement planning. Read his insights below.
There are a few things Jared anticipates in 2021. Among them, one can find the changes in the retirement savings industry and the need to adjust to them.
This is going to be a year of constant discussion on the state of retirement (at least in the industry). You’ll see this coming from the roll out of the Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) and the initiation of states into mandatory retirement savings plans (Secure Choice). You can see this in California, and already in many other states. What this means is companies will need to adjust and be prepared or face possible penalties.
Keeping these possible changes in mind, Jared focuses on helping companies and advisors to smoothly enter the new reality and make retirement plans more affordable.
We see this as an opportunity to really help small businesses that have been hit hardest. We don’t have any setup costs related to the 401(k) plan, and so not only does it remove the friction point on getting started, but makes things very affordable ongoing as well as avoiding the penalties assessed by their state.
The greatest wealth is health
Yet another trend for the following year is health savings.
I think the investment HSA (Health Savings Account) is going to start to gain traction (not be a focal point, but coming into the picture more than has been the case in the past). If there is any legislation to remove the high deductible requirement for the HSA, then this will explode with interest.
According to Jared, there are chances that HSA may become the next great shift in the investment industry and retirement planning in particular.
I’m not sure I see that happening just yet or even in the near future as we’ll have to see what direction will be taken with the new Administration. There have been multiple studies related to younger generations being more engaged with investing and that would also indicate that there is more awareness on saving for the future and investing savings. Investment HSAs are perfectly paired with 401(k) plans, and that can really accentuate the retirement savings benefit for employees.
The new normal influences every aspect of our lives. No wonder that the needs that appeared while the world is working from home may affect the whole industry.
Lastly, and this isn’t related to [the Fintech] industry, but I think there will be a big showing on alternate benefits for employees. In other words, instead of getting the typical PTO (paid time off), there will be options in replacement for the time off. I think that we’re a country of workers that tend to let our PTO build (some never use it).
The new ideas are required to make the PTO replacement meaningful. There are some examples that worth to pay attention to, as Jared says.
There are a number of innovators that are looking to capitalize on this, such as Beny Benefits (getbeny.com) that focus on lifestyle benefits instead of just the PTO accumulation. It’s hard to predict all of these things, but I think that FinTech solutions, such as 401go.com, are providing options to companies from one employee to those with thousands.
Is PPP a missed opportunity?
Regarding the PPP, Jared thinks this was a life-saver for small businesses, especially those hit hardest. The new round of funding can be very helpful for those businesses that need to provide a high level of service.
I would expect any small business to look for support from the PPP in order to continue to provide services that are crucially important. If you’re in the middle of financing and need the ability to extend your runway and keep your innovative solution available, then you should certainly look to get the PPP. If you don’t even try, well, that’s a huge missed opportunity.