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Fidelity Enhances Guidance for Retirement Plan Participants

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Fidelity Investments on Tuesday rolled out Plan for Life, which is intended to broaden the guidance experience for workplace retirement plan participants.

As part of the Plan for Life launch, the firm said in a statement, it has begun introducing enhancements to the participant offering that will continue into early 2013.

Already this year, Fidelity has increased the number of its workplace guidance phone representatives by 80%. All phone representatives will hold a FINRA Series 7 license, which will allow them to provide help on a wide range of needs from basic transactions and decisions to asset allocation and broader retirement planning needs.

Having seen a 40% increase in employee attendance at onsite planning and guidance sessions during the first four months of 2012 over the same period last year, Fidelity is now offering face-to-face planning consultations, and is opening these sessions to spouses or other family members.

In addition, onsite education programs will use tablets to make it easier for employees to take action and enroll in their workplace savings plans immediately.

Fidelity recently introduced Income Simulator, an interactive tool that shows employees their potential monthly income in retirement. Participants can instantly see the potential effect of any changes they make to their contribution rates, retirement age and asset allocation. The tool makes it easy for participants to take action and implement change.

Fidelity said enhancements scheduled for later this year and into 2013 would allow more account types to be integrated into the experience, and enable a broader benefits view for more robust planning capabilities.

The firm has also begun rolling out a series of major enhancements to intended to deliver a more integrated and intuitive experience to boost employees’ confidence in making decisions. Among other things, it provides specific guidance on various work and life events including starting at or leaving a company, having a child and retirement planning, as well as steps for an annual financial checkup.

“Plan for Life is a reflection of how our participants’ needs have evolved and expanded over the years with competing financial priorities and a heavier reliance on their workplace savings plans to help them plan for retirement,” Julia McCarthy, executive vice president at Fidelity Investments, said in the statement.

“Simply asking employees to save more money from each paycheck no longer addresses many of the challenges our participants are facing in today’s economic environment. Plan for Life and the significant investments we continue to make in our participant experience will help them manage the complexities but simplify the decision-making process.”