At the heart of Allianz Global Investors’ PlanSuccess tool are three numbers: 90-10-90. Those numbers form the basis of the firm’s goals for retirement plan advisors.
“The idea is to get 90% of employees participating in the plan,” Cathy Smith, co-director of Allianz Global Investors’ Center for Behavioral Finance, told AdvisorOne on Monday. “We want to get them saving at least 10%.” Then the goal is to get 90% of participants invested in appropriate vehicles, usually some kind of professionally managed fund, Smith said.
“PlanSuccess is a comprehensive system to improve the design of 401(k) plans and defined contribution plans in general from a behavioral perspective,” Smith (left) said.
One of the goals of the tool is to apply available research in a way that makes a difference to advisors, she said.
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“When we founded the center, we didn’t want a think tank or research group,” Smith said. “It’s about taking all the research that’s out there and making it actionable and practical.” The center gets input from financial professionals and does some of its own research as well, she added.
The PlanSuccess tool provides a behavioral audit of defined contribution plans for clients and prospects, but to get access to the tool, advisors have to complete a training program, Smith said. Advisors are invited by the Center’s retirement consultants to go through the program. While there are no prerequisites, Smith said, the retirement consultants are looking for experienced advisors with successful defined contribution practices.