close up of Alexa speaker device Alexa-enabled devices that also have a built-in display capability such as Echo Show will be able to show onscreen information to retirement plan participants. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Just ask Alexa.

That’s what John Hancock Retirement Plan Services is hoping plan participants will do now that it’s added participant access to personalized information, including frequently-asked account queries, through Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

By saying, “Alexa, open John Hancock,” and then providing a “secure and personalized voice code,” participants will be able to ask for information on account and loan balances, fund allocations, personal rates of return and contact information for the plan, among other things.

In addition, Alexa-enabled devices that also have a built-in display capability such as Echo Show will be able to show participants information onscreen.

“Our goal is to make it easier for people in our plans to save more for retirement, and to do that we want to provide the personal information they need in the ways they want to receive it,” Patrick Murphy, president and CEO of John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, said in a statement.

Murphy adds, “With the growth in voice-enabled technology, we’re pleased to offer services which provide quick, secure access to important account information.”

Participants concerned about security are advised that a range of safety measures are incorporated into the system to protect their data. Multifactor authentication verifies a participant’s identity during account linking.

In addition, participants must set up a secure voice code when they first enable the skill in the Alexa app, and recite it correctly before getting access to any account information.

No participant account information is recorded or maintained on their Alexa-enabled device or in the hardware servers storing their Amazon account.

Murphy continues, “Technology evolves so quickly and whether or not Alexa becomes the method of choice for participants to securely obtain account information, it is a valuable tool for learning what helps our customers take action when it comes to their retirements.”