Great-West Life has launched smartPATH 2.0, an interactive online resource designed to help employers better engage their employees in retirement education, planning and saving.

Presented in a first-person point of view, the immersive and virtual neighbourhood can be customized to reflect the details of each participating employer’s specific group retirement and savings plan. Informative touch points throughout the experience educate members about their specific group retirement and savings plan, while encouraging and facilitating enrolment.

Responsive design makes the website accessible from desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices, allowing potential members to view and participate whenever and wherever they want.

"According to conventional industry thinking, people take a rational and logical approach to planning for retirement," says Jeff Aarssen , Vice-President of Group Retirement Services Sales and Marketing for Great-West Life. "In reality, many employees with access to a work pension plan are still not on track to achieve adequate retirement income because they fail to participate or fully engage in their employer-sponsored retirement program – even when there is a matching employer contribution," he adds.

Aarssen says behavioural finance theory has found these decisions are strongly influenced by emotion, psychology and mental shortcuts, citing a recent industry survey of capital accumulation plan members that found unengaged members wanted employers to present educational information in more interesting and motivating ways.

"SmartPATH 2.0 was designed using behavioural finance and motivational theory," Aarssen explains. "This approach acknowledges the role emotions play in financial decision-making, and provides information in a manner that appeals to a broad range of ages and learning styles, so we can help people make better financial decisions."

A new video highlights a selection of the resources available to Great-West Life plan members once they sign in to smartPATH 2.0.