Prudential Retirement has introduced several technology tools designed to help participants, plan sponsors and intermediaries take more positive steps toward improving retirement savings.

The new tools, which leverage behavioral research, include an update to Prudential Retirement’s Retirement Income Calculator (RIC) and the introduction of the Day One Achievement Meter, Quick Join and Plan Health.

In a collaborative effort, both Prudential Investments and Prudential Retirement also launched "Experience Day One," an interactive web site designed to educate participants about how on-going life changes or milestones can affect their retirement savings goals. It differentiates itself from the old "set it and forget" approach to retirement planning. Since the roll out, there has been significant improvement in positive retirement outcomes.

"Over the years, we’ve used behavioral research as a foundation to learn what common behaviors keep people from saving and what motivates people to plan for a secure retirement," said Veronica Charcalla, vice president of Total Retirement Solutions for Prudential Retirement. "Drawing on this unique behavioral research, we’ve redesigned our Retirement Income Calculator to incorporate personalized, interactive and visual features. Understanding what truly motivates decision-making is driving our investment in this digital experience."

Retirement Income Calculator (RIC)

Since going live with the new RIC, the number of new users per month has tripled, and the number of participants who increase their contributions has doubled.

The RIC now offers a personalized report and action plan for participants, with specific, practical savings recommendations and a convenient "Do It" button, making it easy to implement those recommendations. The images portrayed throughout the experience help participants visualize their life in retirement based on the activities they imagine themselves enjoying. Every time a participant logs in, they see those visual reminders of what they’re saving for.

Day One Achievement Meter

This engaging tool offers a quick and easy visual representation for plan participants, measuring at a glance how people are fully benefitting from their retirement plan. This interactive tool illustrates positive savings habits and detractors in a way that’s more personal for the user.

Using the techniques of "gamification," users are encouraged to take positive actions such as repaying loans or increasing contributions to get the meter headed in the right direction.

Quick Join

Quick Join is a mobile ready web site that allows users to join their employer’s defined contribution retirement plan within minutes. The web site eliminates the need to register and offers participants the chance to enroll with one click, giving them the opportunity to join with pre-selected options from their employer or choose their contribution percentage and investment style on their own, based on their risk tolerance

Plan Health

Plan Health is a web tool that gives plan sponsors and advisors quick access to information that can diagnose the health of their retirement plan, such as cash-flow details and how long a participant has been enrolled in the plan. It also includes industry benchmarks for key metrics such as participation rate and average account balance, and allows plan sponsors and intermediaries to gauge the effectiveness of a plan and make appropriate changes to better prepare participants for their Day One of retirement.

Experience Day One Funds

Experience Day One Funds is an interactive web site designed to get people to picture their life in retirement. The web site features animations which illustrate two fictitious characters’ different paths to retirement beginning during the year they enrolled in the Day One Funds.

The animations chronicle realistic life changes that can affect how much money people contribute to retirement, during life events such as repaying college loans, marriage, starting a family, buying a home, becoming a caregiver for a parent, starting a business, and receiving an inheritance. Experience Day One Funds is a joint effort of Prudential Retirement and Prudential Investments.

"Every person’s path to retirement is different, so we wanted to convey this to plan participants in a way that was educational, but also relatable and engaging," said Michael Rosenberg, executive vice president and head of IODC Distribution for Prudential Investments. "With our new Experience Day One Funds web site, we used a series of visual animations interwoven with key facts and statistics to illustrate how goals and life choices can impact a person’s path to retirement, and while engaging participants continues to be one of the most important areas of successful retirement planning, these animations get people thinking about what their own lives can potentially look like with proper planning and effective savings decisions."

Prudential Retirement delivers retirement plan solutions for public, private, and non-profit organizations. Services include state-of-the-art record keeping, administrative services, investment management, comprehensive employee investment education and communications, and trustee services.

With over 85 years of retirement experience, Prudential Retirement helps meet the needs of approximately 4.0 million participants and annuitants. Prudential Retirement has $327.8 billion in retirement account values as of March 31, 2014. Retirement products and services are provided by Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company (PRIAC), Hartford, CT, or its affiliates.