Pension Primer: Need to Align Technology, Processes and Members’ Preferences

Lori Walsh leads Avenu’s team for developing and deploying the Clearview Pension Administration System (CPAS). A veteran of dozens of successful implementations for administrators of defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid plans, Lori is in a unique position to comment on the changes underway within the industry.

Are today’s population demographics changing how pension and benefit administrators communicate to their membership?

The aging population and more millennials in the workforce are having an impact across the globe. Pension and benefit administrators are on the front line in managing the change that comes with shifting populations and how it affects plan administration. Members expect fast service, accurate information, relevant planning tools and anytime access to their personal information. That requires modern technology to deliver communication via multiple channels whether that is a piece of paper, an email or Siri responding to your question.

Administrators are faced with finding solutions to address the generational differences and meaningfully engage members.

So the challenge is to personalize communication in a cost effective and creative manner that engages the entire population?

Plan members have more questions about benefits and financial security as they near retirement, and the number of members advancing to retirement age is on the rise. So education, counselling sessions and planning information tailored to the needs of the individual member is in demand. For plan administrators, this means a shift to a more client service and an education-oriented role instead of administrative recording keeping.  Administrators must have the visibility into member data and access to tools for modern member services including the digital services that are today’s norm.  Avenu’s CPAS provides the modelling tools, analytics and proactive processes to deliver what’s needed for members approaching retirement.

For many administrators and governments, cost control means moving toward cloud deployment, process automation and self-service. Modern systems include the ability to implement new regulations, workflows, detect fraud and deliver a personalized user experience.

In order to meet the growing demands for information and expectations of membership, today’s plan administrators need to be more proactive in adopting newer technologies like Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced security.

What’s the next hurdle in pension administration?

I’ve talked with several administrators who are interested in AI because of the automation and efficiency it brings. CPAS’s patented algorithm is our newest use of AI development to reduce the time and expense in setting up and maintaining complex business, pension and benefit plan rules. Automation can create operational efficiencies that will allow plan administrators the ability to direct their attention to meeting the needs of a multi-generational workforce.