Tech easing retirement enrollmentNews added by Benefits Pro on January 21, 2014

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By Paula Aven Gladych

Advances in technology are making it easier to sign up for a retirement plan.

Principal Financial Group launched a quick enrollment option for its retirement plan participants that allows them to sign up for retirement via text message.

Traditionally, employees have signed up for their employer’s 401(k) retirement plan with a paper form or an extensive online process, but the new method allows individuals to sign up with a simple text message or through a mobile-friendly website.

Once individuals have chosen their contribution amount by text message or the quick enrollment website, new participants can then select their investment elections online or by phone. This can be done at the same time or at a time convenient for the individual.

Quick enrollment is part of an overall new approach to workplace retirement that focuses on helping individuals achieve retirement readiness or an adequate income in retirement.

As part of this effort, The Principal recently introduced Principal PlanWorks, a strategy that uses key retirement plan design features to help get participants on track to save more for retirement.

“We’ve studied savings behavior with a focus on the difference between what people do and what they say when it comes to preparing for retirement,” said Jerry Patterson, senior vice president of retirement income strategy at The Principal. “Through our research we’ve learned there are some powerful forces in our nature that can get in the way of preparing for and becoming financially secure in retirement. As a result we’re aggressively making changes such as text enrollment to enable us to help put individuals on track toward a more successful retirement.”

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