Once upon a time, in the 1990s, most retirement-related transactions had to be initiated via a phone call to a toll-free number. The default option would bring you to a voice response unit (VRU), often also known as interactive voice response (IVR). The caller typically would be offered a menu of options, the last of which would be to speak to a call center representative. Today, with the prominence of the internet and the advent of tablets and smartphones, the VRU/IVR is clearly a thing of the past. According to the latest data from Vanguard's How America Saves, series, VRU access is minimal at best when it comes to retirement plan transactions. Four out of five transactions (82%) are done online, Only 15% are done via a call center representative. A mere 3% are via the VRU. According to Vanguard, 90% or more of deferral rate changes, contribution allocation changes, and exchanges are done online. The one area that had a moderately substantial degree of VRU access was the initiation of plan loans (13%). Additionally, many participants spoke with call center representatives when withdrawing their account balances (46%). The Vanguard data reflects the company's client base, encompassing over 3 million participants. There are many other interesting findings, including the rebound of account balances from five years ago and the increasing prevalence of participant preference for professionally managed accounts.
Blog Author - Ken Felsher
With over 25 years of writing, editing, and research experience. I enjoy sharing with my readers my love of working with content on a variety of subjects.