FINANCIAL WELLNESS

Helping employees take charge of their futures

With April being financial literacy month, we are taking a look at the latest financial realities and how to improve employees’ financial lives. Employees across all generations worry about their lives post-employment, and more specifically, whether they’ll outlive the money they’ve saved. In fact, employees report that retirement income planning is their primary financial concern.1 When you factor in the additional stress that the coronavirus has put on finances over the past year, it’s not surprising that employees are anxious about their futures.

When it comes to concerns about retirement, employees see their employers as the bridge between uncertainty and assurance.2 Most employers recognize their role in supporting employees’ financial wellness and want to help. Many also understand that helping their employees plan for retirement is a mutually beneficial opportunity—with employees’ sense of financial wellness and their company’s wellness going hand in hand.

When asked what prevents them from making more progress towards their goals, employees often cite a lack of access to guidance. This is a challenge that employers can help overcome directly by serving as a trusted resource on financial topics.2

As employers develop programs and strategies to support workplace financial wellness, they can work with us to deliver the guidance and tools employees need to help them plan for their futures. We start by helping employees understand how to avoid common behaviors that can derail their potential for financial security in retirement, such as overspending and debt. We also provide access to resources and solutions that can help employees get on track—and stay on track—with their retirement income goals.

With Personal Retirement Strategy, our new digital investment advisory program for 401(k) participants, we are connecting employees to the retirement income planning resources they need to take charge of their financial futures. An optional part of this offering, Merrill Managed, allows employees to choose to delegate management of their investment portfolios to the professional investment team at Merrill.

Personal Retirement Strategy:

  • Delivers personalized insights, guidance and tools to help employees create a retirement income plan aligned with their goals.
  • Can consider employees’ full financial picture, including factors such as salary, anticipated savings, retirement age, potential sources of retirement income, and how taxes might impact their future savings.
  • Can account for every stage of life, including investing, planning, and generating a sustainable income throughout retirement.
  • Merrill Managed provides professionally constructed portfolios from our Chief Investment Office, using a goals-based asset allocation approach.
  • Merrill will act as an ERISA Fiduciary.3
  • Engages employees through an approachable, accessible digital experience seamlessly integrated into Benefits OnLine®.
  • Includes various planning illustrations and “try it now” feature that give participants the ability to explore different financial scenarios and how they could impact retirement outcomes.

Key takeaways

Contact your Bank of America representative for a deeper dive into the features and benefits of Personal Retirement Strategy.

Review our Personal Retirement fact sheet.

Promote financial wellness education using our 2021 Financial Wellness Calendar as a guide to yearlong activities and resources.

1 Escalent. Cogent Syndicated. DC Participant Planscape™, June 2020.

2 Bank of America’s 2020 Workplace Benefits Report.

3 3(21) ERISA Fiduciary for participants using Personal Retirement Strategy and 3(38) ERISA Fiduciary for participants utilizing Merrill Managed with respect to ongoing investment management.

The screen shots shown are for illustrative purposes only. Any new products, services or enhancements are subject to change based solely on Bank of America decision, including not proceeding with a planned offering.

Personal Retirement Strategy is an online investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) that uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the program will accumulate sufficient total assets to achieve their annual retirement income goal. Additionally, the recommendations provided by Personal Retirement Strategy may include a higher level of investment risk than a participant may be personally comfortable with. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining which service or services to select. Participants are strongly advised to consider their personal goals, overall risk tolerance, and retirement horizon before accepting any recommendations made by Personal Retirement Strategy. Participants should carefully review the explanation of the methodology used, including key assumptions and limitations, which is provided in the Personal Retirement Strategy disclosure document (ADV Part 2A). It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine® or through the Retirement Benefits Contact Center.

IMPORTANT: The projections or other information shown in the Personal Retirement Strategy program regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The Chief Investment Office (CIO) provides thought leadership on wealth management, investment strategy and global markets; portfolio management solutions; due diligence; and solutions oversight and data analytics. CIO viewpoints are developed for Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., (“Bank of America”) and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a registered broker‐dealer, registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”).