In “Your 401(k) Data Is Fair Game for Cross-Selling, for the Moment,” counsel Joan Neri spoke to Bloomberg Law about employer considerations regarding retirement plan service providers that increasingly rely on participant data to market financial wellness programs.
Retirement data-sharing isn’t a settled matter of law, according to Neri. She’s telling her clients to address the uncertainty head-on, negotiating the ways data can and can’t be used from the start.
“I have plan sponsor clients who ask the question and want to know what to do and what are the best practices,” Neri said. “We come up with a checklist using service provider agreements and disclosures. We’re helping employers navigate this space.”
Additionally, Neri said with current case law on their side, recordkeepers and data custodians may be tapping a burgeoning market for financial products outside traditional 401(k)s and 403(b)s.
“I think that there is a willingness and a desire to provide these financial wellness services because it not only enhances an employer’s understanding of where retirement benefits fall within their entire benefits package, but it is also an employee benefit that employees value and certainly need,” Neri said. “There’s an expectation now that those additional services will be provided.”