Modernization in the Retirement Plan Industry and the Journey to the Cloud

18 Nov 2021
by Ronak Doshi, Pranati Dave, Shrey Kalawatia

The US retirement plan industry is evolving rapidly, with factors such as demographic shifts, alternative employment options, participants’ changing financial needs, and regulatory changes impacting plan providers’ business priorities. Plan providers face unique challenges as they try to meet sponsors’ and participants’ growing expectations, while also coping with changing regulatory requirements, an ongoing need to reduce costs, and fee compression in a low interest-rate environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these pressures and the corresponding cost implications, which have accelerated the need for digital adoption and disruptive transformation.

Plan providers are shifting their focus to a more holistic approach of managing financial wellness and are exploring ways to move away from a product-based differentiation to differentiated and personalized experiences for sponsors and participants to retain them in the long term. However, their reliance on legacy core systems is impeding progress.

Retirement plan providers are viewing this as an opportunity to enhance their systems and adopt a cloud-first strategy to offer their stakeholders an end-to-end digital experience. While the need to modernize legacy systems is undeniable, different approaches to achieve that goal are emerging, and plan providers need to employ a modernization approach that best suits their strategic priorities, risk appetite, and targeted end state.


Industry: retirements

Geography: US


In this study, we explore the changing market drivers and approaches to modernization in the retirement plan industry by examining:

  • Business challenges driving transformation in the current technology landscape
  • Potential benefits of modernization and key measures of success
  • Alternate modernization approaches
  • Best practices for successful modernization, learnings from plan providers’ experiences and commentary from Oculus Partners – a strategic consulting firm focused on the retirement plan and wealth management industry


Banking Information Technology

Sourcing and Vendor Management


Page Count: 17