Every day, I wake up and remind myself of Guideline’s focus: helping American workers create financial wealth through a low-cost, employer-sponsored investment vehicle.
Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of Guideline Retirement Platform. We are debuting our platform with the launch of a Gusto-integrated experience for small businesses.
Our integration has been thoroughly tested end to end, is constantly monitored and verified, and is truly integrated. We’re not talking about screen-scraping technology, which is highly fragile and prone to errors when you only control a single side. We’re talking about a truly integrated platform that automatically syncs employee activity between Guideline and Gusto in real time, providing seamless 401(k) administration. Enrollment and contribution data reflect automatically in the employer’s payroll account, and contributions from each pay period are collected from the employers’ operating accounts and invested on behalf of plan employees.
Complex Contributions Made Simple — No More Manual Syncing
There’s a real need for American employers to offer their employees a 401(k) plan, and we know both sides are severely underserved. A January 26, 2016 article in Time about the Obama administration’s plan to make it easier for small businesses to provide 401(k) plans noted that over half of the 31 million employees of American businesses with fewer than 50 employees currently have no access to a retirement plan because of high costs and administrative difficulties. In other words, the article noted, one in three workers nationwide are unable to sign up for a 401(k) to save for retirement.
Those one in three workers mentioned above include hard-working employees like a teacher at a private high school, a preschool caregiver, the founder of a 20-person design shop, a public radio group, a locally franchised plumber, a nursery owner, and a cupcake shop employee — the list goes on.
True story: We have a client — a nursery owner — who had a high-fee 401(k) plan through a traditional investment firm. His employees didn’t have email addresses, and he helped each one of them create an email account in order for them to receive the enrollment invitation from Guideline and sign up for a 401(k). These are the types of people we are helping.
Guideline is not a traditional wealth management company — we do things differently. For starters, we’re not compensated by the participant’s account balance or “investable assets” — we don’t care how much money you have when you open an account with us. We treat all of our customers with the same respect. For us, it’s about encouraging participation and building participant wealth — making it easy for employers to leverage investment vehicles and have access to services typically reserved for larger businesses. We are successful with this participant-focused pricing structure because of the technology infrastructure we’ve built that removes all the unnecessary hands in the cookie jar.
Why are we pursuing integration? Fundamentally, it’s because we want to make retirement affordable, convenient, and easy for all American workers. Our technology can make a major impact on retirement savings in the U.S. by helping us reach an enormous number of participants. To do that, we’re reducing complexity with code, knocking down the traditional barriers to opening a 401(k) for a small business, and doing it all at the lowest price point possible. We want all American workers to be able to save for retirement, in a way that leaves them with as much money as possible when they do retire. Traditional retirement vehicles don’t allow this, but Guideline does. We want to change retirement in the U.S. for the better and improve the lives of U.S. workers as they age. We hope you’ll join us.