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Fall 2017 Semi-Annual Meeting

Retirement Plans Marketing Roundtable

MRT 2017 11

Horizon 2020 World Vision

Creating the Future

Context for Your Retirement Plan Business Strategy

November 2, 2017
Boston, MA

Hosted by: MFS Investment Management

Register* On-line

*Registration requires an invitation code

Request Invitation Code

Join us in a roundtable dialog and participate in the formulation of a forward-looking strategic document with input from marketing professionals of the full vertical of the retirement plan industry (from recordkeepers to advisory firms, investment managers, and communication & education providers). The sharing of experiences and positions allows everyone to collaborate on a future vision for the business and the marketing function.




Forum for heads of retirement plans marketing and advertising to discuss emerging industry trends, major challenges and opportunities, current and upcoming governmental regulations and other topics of interest to attendees.

Breakthroughs are coming that will affect the retirement plans business and the marketing function in many ways.

At the fall 2017 meeting, attendees will collaborate on the writing of a futuristic vision of the world, broad context for the retirement plan industry and the marketing function to the year 2020.


Marketing Roundtable attendees will receive the Horizon 2020 World Vision report formulated from the meeting to support their retirement plan business strategy and to define the marketing function they need to establish to support this strategy.

In turn, this strategy based on a thought-provoking view of the future can propel the firm ahead of the competition in terms of preparedness, helping to achieve outstanding sales results just as the competition struggles to keep up with contextual changes it was ill-prepared to face.


This edition of the Marketing Roundtable is not only a meeting of peers to discuss best practices. The meeting is part of an integrated initiative that leads to the formulation of a vision of the world in 2020, providing a broad context for your retirement plan business strategy.

The “Horizon 2020” vision report will depict the context for our industry and the marketing function in response to future developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, communications technology, transportation, 3-D visuals, 3-D printing, and other innovations.

The collective vision will be based on discussions at the meeting AND an iteractive survey of marketing executives of the retirement plan industry regarding anticipated developments to the year 2020. The report will incorporate marketing executives’ foresight developed in four discussion sessions stimulated by thought-provoking anticipation videos of a future world.

The vision will address the context in which the retirement plan investment industry will evolve, but also the marketing function in the retirement plan sector, the HR, benefits, payroll, and financial services industry, and other sectors with leading-edge marketing practices.

Meeting attendees will receive the Horizon 2020 World Vision report for internal company use. The name of contributors and the name of their firm will appear in the credits section of the report (subject to the firm’s approval).


Over the next three to five years, a once-in-a-generation cluster of innovations will transform the environment in which retirement plan service providers operate. The speed of obsolescence will increase exponentially. Firms with foresight will be better prepared to take advantage of upcoming disruptions.


Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Replace Entire Professions

Already today, robots commonly read, interpret, and redact legal documents and contracts. Automated assistants can collect the information needed to write legal documents within minutes. Some speculate there will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, and that only highly-specialized lawyers will remain.

Some futurists predict computers will become more efficient than humans at many tasks. The merging of humans and robots enabled by wearable devices will greatly enhance human efficiency in all aspects of work and life. The delivery of personal advice – investment, legal, or financial - no longer requires human intervention. Facial recognition becomes ubiquitous, reducing the need for signatures and password authentication.

Robotization of the workplace may not result in fewer jobs, but it will most certainly spur the emergence of different kinds of jobs – new positions requiring less technical skills and knowledge and other new positions requiring tremendous intellectual capital to conceive, maintain, and periodically upgrade robot capabilities. Robotization may also help keep inflation in check.

As the economy relies increasingly on machines for production, keeping employees interested and engaged may become key goals for HR professionals. Employers may need to turn to new metrics, leading indicators of employee productivity. The fun-and-entertainment sector may become the major source of employment. The concept of work and retirement may change to one not age-based.

Instant Communication, Automated Assistants, Virtual Reality

Already today, instant messaging, chat, and video web conferencing are replacing other forms of remote communication requiring our firms to reshape the client experience. These instant forms of communications challenge traditional compliance practices. Increasingly, firms consider automating compliance and rely on automated assistants to meet client service requests and address questions intelligently, accurately, and within regulatory bounds.

What will be the impact of these changes on the marketing function increasingly focused on client experience design?

Within the next three years, the growing use of 3D communication and holograms will further challenge the marketing function to evolve the client experience toward the delivery of “in-person” service by a new breed of avatars. The ubiquity of 3D printing will push the bounds. Scalable client experiences will allow the smallest firms – advisor team or recordkeeping service providers – to deliver uniform service to millions of participants with almost no staff.

In this technological context, it is realistic to anticipate the emergence of creativity and innovation automation systems. What will be the role of the marketing function in a world where even creativity and innovation are automated?

Transportation Revolution: First Generation Without Driver’s Licenses in Over a Century.

The emergence of autonomous vehicles augurs the end of drivers’ licenses and personal car ownership. Individuals, particularly those living in urban and suburban environments lose the need or desire to own a vehicle as they can just hail a pay-per-use car owned by a corporation with a wearable device. The vehicle available within minutes – is shared with others, alleviating the need for parking.

The emergence of the shared economy in the transportation vertical results in a reduction in vehicle ownership, in road traffic, and in a glut of parking space. Car insurance as we know becomes obsolete, surviving automobile manufacturers morph into automobile ownership and sharing firms.

Co-working, Co-living, Co-retirement?

The shared economy impacts every corner of life, and the biggest potential may be in real estate. Going beyond time-sharing for vacation, we now experience the rise of co-working and co-living.

The rise of the shared economy impacts capital markets as more asset classes are securitized, offering new investment opportunities for 401(k) participants and plan sponsors. Scarcity may develop in peak usage time, elevating the need for personal savings, and perhaps impacting attitudes and behaviors.

Co-working and co-living arrangements Impact many aspects of life. There are consequences for real estate development and zoning, with perhaps a widening gap between major metro areas, suburbia, and the rural population benefiting unequally. There are also impacts for our industry and the marketing function in particular.

Perhaps more important for our industry is the impact of co-working arrangements on the concept of retirement. As careers become less linear, and working arrangements become more diverse, “retirement” becomes less age-dependent. Boundaries between “retirement”, “unemployment”, and “disability” blur in public perceptions, and the very nature of our industry, and how we communicate and market our services to employers and ultimately U.S. workers.

Will we co-retire?

Industry Leadership In a Brave New World

What will it take to be an industry leader in this brave new world? Foresight and imagination, a keen sense of anticipation of what may be just around the corner are critical success factors. The meaning of leadership may change as we explore unchartered territory in healthcare, life sciences, and space colonization.


Get a head start by watching these thought-provoking anticipation videos

Earth 2050 – The Future of Energy

BBC documentary exploring the changes that biofuels, photosynthesis, autonomous vehicles, digital 3D efficiency mapping, architectural design, and urban planning make possible in the future

38 minutes

The World In The Next 50 Years

Documentary and fiction story from Aerospace Engineering produced in collaboration by ZDF and Discovery Channel explores how 3D imaging can change our world over the next 50 years and illustrates with a drama story

41 minutes

The World in 2050

This short video, an anime illustration of our world in 2050, shows  how our cities will look with robots,flying cars, intelligence drones ,5 km tall skyscrapers and many more features of our future lives.

3 minutes

10 Mind-boggling Statistics of 2050

10 predictions that will keep you wide eyed presented in a believe-it-or-not style.

7 minutes


Attendance is by invitation only. The invitation is extended to Chief MarCom Officers of retirement plan service providers / recordkeepers, investment managers, and advisory firms:

  • Across disciplines (investment management, recordkeeping service, plan advice)
  • Across markets - Small/micro, mid-sized, large and jumbo plans, corporate, government, not-for profit, higher-education and Taft-Hartley markets
  • Across audiences – media, plan sponsors, consultant, adviser, brokerage, TPA, bank, agent, and others
  • Across channel: mobile technology, social media, trade media, general, direct
  • Across plan types: defined benefit, defined contribution, and NQDC


November 2, 2017

8:00 a.m. - Continental breaksfast

8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Sessions


MFS Investment Management
111 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02119-7610

Dress Code

Business casual


Before the meeting – in September and October 2017 – we will conduct an online survey of marketing executives regarding future events. Results of this survey will be unveiled at the meeting to provide food for thought in discussion sessions. Your early meeting registration secures your participation in this thought-provoking survey.

Firms unable to attend that would like to receive the Horizon 2020 World Vision Report can participate in the survey portion of the process and receive the vision document developed from the roundtable meeting at the cost of $18,500.


Survey: First Iteration
Survey questionnaire finalized                      September 8
Online survey fielded                                       September 11
Online survey closed                                       October 6
Report distributed to meeting registrants  October 16
Roundtable discussions                                 November 2
Roundtable summary report                         November 24
Survey: Second Iteration
Survey questionnaire finalized                       December 1
Online survey fielded                                       December 4
Online survey closed                                       December 15
Final report                                                       January 5, 2018


  • Breakthrough scenarios that might completely upset the apple card
  • Maturity scale for a multitude of concepts by 2020
    • Not there yet
    • Emerging
    • Fresh and evolving
    • Mature
    • Obsolete
  • Switching priorities
    • Less
    • Much Less
    • More
    • Much More
    • Unchanged
    • Eliminated
    • Created
  • Organizational readiness to information overflow
  • The Chief Happiness Officer position
  • Marketing as...
    • a coaching function
    • a science or a research lab
    • an Operations unit / communication consultant workstation
  • Scalability of everything unscalable today
  • Marketing budget allocation in a brave new world, dollar amount and all other things being equal
  • Mix of internal / external staff and resources
  • Co-working / home-based of marketing staff on the rise or on the decline?
  • Skillset of marketing recruits: creativity or data analysis?
    • Are we contemplating a global marketing workforce? Hiring anywhere in the world? Are national labor laws relevant anymore?
  • Event attendance and effectiveness (in-person vs. virtual, sponsored/shared events vs. private)
  • Entirely new plan designs that do away with eligibility and portability obstacles
  • Future of popular concepts today such as robo-advisors, HDHP, pension / risk transfer, terminal funding
  • Income distribution strategies at the point of sale.
  • Retirement readiness > Financial Wellness > Financial Fitness > Financial Athletics?
  • What will be the space for financial services on wearable devices?
  • Will younger workforce entrants be more willing to share / discuss their financial information?
  • Other topics suggested by attendees in the survey process


8:00 a.m      Continental breakfast buffet

8:30 a.m.      Welcome and Introductions

8:45 a.m.      Roundtable discussions – Thought-provoking Stimulus #1:  Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

9:45 a.m.      Break

10:00 a.m.    Roundtable discussions – Thought-provoking Stimulus #2 – Shared Economy and Co-working

11:00 a.m.   Roundtable discussions – Thought-provoking Stimulus #3 – 3-D imaging, 3D printing, and communications technology

12:00 p.m.    Lunch

1:00 p.m.      Roundtable discussions – Thought-provoking Stimulus #4 – Healthcare, Life Sciences, and the concept of “retirement”

2:00 p.m.     Roundtable discussions – other topics and closing thoughts

2:30 p.m.      Action plan and next steps

3:00 p.m.      Adjourn


The recommended hotel is The Marriott Copley Place. For reservations please call 1-617-236-5800 or click HERE.

Boston Marriott Copley Place
110 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116


Register* On-line

Registration requires an invitation code.

Request Invitation Code

Payments by credit card, debit card, check or bank transfer.


Registration Deadline and Cost Per Attendee

Registration deadline: Registration Fee
On or before August 31, 2017 $1350
After August 31, 2017 $1675


Cancellation Policy

EACH Enterprise, LLC will refund your entire meeting fee if you cancel on or before August 31, 2017. For cancellations between September 1, 2017 and October 19, 2017, EACH Enterprise, LLC will refund your registration fee minus an administration fee of $175. No refunds for cancellations after October 19, 2017. In the unlikely event that the number of registered attendees falls short of expectations, EACH Enterprise, LLC will refund the entire registration fee.




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Phone: (860) 254-5046
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EACH Enterprise, LLC
16A Pasco Drive
East Windsor CT 06088