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Open Architecture for Benefits

By James Ocampo

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In the retirement savings plan marketplace, recordkeepers often tout their “open architecture” for investment choices, which typically means employers have a wide choice of different investment managers and investment funds in addition to the provider’s proprietary investment managers and investments.

The employee benefits marketplace is moving towards its own version of open architecture as benefits exchanges gain traction in the marketplace.

It’s a positive development for employers and their employees as they gain access to a wider choice of products, providers and benefits management tools. Employers ultimately choose the providers and benefits made available to employees. But starting with a broader menu can ultimately result in a fuller plate of choices for employees as they seek to protect their financial interests and provide resources when they and their families encounter some of life’s bigger hurdles.

MassMutual is taking the concept of “open architecture” to heart as we make more voluntary products available to workers through their workplace. But we know that we can’t necessarily offer every product that they may demand. Often, employers and their advisors want choices and like to comparison shop as well.

With the goal of better meeting the needs of advisors, employers and employees, MassMutual is now opening its BeneClick!SM benefits exchange to other providers.  BeneClick! is the first integrated benefits exchange to offer voluntary insurance benefits, healthcare coverage and retirement savings plans on one platform. It also includes MapMyBenefits, a holistic benefits guidance tool that helps consumers prioritize their benefits based on their life stages, financial goals and budget.

BeneClick! now offers products from several outside providers, including Sun Life, MetLife, Reliance Standard and EyeMed.  BeneClick! customers can access a comprehensive portfolio of group and voluntary benefits from those carriers, including disability, life, dental and vision insurance, as well as supplemental health products such as accident and critical illness coverage. Those benefits complement MassMutual’s existing roster of voluntary benefits, including life insurance, critical illness and accident coverage, and emergency credit.

BeneClick!’s roster of available providers, products and services will continue to grow in the future. It’s a great opportunity for advisors and benefits professionals to meet a wider range of needs at the workplace and, in the process, expand their services to a larger potential client base.

The goal is to provide employers and employees with the protection products they need and the choices they want. It’s the essence of open architecture.


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James Ocampo is assistant vice president, BeneClick! for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual).