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Fidelity adds retirement plan access to mobile app

Fidelity Investments has enhanced its mobile financial planning application to let retirement plan holders view their account information on the go.

The application upgrade lets customers with 401k and 403b retirement accounts check their balances and personal rates of return. Consumers can download the application for the iPhone and iPod touch in the Apple App Store.

“When we launched our retail app back in February, we recognized and heard from many of the 14 million-plus 401k and 403b participants who wanted an application,” said Beth McHugh, vice president of market insight at Fidelity Investments, Boston. “In recognition of so many people leveraging mobile technology and devices to keep tabs on their overall financial picture, this is a good opportunity for Fidelity and our customers to be connected.

“It is a complement to our overall account offerings,” she said. “We have retail accounts, we have credit card accounts and we have retirement accounts. This allows individuals to look holistically at our services across the board.”

Fidelity Investments provides financial services including investment management, retirement planning and portfolio guidance to more than 20 million individuals and institutions.

Fidelity first launched its mobile banking application back in February, which let customers complete trades, access account information and request quotes on their iPhones and iPod touches.

With the enhancement, the application now allows consumers with 401k and 403b retirement packages to access information about those holdings.

Fidelity announced the application enhancements to plan sponsors – companies that offer Fidelity retirement plans to their employees – about a week ago.

The financial company has also been promoting its iPhone application through mobile banner ads this month on Yahoo mobile properties (see story).

About the enhancements
When users log in to the application, they access a homepage with up-to-date market information.

A toolbar along the bottom of the screen lets them switch between the features offered on the application, including access to their personal accounts.

After clicking on the Accounts icon, a log-in page generates, where customers can enter their Customer ID or Social Security number and PIN to access their accounts.

Here is a screen grab of the log-in page:

From there, users can see their retirement savings accounts, and information about their investment choices, account balances, which are updated daily, year-to-date performance and their personal rates of return.

“[Fidelity’s goal is to] provide individuals with account information in a mobile device – where people can access it when and how they want to,” Ms. McHugh said. “We hope that it will improve and enhance the employee and the participant experience.”

Transamerica Retirement Services released a similar application last month, which also lets its plan participants view retirement information on the iPhone and iPod touch (see story).

Fidelity says it is platform and device agnostic, but does not currently have plans to extend the iPhone application to any other devices.

“There aren’t plans to extend [to other platforms] at this point, but we’re looking to cater to customer demand, and give them the services on the devices they prefer,” Ms. McHugh said.

The financial services company is optimistic about the application’s impact.

“I think it will continue to help support the work we’re doing to improve and increase employee engagement,” Ms. McHugh said.