Meet a retirement consultant
Paige Leonard, senior retirement consultant, discusses how she helps participants achieve better retirement outcomes.
Q: What’s your role at Lincoln?
A: I’m a senior retirement consultant, and I help plan participants prepare for retirement by working closely with Lincoln relationship managers and communication consultants to create and execute participant communication and education strategies. Each day, I interact with participants to make sure they enroll in the plan, increase their contributions and prepare for retirement. I also answer their asset allocation questions, provide education about life events that could impact their retirement planning and discuss their pension buyout options, if that applies to their situation.
Q: How do you help participants drive better retirement outcomes?
A: The Lincoln rule of thumb to help achieve a successful retirement is an 85 percent replacement rate, but each participant is different, so that may need to be adjusted according to their personal situation. The key is not to have tunnel vision. We look at the whole picture—Social Security, pension, nonqualified assets—and we make sure they have a backup plan in case circumstances change.
Q: What tools do you rely on the most?
I use our online scheduling tool Click2Meet (C2M) to schedule meetings with participants since I’m often booked solid when I’m on site. C2M allows me to be more productive and connect with more participants.
The Contribution Planner can show how small increases over a participant’s career may make a big impact over time, and the Retirement Planner shows how all their pieces fit together. The Social Security Analyzer provides a personalized look at a participant’s Social Security options and can potentially maximize each participant’s Social Security benefit.
Q: How do you interact with the plan sponsor?
A: When I’m on site, I proactively visit human resources to see if I can respond to any immediate needs and report on the positive meetings I’ve had with participants that day. We also discuss campaigns and presentations that Lincoln can provide, like the Social Security seminar or the Retirement Reality series, to increase engagement and work toward other plan goals.
Q: How does your work help meet plan sponsor goals?
A: Most plan sponsors like having as many assets in the plan as possible and for their employees to feel educated and prepared for retirement. Using the tools available, I keep employees informed and help drive better retirement experiences, while making the plan sponsor look good. If the plan participants are happy, then the plan sponsor is happy.
Q: What do you like best about your role?
A: This is more than a job. I’ve been in this role for 13 years, so I know these participants and have relationships with them. Retirement consultants are in this role because we like helping people, and this position enables us to make a real impact.