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Is Participant Data Locked Up or Locked Out?

A reader asks, “Are participants having trouble getting in/setting up their account because, in the name of security, we have swung the pendulum to far to the extreme in the name of security?” What do you think? Weigh in in this week’s NAPA Net Reader Poll.

In a time when some of the largest institutions have been hacked (including the federal government), it’s not surprising that our industry has already experienced issues with cybersecurity.

At the 2018 NAPA 401(k) Summit, Rachel Wilson, head of cybersecurity for Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management unit, shared the major concerns and provided some cybersecurity advice for advisors.

In the inaugural NAPA 401(k) Summit Insider, among more than 500 advisors asked to pick the three most significant concerns for their plan sponsor clients, cybersecurity was rated second by advisors who primarily worked among plans above $100 million in assets. It ranked fourth overall.

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JHRPS) is now offering a Cybersecurity Guarantee to reimburse eligible participants for unauthorized transfers from their 401(k) accounts. Drinker Biddle’s Bruce Ashton has opined that protecting participant information is a fiduciary issue. Meanwhile, a survey by the Spectrem Group found that wealthy investors were willing to move their accounts if they feel their advisor is not doing enough to protect their assets.

But, are we keeping data safe – or in the process have we made it (too) hard for those who need to access those accounts to do so? This week, we’d like to know what you think – and what you’re hearing – from plan sponsors, and your recordkeeping and TPA partners.

Respond to this week’s NAPA Net Reader Poll at

And we will, of course, have it all wrapped up for you on Friday!