Voya Financial gives many saving options for potential clients. The company wants people to build their portfolios with diverse funds. Its online tool is user-friendly, which allows many people to have the confidence to use it. Also, there are a lot of tools and resources that people can use so that they can manage their money better.
This post is going to be talking about Voya Financial and the 401k that people can partake in.
A Background Check on Voya
Before diving into the 401k provided by Voya, it is essential to learn more about the investment management company. Voya Financial is best known for providing group life insurance policies, with over $2.1 billion employee benefit premiums in circulation as of 2019. The company also has more than 6,000 workers and serves more than 13.8 million customers in the United States.
Voya Financial had its humble beginnings from ING Group’s US retirement, insurance operations, and investment management. It took many decades for the company to rebrand itself after many name changes and acquisitions. However, in April 2014, Voya Financial debuted and completed its rebranding in September 2014. The name Voya comes from the word ‘voyage.’
In 2019, the company sold its in-force individual life insurance business, leaving its employee benefits, retirement, and investment management services intact. Today, the company’s primary focuses are:
- Retirement: Voya is now one of the leading providers of retirement products and services in the United States. The company serves more than 50,000 institutional clients while also working with almost 5.7 million individual investors.
- Employee benefits: Another way that Voya has made a name for itself is by providing a stop-loss and supplement health insurance to people in the United States. Voya has created a comprehensive and very flexible portfolio of life, voluntary insurance products, disability, and health savings. These portfolios have been picked up by many businesses across the country and have covered over 6.2 million individuals through their employment. This is an excellent way for people to receive the proper benefits that they need while working.
- Investment management: Voya has also taken the lead in becoming an active asset management firm that works with both affiliated and external institutions. Also, the company works with individual investors.
Voya has proven to be a stable and financially strong company. It has received an A (excellent) rating from the AM Best. When a company gets an A rating, it tells customers that it can guarantee secure coverage.
Colorful Beginnings with Voya Financial
The investment management team has made the opening screen inviting for all to enjoy when they log in to see their account. When logged in, the user does not just see their account balance, but the investment company has also shown their overall investment balance from their other accounts. Also, this information can be tailored to each person because they can choose which parts of their account they want to see.
When someone with a Voya 401k first logs into their account, they can see the current balance at the top of the screen, but every user can see their monthly retirement income projections. This can also include all of the projections from the user’s investments. The visual representation that Voya provides is beneficial for everyone, whether they are tech-savvy or not. It is a unique way to stay up to date with everything that comes to their retirement plan.
Voya Investment Management Options
Voya has many different kinds of financial accounts and financial planning services that everyone can utilize. However, if a person has an account through their employer, then there will be some employer-specific limitations regarding the different investment opportunities available. Those who want a more hands-off approach can still invest with one of the retirement funds available for their traditional 401k or Roth. These will also have target dates at five-year intervals.
Other available forms of investment are bond funds, stock funds, and short-term investments, so each person can create a portfolio that is right for them and their needs. Also, if the user does have an account through their employer, then Voya financial advisors have created many different options for growth and yield funds, index funds, and funds with varying levels of cap values. This is essential for everyone to have an opportunity to create their portfolio the way that they want to.
If someone wants to change their portfolio, they can do so online. Almost all portfolio changes can be completed online, like fund transfers, pay check withholding preferences, and balance relocations. Also, online investors will be happy to know that they will have access to many different online tools like automatic withholding rate adjustment tools, retirement calculators, online statements, a messaging center, and personal financial planning tools. These tools are standard amongst investment firms, and all users can use them.
One of the best funds for people to choose from is the Voya LifePath Retirement Funds, which have been made up of a mix of options, but the diversity of these funds depends on the person’s age. An example would be putting their money into the LifePath 2023 fund, which has been made for those going to be retiring in 2023, having a more conservative approach. Then, there may be someone who has just started their career and will be retiring in 2065, so they put their money in the respective fund. This will be a more aggressive fund in the early years but will become a more conservative fund once they get closer to their retirement age.
Moreover, if there are any questions, you can go over your portfolio with the portfolio management services. This is useful for those who may want to change their portfolio slightly or wish to seek some advice from a financial advisor. The fees will depend on the transactions completed by each employer, but there are tools that they can use to help them with looking at their plans flexibility.
The Voya investment management has a lot of options for employers who want to configure their Voya 401k plan. This allows employers to have plans catered to them and their needs.
Some of the options available for the people involved in the employer’s plans are the ability to withdraw money from separately managed accounts, fully invest in the employer’s plan, or participate in the Self-Directed Brokerage Account Option. There are many funds that people can choose from, but one of the most popular ones is the Self-Directed Brokerage Option. This allows people to have access to over 13,000 mutual funds, which gives them more freedom to fully customize their portfolios.
Education and Tools Available
When an investor uses the Voya investment management website, they will also have access to the Education and Tools section. This section gives people a lot of information, from the basic knowledge that everyone should know to the more advanced stuff. Also, everyone can learn about tax planning, investing, family financial planning, and estate planning. There is also a separate section for retirement planning that allows people to figure out how much they will need to save to retire.
Moreover, there are calculators available to figure out their numbers. Also, there are many charts available, so people can look at their accounts in different ways, which can be helpful for diverse learners. These other visual representations allow people to glance at their returns on different stocks, Treasury Bills, and Government bonds. However, suppose the education center does not have the information you want. In that case, you can get in contact with one of the financial advisors, so all your investment questions are answered by a professional.
Not many people log into their investment accounts online very often. This makes it difficult to look at your portfolio performance because many websites are not user-friendly. However, Voya has done an excellent job at creating a website that is user-friendly for all clients, whether they are institutional clients or individual investors.
The website is divided up into several sections:
- Account: This is where you can see your balances and histories for your accounts. You can also find your financial statements here.
- Investments: Those who want to see their current portfolio can go here to see how it is doing.
- Plan Information: Many people want to look over their plan and investment options, so they can make sure everything is to their liking.
- Personal Information: Make sure all of your personal information is up to date here and that everything is correct.
- Messages: If there are any messages that the Voya investment distributors have sent you, you will be able to find them here.
- Education and Tools: This is where you can look at many valuable resources about investing, personal loans, life insurance, and more.
Passwords are important for any online account, so, surprisingly, the Voya 401k account password lacks security. This is surprising because this is an investment company that handles hundreds of thousands of dollars. The password that all users must have needs to be a six-digit numeric password. Hackers could easily hack into an account that only has a six-digit numeric password, so some may think that this is not the safest way to protect someone’s account.
However, when a user does enter the site, they need to answer two security questions before being able to have full access. This does help with security, but Voya Financial would still benefit from stricter password requirements with additional characters and symbols.
Voya Investment Management Charges
Voya Financial also takes a flat administrative fee that depends on the account type, account balance, and/or employer profile. Additionally, Voya Financial does advertise on its website that there are managed portfolio options, there are expenses for that, and they range from 0.95%-2.00%. Also, these fees are not stated anywhere on the user’s online account profile. If the user wants to know how much of an administrative fee has been taken on every quarterly statement, they will need to manually calculate it.
However, every person could speak with a financial advisor to make sure that they are calculating it correctly. Also, they will help the user see if the administrative fee is worth it when it comes to their investment.
Another close look at the financial report shows that the ‘Distribution/Other’ term is used by Voya Financial as a catch-all term. This number usually includes management fees. These fees are then listed as a dollar amount for every fund, which can be challenging to calculate the overall fees for any investor, so speak to one of the registered investment advisors for some help.
There are additional fees at Voya Financial like loan fees, distribution fees, and check delivery fees, but these fees are all dependent on the account type. One flaw that Voya does have is that it is not transparent with its fees. This can be detrimental to the investment management company because many of the competitors have more transparent summaries that allow investors to see the fees with one glance. If Voya Financial does not clear this up, it will continue to have a hard time upholding its customer-focused branding.
Customer Services Offered
Like with many companies, having reliable customer service is essential for people because they want to know that they will be looked after when they need it. All people that are covered with Voya can contact the customer service team by phone or email. The company’s operating hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.
If you have any troubles and need to make a claim, expect Voya to respond after 10-12 days of submission. This is because the review process takes 10-12 days to finish. The claiming process is completed in three small steps; start your claim by answering a few questions, submit your forms with any supporting documentation, and the Voya team will review them. People can also check on the status of their claims online.
Pros & Cons
Just like with any company, there are always pros and cons. Here is a list of some of the pros and cons for Voya Financial:
- Individual investors can make payments through their payroll deduction.
- There are no health checks or medical tests when receiving employer-provided term coverage.
- Employees can add coverage for their domestic partner, spouse, or child.
- Individuals can no longer receive life insurance policies.
- If under an employer’s plan, the employee could lose their plan if they leave their employer.
- Coverage maximums can change depending on the state but are usually limited to $500,000.
Are the Extra Fees at Voya Worth It?
There are many talks about the fees at Voya and how many people have noticed that the fees taken from the account are more significant than what they think to be true. This lack of fee transparency makes it difficult for people to truly enjoy their time with Voya, mainly because its competitors like Erade, Vanguard, and TD Ameritrade keep all fees transparent.
The in-house retirement funds are more expensive with the same and sometimes less than the overall performance of Vanguard’s funds. However, the only clear advantage over Vanguard is that the online account has the ability to link to other investment accounts. This makes it easier for investors to connect their portfolios to view everything in one area. However, it is hard to justify the sneaky fees that Voya does take out to the average investor even though the retirement tools are more colorful and look more user-friendly.
However, this does not mean that people who are with Voya should switch insurance companies right away. The goal of Voya is to make investing simple and accessible for all, and it is for many people involved. These extra fees can be outweighed by an employer match or just the tax benefits that the person can gain from investing wisely. Also, for someone who is considering Voya, one of the best features is the individual account a person can receive from Voya. The minimum initial investment of $5,000 is waived for the person if they deposit at least $100 a month.
However, there are still fees for the quarterly maintenance and/or online trade. This is where Voya is able to recruit more millennial clients. Having the ability to open an account without a large sum of money is suitable for the younger generations because they are now able to start investing without needing to give that large sum of money. Otherwise, many people of the younger generation would continue to struggle to find an insurance company to invest in.
Voya has a lot of investment options for people and businesses. However, the fees do not work in Voya’s favor because they can sneak up on a lot of people’s investment portfolios. Also, Voya’s primary business is now institutional, so the individual investor can only access these strategies through a financial advisor or workplace retirement plan. Additionally, the advisors who sell the Voya funds collect an upfront commission, which gives them an incentive to sell the funds to people. This is where investors need to think about the costs and fees that are found in Voya and whether they are worth it or not.
When it comes to the 401k plan that Voya offers, it does have a good variety of funds for people. This allows everyone to build and create a unique portfolio that will help them when they retire. On top of that, the website is user-friendly, which can be helpful for all people using the website. People will also find that they can see their historical information about their fund’s performance, which is always good to see because then, they are able to see the portfolio’s performance over time. This is good knowledge to have because then, the person can speak with a financial advisor about changing their portfolio to suit them.
Also, there are many calculators that are useful for investors. This is helpful for portfolio creation and seeing what else people want to add to their portfolio. It is essential to have valuable calculators for any insurance company because people will be able to use them to their advantage.
However, the biggest problem that Voya will need to look out for is its competitors. Many of its competitors are able to offer better value to investors. This is important for Voya to look out for because investors want to create a portfolio that is perfect for them and their retirement needs. If they can find that somewhere else, the investor is more likely to leave the company for a different one.
Overall, Voya has a lot to offer to many people and businesses. There are many pros when it comes to Voya financial advisors, but there are also some important cons that people need to be aware of before joining this insurance company. However, just like with any situation, speaking with a financial advisor before joining any company for your investments is essential.