Guideline vs. Zywave PlanAdvisor

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Guideline
Score 7.3 out of 10
N/A
Guideline headquartered in San Mateo offers a cloud-based 401k management software for businesses priced on a per employee basis.N/A
PlanAdvisor
Score 10.0 out of 10
N/A
Zywave in Milwaukee offers PlanAdvisor, a healthcare plan design toolkit and employee decision support tool so policyholders can better understand their costs and control their health care spending.N/A
Pricing
GuidelineZywave PlanAdvisor
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
GuidelinePlanAdvisor
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
GuidelineZywave PlanAdvisor
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
GuidelineZywave PlanAdvisor
401(k)
Comparison of 401(k) features of Product A and Product B
Guideline
6.2
3 Ratings
8% below category average
Zywave PlanAdvisor
-
Ratings
Payroll Integration5.52 Ratings00 Ratings
Compliance Maintenance6.02 Ratings00 Ratings
Plan Flexibility7.52 Ratings00 Ratings
Filings and Disclosures5.02 Ratings00 Ratings
Ease of Enrollment7.03 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
GuidelineZywave PlanAdvisor
Small Businesses
OnPay
OnPay
Score 8.2 out of 10
Justworks
Justworks
Score 7.8 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies

No answers on this topic

Paypro Workforce Management
Paypro Workforce Management
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises

No answers on this topic

Infor Human Resources
Infor Human Resources
Score 7.2 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
GuidelineZywave PlanAdvisor
Likelihood to Recommend
6.0
(11 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
1.1
(3 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
GuidelineZywave PlanAdvisor
Likelihood to Recommend
Guideline
I believe that the only thing more broken than Guideline's product is their customer support. From initial contribution dates to the disastrous account closure that cost us personally thousands of dollars, this has been by far the worst SaaS and customer experience I've ever had in my career. If only 1) Guideline's product or 2) customer support had individually been broken, we would not have ended up in this state. I sent dozens and dozens of emails inquiring about oddities I was seeing in the product, but Guideline's reps only gave more conflicting and what ended up being grossly inaccurate feedback and status updates. I hope this review reaches anyone who is thinking of closing their Guideline account. Be extremely wary of what Guideline says and does in the account closure process and exact for detailed and exact timelines (you'll have to follow up many times...). For those of you who haven't yet selected a 401k provider, I'd recommend staying as far away from Guideline as possible.
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Zywave
We utilize only one of the four components available because the other three are either too time consuming for what you get or just don't deliver what we need. The renewal estimator is the real star here and worth the cost of the tool (even if you don't use the other components, although we hope Zywave PlanAdvisor puts some money/time here to further develop them). It accurately projects renewals which help employers budget as they prepare for renewal. It is invaluable in our marketing and carrier negotiations because it is a an underwriting tool with the science and language that will speak to an underwriter... it's not a best guess, but accurate and respectable analytics.
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Pros
Guideline
  • Administrate individual 401(k)
  • Understand the contributions accumulated in total and per year
  • Understand the percentage of salary being contributed per pay period.
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Zywave
  • Renewal projection - forecasting renewal rates is accurate and has been very beneficial to our clients and business.
  • Single period report is decent, but not as user friendly as we'd like it to be. It really only works with certain carriers.
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Cons
Guideline
  • I feel that the customer support was abysmal - In my experience, we were consistently given conflicting advice and statuses as we closed our account with Guideline. Despite many, many follow-ups attempting to clarify our current status and remaining steps to close the account, Guideline's reps continued to provide, I believe, misleading and inaccurate steps. This cost us thousands and thousands of dollars given Guideline was not able to appropriately pull the funds before closing the account.
  • Guideline's integrations - I believe there is clearly a broken pipeline between Guideline and Rippling. In my experience, contributions were not funded as expected when we first opened the account, and when we closed our account, there was no communication between Guideline and Rippling. Guideline continued to expect contributions into perpetuity despite closure of the account
  • I feel that Guideline's product itself is just broken in critical places - most importantly, statuses of contributions were reflected incorrectly in the software (Guideline thought funds were transferred, but they were not and Guideline never attempted to pull the funds from our bank). This, combined with the terrible customer support, cost us thousands and thousands of dollars after we closed our account. There are many absolutely critical features that are broken -> to give just one of many examples, it was not possible to update the bank account information and no error message was thrown. I was told that our account ended up in an exceptional state given our last payroll contribution date and account closure, but these seem like very basic things a 401k provider has to get right if there are going to manage people's money.
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Zywave
  • Single Period Report: We hoped it would be like a "DMW lite" but it is only usable with a few carriers, and it's clunky/time consuming to use. We stopped using it.
  • Plan Modeler: It's a good idea, but we don't use it much. It needs more development and modeling options.
  • Plan Selector: It's a good idea, but it's too time consuming to add the info. If we could import it easily, we'd use it much more.
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Usability
Guideline
Well thought out and intuitive user experience for employees and administrators. Educational documentation has been a plus
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Zywave
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Guideline
The few questions that we've had have been answered quickly and helpfully. The implementation was a breeze and the onboarding contacts were really helpful. There was some stuff I had to learn about 401(k)s in making the decision to implement Guideline, but the Guideline team was helpful in pointing me in the right direction.
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Zywave
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Guideline
We selected Guideline due to their relationship with Gusto, our payroll service. However, we did review alternative options for our 401k program and found them very competitive as to price and quality. We were thinking about going with one of the bigger companies like Schwab, E*TRADE, Ally, etc., but found Guideline to be the best choice for us based on price and ease of use.
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Zywave
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Guideline
  • Allow small employees to enhance benefit package
  • Great recruitment tool for new employees
  • Connection with payroll vendor allowed for less manual work
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Zywave
  • The renewal estimator has helped us win new business!
  • The renewal estimator has successfully helped us with marketing and carrier negotiations, i.e., it holds weight with underwriters and is hard to argue against.
  • The renewal estimator has helped us prepare our clients for their upcoming renewal by forecasting cost changes well in advance so that there are no major shocks or surprises.
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ScreenShots