Out of the woods and cautiously optimistic
September 19, 2022

Out of the woods and cautiously optimistic

Jane Downing | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Human Interest

I am the owner and operations manager for a small business. I have offered a 410k plan for the past 13 years. Human Interest was recommended to me as a "full service" 401k plan. I was interested in this because I no longer wanted to have administrative responsibilities for the 401k plan with my business. This was the most important rationale for my considering and then selecting Human Interest. Ultimately the costs were competitive as well, particularly when including the lower administrative fees associated with the available funds for employees to choose from for their plans. Presently I have about 75-80 employees and unfortunately very few choose to participate when eligible. Still, the promise of a user-friendly interface was a desirable feature as well.
  • take on 401k plan administrative responsibilities - forms, census, etc.
  • interface with employees directly upon eligibility, eliminating tasks for internal administrative team
  • offer reputable funds with low administrative fees
  • interfaces with my payroll company directly, eliminating yet another task for internal administrative team
  • I experienced frustration with Human Interest in the process of moving from my prior administrator (not "full-service) to Human Interest. Communication was poor, the timing of withdrawals was not accurate, and materials to send to employees about a new provider were sent after employees were contacted by Human Interest with details about a new 401k plan.
  • Website interface for employees does not provide as much information as my former provider. For participants, this has been noticeable. Those with loans cannot track their loan payoff on the site, nor do they see as much information about the performance of their individual funds and overall portfolio. More details would be helpful.
  • We have had a few glitches along the way (for example, Human Interest shows balances without accounting for employee loans whereas the former plan showed the loan as part of the balance -- that we didn't know about this left an employee feeling like 5K of her money "disappeared") and the most frustrating part of this has been challenges in communication. Customer service has ONLY been through digital interface and, in some cases, a phone call could help problem resolution and customer satisfaction significantly. Even as issues have been sent up the pole in escalation, I have not had a single call from customer service.
  • One cautionary note that perhaps Human Interest should address with its sales team is that the sales person sold me rainbows and unicorns - the promise of a smooth transition process, readily accessible customer service, an interface for participants that would provide all the information they'd like. I have experienced issues with each of these features and it seems like the operations side of Human Interest get set up for frustrated customers/clients due to the overselling of the sales team. Perhaps more communication and working on challenges would improve the customer experience.
  • The greatest positive impact Human Interest has had at this point has been the elimination of routine administrative tasks from my list of "to dos." I'm hoping that as glitches are worked out, the need for my involvement in problem-solving will lessen. Then, I will be happy to report that there has been a greater ROI for my business overall.
  • Administrative fees associated with funds have decreased.
  • The benefit of a 401k plan continues to help with talent acquisition.
Unfortunately, I have experienced challenges with the integration with payroll and have had staff complain about the interface. In both cases, after a significant amount of back and forth via email with customer service, the problems were resolved but I had to push fairly hard to not make challenges on the Human Interest side my "problems." We have mostly hourly employees whose hours vary from week to week and Human Interest continued to push for the provision of annual salaries for all employees to ensure their eligibility. Ultimately Human Interest resolved this, but until they had requested the information multiple times.

While Human Interest's site is readily accessible, there is less information available to participants compared to our prior 401k plan provider. There is less information about performance of funds and there is no information about 401k loan balances for individuals who have such loans.
The other 401k plan provider is not listed among the available listings.

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My interest in and ultimate choice to move forward with Human Interest is directly linked to the elimination of my administrative duties in relation to the 401k plan I offer to my employees. I did not want to continue to have responsibility for completing/checking the census at the end of the year, the Form 5500 process, informing staff of eligibility, etc. Human Interest does offer a "full-service" 401k Plan that has enabled me to take these tasks (and the worry over meeting deadlines) off my plate. Costs seem reasonable, administrative fees associated with funds available are reasonable. Thus far, however, Human Interest has required my involvement at the problem-solving level -- monitoring the transition process and catching mistakes along the way, responding to my staff who participate in the plan and who have had unsatisfactory experiences with customer service, and a few other mishaps along the way. Given that customer service appears to be only web-based interactions, this is a potential point of frustration for a business owner trying to extricate themselves from the 401k plan administrative duties. All of this being said, however, I am hopeful that Human Interest is committed to learning from the "glitches" and making improvements to enhance the customer experience. My rating of 7 reflects my experience thus far and my hopefulness about what the future holds. As with any service, persistence in having problems resolved has been necessary, and, they have been resolved.