Tech-focused insurance brokerage and retirement advisory firm Newfront organized a hackathon to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into their client-facing products and services. One of the outcomes of this event is an AI-driven workplace benefits chatbot that is currently being used by employers. The chatbot is not only equipped to answer general benefit questions but also to provide retirement plan services and inquiries. Newfront retirement services practice leader Greg Kaplan explains that the AI engine is trained with all the available information from employee benefits and retirement plans to provide accurate answers to various questions.
Newfront is actively embracing the AI revolution and showcasing its practical implications. In June, a representative from Newfront’s engineering team presented before the Congressional AI Caucus, demonstrating how the benefits chatbot can answer questions related to health savings account plans and flexible spending accounts.
Furthermore, Kaplan’s retirement team has been leveraging AI to work for plan sponsor clients by using a technology called “large language model” to mine and analyze Form 5500 retirement plan filings. This allows them to identify trends and insights for client plan design. By going granular and industry-specific, the team aims to provide more relevant and detailed analysis tailored to individual clients. Previously, the team relied on industry reports and manual inputting of the 5500 forms, but now they plan to use large language modeling to automate the process and provide deeper insights in less time and with fewer human work hours.
In the process of developing the chatbot, Newfront discovered that some of the benefit guides used by the AI were not clear enough. This feedback loop helped improve the materials and enhance the machine’s responses. The use of the chatbot can significantly reduce the workload for human resource teams by saving them up to four weeks of email responses or hallway inquiries.
While the full extent of how AI technology will impact the retirement space is still unfolding, Kaplan believes that the upcoming round of 5500 forms will bring them closer to practical applications. Newfront is committed to integrating AI into their services to enhance client experiences and streamline processes.