COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Employee Education and Participation
Summary: Employers have more influence than they probably realize in creating a secure financial future for their employees. Here are five key ways an employer can help foster a community of savers for retirement in their company.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2013
Summary: Any employee benefit program will better meet its objectives if an employer communicates about it effectively. And perhaps no other employee benefit plan requires as much careful attention to employee communication as a 401k. The need to communicate effectively with employees regarding 401k plans is heightened by the fact that employees may react negatively to plan limitations and restrictions. So what can employers do to improve their benefits communication?
Source: Thompson.com, April 2013
Summary: Beyond the general education about how to much to save and how to invest, retirement plan participants have issues at different life stages that need to be addressed -- there are many issues that are not "one size fits all."
Source: Planadviser.com, March 2013
Summary: Since retirement plans are designed to give participants a vehicle that helps them save and prepare for retirement, they need to be accompanied by an education plan that compels them to take action and make decisions -- not collect dust. This article provides some participant education best practices.
Source: Principal.com, January 2013
Summary: Workers under age 35 have the lowest 401k participation of any age group. Failing to save for retirement at a young age means missing out on compounded investment earnings that can substantially ease the burden of building a nest egg. This brief reflects preliminary results from research positing that young adults' distance to retirement may discourage them from saving, and it tests what types of communication tactics might be most effective in promoting saving.
Source: Center for Retirement Research , March 2012
Summary: For too many investors, though, it's only when they're older and "experienced" do they finally understand the missed opportunity of taking correct action in their younger years. If lack of experience is the disease, then a good 401k education program is the cure.
Source: Benefitspro.com, March 2012
Summary: The key to disciplined 401k education is education for both the employees and the plan sponsors. Unfortunately, education, despite its importance, often falls to a lower priority status in the busy-ness of business and life. Article presents four key components of a successful 401k plan education program.
Source: Fiduciarynews.com, February 2012
Summary: Proactive strategies boost 401k participation by nonnative speakers. Midsize employers have found ways to increase their 401k plan participation rates among employees who speak English as a second language.
Source: Businessinsurance.com, January 2012.
Summary: More and more employers are grappling with how to help the Baby Boomer generation address the gap between what they have saved and what they will need to save to comfortably retire. It is a challenging problem. Here's some thoughts.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2011.
Summary: When designing financial education programs for employees, companies that keep in mind generational differences in viewpoints, learning styles and adaptation to technology build more effective programs. Every individual is unique but at the same time, generations undeniably share a world view and have their own unique group characteristics. These unique traits have implications for not only how each group learns, but how they communicate and how they like to be communicated with.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2011.
Summary: Increasingly, participant retirement education is being evaluated with the bottom line in mind, with companies demanding that the programs they roll out to their employees actually change behavior. It is about time for us to begin to track the statistical success of these programs, to evaluate them on the bottom line numbers and to ask the tough questions.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2011.
Summary: As the economy starts to stabilize, retirement plan experts say plan sponsors need to emphasize certain elements of their retirement education and advice programs to get workers back on track and saving for retirement. The first thing employers need to recognize is that employees are ready to hear the message again about saving for retirement.
Source: Employee Benefit Adviser, March 2011.
Summary: Are you having as hard of a time as we do in finding independent retirement education and communication firms? To solve the problem, we have put together this follow directory. Download it at no cost and if you know of a firm we missed, let us know about them.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com , March 2011.
Summary: When it comes to participant communications, the retirement plan industry is stuck between the old methods of snail mail and email's and the new world of social media.
Source: Planadviser.com, October 2010.
Summary: Outlined in this article a program you can put into place that is sufficiently protective given the current legal environment. This does not guarantee you will never face a legal issue, but it offers a high degree of protection should you face legal challenges surrounding the information you provided employees to help them make investment decisions.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2010.
Summary: Plan sponsors want to make sure they are ahead of the curve with their retirement education programs rather than responding too late to major industry changes. To do so, they need to know the key trends in workplace retirement education and financial education.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2010.
Summary: How do you know if you are giving investment education or investment advice? In Interpretive Bulletin 96-1, The Department of Labor has given some of the best guidance on determining the difference between the two. Here is a summary of the most important points.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2010.
Summary: What motivates employees to participate in and contribute to voluntary savings plans? According to a new study in Economic Inquiry, the answer lies in how regularly their company holds retirement seminars.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, November 2009.
Summary: If tomorrow's retirees hope to achieve the financial security enjoyed by many of their parents, more disciplined retirement savings behaviors must be adopted and more extensive and efficient use must be made of mortality-contingent products. As the cornerstone of most of today's retirement plans, employer-based defined contribution plans are the natural point of delivery for both the substantial education efforts required to change participant behaviors, as well as for innovative product solutions to help participants mitigate longevity risk.
Source: String Financial , May 2009.
Summary: Now that plans can be automated to a large degree, do communication and education have roles to play? They do indeed. Getting workers into a 401k plan, increasing their savings rate, and improving their diversification through default mechanisms is not necessarily synonymous with financial security.
Source: Workforce Management (free registration may be required), January 2008.
Summary: Given that the Pension Protection Act addresses plan sponsors' primary concerns, do we still need to offer education and advice to employees? Can't we simply auto-enroll, auto-escalate, and auto-allocate, and call it a day--or a decade?
Source: Journal of Financial Planning, September 2007.
Summary: While automatic enrollment is sure to have a dramatic increase in benefit plan participation, CitiStreet says recent research shows that for plan sponsors who have not opted for that feature, simple early plan communication is a major key to increasing participation.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2007.
Summary: The myth that colorful participant statement stuffers and interactive web sites will turn your 401k plan participants into little Warren Buffetts by reading and interacting with them is only that, a myth. Let's be honest and finally admit it - we are failing to provide our participants with the services and choices they need to make effective investment decisions.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2005.
Summary: We are going to start automatic enrollment in our retirement plan at 1% for all eligible employees. We want to discourage our employees from opting out of the plan. What are some strategies we can use to keep them enrolled?
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, February 2005.
Summary: The evidence suggests that employers can increase both participation and contribution rates by making financial education materials and retirement income projections more widely available. The communication methods are also important. More sophisticated, web-based communication programs tend to result in greater enrollment and savings rates than other forms of communication. This article examines the ways in which employee and plan characteristics and communication programs influence employees' 401k plan participation and savings behavior.
Source: Watson Wyatt Worldwide, February 2005.
Summary: Employers offer a 401k plan because they want to attract and keep talented employees. So, if you are an employer and have one, why not strive to get as close to 100% participation as possible?
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2005.
Summary: Companies that want to offer financial education for women--or employees in general--might want to consider the characteristics of successful programs identified by the nonprofit Institute for Socio-Financial Studies in Middleburg, Virginia.
Source: Workforce Management, January 2005.
Summary: When it come to knowing about and understanding their 401k retirement plans, most workers are in the dark. As a plan sponsor, you can correct this by being sure that everyone of your employees is be able to answer at least these 15 questions.
Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2004.
Summary: So what can companies do to rekindle the desire of employees to participate in 401k plans? Here are some suggestions.
Located on: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2004.
Summary: This interpretive bulletin sets forth the views of the Department of Labor (the Department) concerning the circumstances under which the provision of investment-related information to participants and beneficiaries in participant-directed individual account pension plans will not constitute the rendering of "investment advice" under ERISA. This guidance is intended to assist plan sponsors, service providers, participants and beneficiaries in determining when activities designed to educate and assist participants and beneficiaries in making informed investment decisions will not cause persons engaged in such activities to become fiduciaries with respect to a plan by virtue of providing "investment advice" to plan participants and beneficiaries for a fee or other compensation.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor , September 2003.
Summary: Some ideas that could help boost participation in your 401k plan and turn your employees into Retirement Income Consumers.
Located on: Dennisackley.com , October 1999 .
Summary: It is the age old issue of how to increase employee participation in your 401k plan. We know how crucial it is to the overall success of the plan -- particularly to the highly compensated employee group. High participation also helps in creating a positive attitude towards the company and helps greatly in employee retention. So, how can you increase participation in your plan?
Located on: 401khelpcenter.com.
Summary: Most 401k plan participants want and need better investment education. Nearly all plan sponsors provide investment information of some form, but one tool that is often not promoted is the Internet. The Internet contains a wealth of free, useful and informative data related to 401k investing. Sure, there is a lot of junk also, but you can help your employees avoid these areas by directing them to high quality sites.
Located on: 401khelpcenter.com.
Summary: Tips for improving you employee education.
Located on: Investment Horizons, September 1999.
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