401khelpcenter.com Logo

COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Employee Education, Participation, and Communications

This archive contains not only the most current material on the topic, but also older items that are still relevant, provide background, perspective or are germane to the topic.

If you find a broken link or an items that you feel is outdate, irrelevant or no longer appropriate, please let us know.

To subscribe to our free weekly newsletter, enter your email address below then click the "Join" button.

Email Address:


Understanding the Participant Mind

Abstract: Obtaining data on participants from retirement readiness tools, recordkeepers and aggregation tools is important in order to tailor effective communications.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

Personal Finance Game From Fidelity Targets Next Generation of Investors

Abstract: Targeting recent college graduates, Fidelity's new Five Money Musts program incorporates gamification and personal finance education strategies to jump start the next generation of investors. The game lets users make financial decisions as a recent graduate, including which job offer to take, where to live, how much to contribute to a 401k versus student loans and whether to apply for a credit card.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, September 2018

Math Without Meaning: A Hidden Flaw in 401k Education

Abstract: In basic 401k information, investment jargon needs to be eliminated or clearly defined repeatedly. If employees don't understand the words in 401k meetings or materials, not much learning will ensure. So, what about employees who don’t understand the math your 401k educator is using? Math illiteracy might be a greater learning obstacle in 401k education than jargon.

Source: Dennisackley.com, September 2018

Buy Better 401k Education

Abstract: Much 401k education remains heavily investment-weighted and jargon-infested. It was never designed for young, non-numbers-loving people who are yet-to-be-motivated to learn about something they believe they can put off 20 or 30 years. And still today, virtually no learning experts or cognitive scientists have been involved in improving 401k education. This has contributed to making 401k education the largest failure ever of adult education.

Source: Dennisackley.com, September 2018

Communication About 401k Plans Fails on Participant Intent

Abstract: Participant communication programs do take a lot of data into account when attempting to meet the needs of multiple audiences within the employee population. But what they fail to take into account, according to a Cogent Report, is intent, i.e., whether the participant him- or herself actually intends to make a change to a retirement plan account.

Source: Benefitspro.com, August 2018

DC Plan Executives Get Serious About Playing Games

Abstract: Defined contribution plan executives, providers, tech firms, and academics are all giving "gamification" techniques a closer look in hopes of driving participant engagement, financial literacy, and finding ways to get more employees thinking about and preparing for their financial future.

Source: Pionline.com, August 2018

The Reason Many DC Participant Communication Programs Fail

Abstract: One facet many participant communication professionals don't consider is intent, whether the individual participant is planning to make a change to his or her retirement plan account. Depending on their level of intent, participants will either require more specific information to inform their upcoming decision, or content that validates their current retirement saving strategies or motivates necessary changes.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, August 2018

Five Trends in Participant Communications

Abstract: Retirement communications have reached a tipping point and leading plan providers are looking to embrace a new path. One that enables powerful and empowering participant experiences. Leaders see five converging trends. Any one of them would be challenging to manage. Taken together, they require fresh perspectives to find opportunities.

Source: Broadridge.com, July 2018

Why Plan Participant Education Is Essential

Abstract: Plan participants often lack a solid understanding of what drives the success of their retirement savings, and increasingly, their unawareness is leaving them unprepared to leave work. Participant education is a crucial component of accountable sponsorship. This article discusses how to begin a consistent, effective program of participant education.

Source: Planpilot.com, July 2018

Less Is Not More: Information Presentation Complexity and 401k Planning Choices

Abstract: This 40-page paper presents the results of an experiment that is designed to examine how information presentation and complexity impact retirement-savings behavior. The hypothesis is that providing concise information with helpful recommendations would improve choices over providing lengthy and detailed information. However, the data suggest that simplifying the presentation of 401k plan information to employees is unlikely to result in vastly improved retirement-planning choices.

Source: Iza.org, July 2018

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Participant Education

Abstract: This 17-page white paper examines best practices for a plan sponsor in designing education and engagement programs to improve participants' financial wellness and long-term retirement outcomes. Whether plan sponsors are working alone or with an education provider, the paper offers guidance on how to build and implement a successful program that reaches their employees.

Source: Arnerichmassena.com, June 2018

How Plan Sponsors Can Improve 401k/403b Participant Education Efforts

Abstract: Traditional methods of educating the workforce about the value of saving money for the future are not entirely sufficient. Levels of understanding about investment concepts are not homogeneous. One approach does not work for everyone. So, efforts to improve education for those eligible to participate needs to reach out to them at their level through engaging, relevant and useful information that drives change.

Source: Planpilot.com, April 2018

401k Education Best Practices

Abstract: Many experts don't believe that 401k employee education works. The challenges of educating adults, who may not be excited to learn more about their 401k plan, are sometimes difficult to overcome. What can plan sponsors do to make their 401k employee education sessions more effective?

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, March 2018

Mechanisms Behind Retirement Saving Behavior

Abstract: This TIAA Institute study identified the behaviors that influence employees' decisions regarding their retirement plans.. In opt-in plans, efforts to get employees to increase their savings above the default rate are likely to be fruitful if they focus on improving financial literacy and understanding of exponential growth. While in automatic enrollment environments, efforts targeted at procrastination tendencies are likely to be particularly effective.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, February 2018

Shake Up Financial Education, Paper Says

Abstract: Poor savings rates, high debt levels, and the frequent incidence of living paycheck-to-paycheck are among the ingredients in the recipe for financial stress. Financial education can be an antidote, but not in the traditional ways it is provided suggests a recent study.

Source: Asppa.org, February 2018

Recordkeepers Kick Off the New Year by Enhancing Online Participant Education

Abstract: For the past two years there has been an industry-wide focus on employee retirement and financial wellness education, and the first weeks of 2018 indicate this trend will continue.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, February 2018

Retirement Plan Education: It's Time to Get Personal

Abstract: While the industry is consistently innovating on participant education and communication -- moving to mobile platforms, creating easier-to-digest video content, and bringing financial wellness to the fore -- we have gotten caught in a rather habitual, one-dimensional way of helping participants understand why and how to save for the future.

Source: 401ktv.com, January 2018

401k Enrollment: How to Get More Employees Saving

Abstract: Despite efforts to bolster their employee's retirement savings, many plan sponsors realize something is missing. While enrollment rates have improved in recent years, there are still plenty of employees who fail to enroll in the company 401k. When asked about the reasons for not saving into the plan, 28% of plan sponsors reported that a "lack of awareness or understanding" was the primary reason employees did not participate in their plans.

Source: Forusall.com, October 2017

Harnessing Behavioral Economics to Reinvent Employee Education

Abstract: Education in its current form does not work and a radically new approach is needed. An approach that incorporates behavioral economics and visually disruptive and intuitive design.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Why Most Participant Communication Is Horribly Ineffective; and What You Can Do About It

Abstract: Whether witty, entertaining, simplistic, or dramatic, plan sponsors should take steps to ensure their retirement communication is engaging for participants. Otherwise, the message, no matter how well-constructed, will be lost.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, August 2017

Customized Retirement Plan Communications Pack a Bigger Punch

Abstract: Customized retirement plan communications pack a bigger punch. When it comes to communicating the benefits of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, one size does not fit all. Each generation has its own financial priorities and goals, from Baby Boomers on the brink of retirement to Millennials just starting out on the job. So as a plan sponsor, how do you make sure you're communicating to each demographic in a way that resonates?

Source: 401ktv.com, July 2017

Transforming the Participant Experience

Abstract: Retirement communications have reached a tipping point and leading plan providers are looking to embrace a new path. New solutions are coming to the forefront: self-service workflow tools hosted securely in the cloud; software that makes it easy to streamline content management; the ability to orchestrate experiences based on personas. With these recent innovations, market leaders are transforming their participant engagement strategies into more profitable realities.

Source: Broadridge.com, July 2017

The Rise of the Mobile Devices: Putting Benefit Communication in Your Participants' Hands

Abstract: Most of your participants are likely using smartphones or tablets at work, at home or both. These handheld devices may represent an opportunity to reach formerly hard-to-reach participants with your benefit communication.

Source: Sibson.com, July 2017

Print Communications Still Key for Many Participants

Abstract: In an effort to find out how workers understand financial communications regarding retirement savings plans, and how participant knowledge can affect asset-allocation decisions, TIAA conducted research about how specific media communications (print vs. online, graphical vs. text), affects a worker's comprehension of financial material.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2017

Technology Reshaping Participant Communications

Abstract: A new study finds plan providers are turning to cloud-based technology and other solutions to enhance targeted communications toward different age groups.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2017

Transforming the Participant Experience

Abstract: Retirement communications have reached a tipping point and leading plan providers are looking to embrace a new path. They see converging trends: changing workplace demographics, technological innovations, evolving participant demands, increasing margin pressure, low savings rates, and added regulatory scrutiny. Any one of these trends would be challenging to manage. Taken together, they require fresh perspectives to find opportunities.

Source: Broadridge.com, May 2017

Infographic: Five Ways to Motivate Millennials Through Employee Communication

Abstract: According to Gallup, Millennials make up close to 40% of the United States workforce. However, less than one-third of them are engaged at work. Encouraging Millennials to take action concerning their employee benefits can be a difficult task. This infographic highlights five of tactics.

Source: Retirementtownhall.com, May 2017

Study Reveals Best Practices for Participant Communications

Abstract: Advisers can help with best practices as plan sponsors are increasingly taking it upon themselves to devise their own communication strategies to engage their participants.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Employee Miscommunication -- the Wall That Divides

Abstract: Employee miscommunication, confusion and apathy all play a factor in why employees don't understand or don't seem to care about your efforts to provide them with benefit information. Removing barriers can feel like an uphill climb in the middle of a blizzard. How does a well-intentioned HR professional overcome employee miscommunication, apathy and confusion over benefits?

Source: Corpsyn.com, April 2017

The Confident Participant: How to Create an Effective 401k Education Program

Abstract: Developing a program that will actively engage and educate your participants requires partnering with their educator to create a program tailored to your participants rather than uncritically accepting some off-the-shelf program.

Source: Penchecks.com, April 2017

A Closer Look: What's Working in Workplace Financial Education

Abstract: This 26-page report has three sections beyond this introduction. Section II provides key findings. Detailed findings on the impact of workplace financial education and factors influencing financial education success are presented in Section III. Section IV concludes with practical recommendations for organizations to consider based on the results of the study.

Source: Ifebp.org, April 2017

What Makes Workplace Financial Education Work?

Abstract: According to a recent survey, a workplace financial education program is likely to be more successful the longer it is in place. Results from the survey showed that it takes more than five years to be reported as successful.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Patience Needed With Financial Education Programs

Abstract: A study found programs running for at least 10 years are more successful than those that have only been carried out for one to two years, and suggests this may be because employers analyze the success of these programs and adapt it as they see fit.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2017

Helping Retirement Plan Participants Prepare for the Future

Abstract: Selecting an education and/or advice provider is a fiduciary decision and should be made with all the care that any other fiduciary decision is made. By isolating the education process from the investment process, plan participants are receiving sound retirement education stripped of any sales motivation. It's up to the plan fiduciary to monitor the education program to ensure that it's not sales driven. Turning to an independent provider substantially reduces this risk.

Source: Plantemoran.com, March 2017

Education Is an Important Part of the Fiduciary Process

Abstract: There have been so many misconceptions that plan sponsors and advisors have had concerning ERISA 404(c) plans. They had this belief that if they just give a mutual fund lineup and some fund profiles to plan participants that they are exempt from liability. But, ERISA 404(c) protection is about following a process and fund profiles are just not enough education to give to plan participants. On the flipside, education to participants doesn't have to amount to an MBA education.

Source: Jdsupra.com, February 2017

Using Science to Reach Participants and Inspire Positive Actions

Abstract: How do we get participants' attention to help them get on track toward retirement and then stay there amid all the noise? Vanguard has developed a three-pronged approach to driving positive participant actions: Create an individualized experience for each participant, provide a clear recommendation for increasing retirement readiness, and use proven communication techniques.

Source: Vanguardinstitutionalblog.com, January 2017

"Retirement City" Game Brings Innovation to Participant Education

Abstract: Wells Fargo is broadening its retirement outreach with its new Retirement City game, a virtual world with quizzes and challenges to sharpen retirement knowledge. Participants choose from 40 avatars and enter a variety of challenges to move through the game's five levels of increasing difficulty, bringing them closer to retirement.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, January 2017

401k Education Best Practices

Abstract: Have you started planning your 2017 401k employee education sessions? Generally, most plan sponsors conduct employee education sessions during the early part of the new year to explain changes that went into effect on January 1. As you think about your 2017 education sessions, keep the following 401k education best practices in mind.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, December 2016

Effectively Communicating to Plan Members

Abstract: In this 10-minute video interview, David Brine, Communications Director, Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, discusses how to effectively communicate to plan members.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, August 2016

The Correlation Between Retirement Readiness and Employer Involvement

Abstract: A new study by Ramsey Solutions finds that employees with access to financial and retirement education have less stress, more savings and more confidence than those without access. Results show 40 percent of workers say their employers do not provide any type of retirement or financial education and seven out of 10 workers with zero retirement savings do not have access to retirement education from their employers.

Source: Daveramsey.com, July 2016

Better Reaching and Serving Participants

Abstract: A new report asserts that today's consumers do not want "communication," they want personal guidance. They want to do things when, where and how they prefer. They want things easy and convenient. And they want the whole experience to be enjoyable.

Source: Asppa.org, March 2016

The Shrinking Dependence on Participant Education

Abstract: As 401k plans increase their reliance on auto plan design features, we are seeing participants' engagement and savings rates declining on average. The tactics many thought were going to boost retirement readiness appear to be having unintended consequences.

Source: Napa-net.org, March 2016

Why Most Participant Communication is Horribly Ineffective - And What You Can Do About It

Abstract: Retirement plan sponsors spend a considerable amount of time crafting participant communication in an attempt to increase plan participants, maximize employee deferrals, increase investment diversification, or improve plan metrics. Article suggests two primary reasons most communication campaign fail to change participant behavior.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, March 2016

Does Focus on Communications Mean Retirement Plan Participants Will Actually Read Them?

Abstract: The majority of employers struggle to get participants to open or read benefits material. To get retirement plan participants to read and act on benefits information, retirement plan providers should focus on the participant experience, just as marketers of some consumer brands have done, a new report said.

Source: Bna.com, March 2016

Increasing Retirement Plan Participation in Five Steps

Abstract: Article outlines five steps you can take to help increase participation in the plans you manage, as well as improve the overall health of your plans.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, January 2016

The Participant: Understanding Generation DC

Abstract: Forget Millennials vs. Generation X. This 6-page survey reveals why these groups have more in common than you think, and where real differences present opportunities for engagement.

Source: Ssga.com, January 2016

Bringing DC Participant Personas Into Focus

Abstract: Investment knowledge and engagement levels are declining among many defined contribution plan participants. But more targeted outreach may help connect different "investor personas" to the guidance and confidence they need. Article identifies three distinct investor personas.

Source: Abglobal.com, December 2015

Is Your Benefits Communication Reaching Your Millennial Employees?

Abstract: When it comes to benefits information, the challenge has become how to provide the same tech-centric and customer-friendly user experience that millennials have come to expect as everyday consumers.

Source: Frenkelbenefits.com, November 2015

Five Steps Plan Sponsors Can Take to Help Improve Plan Outcomes

Abstract: Plan sponsors can put these five steps in place to help participants successfully navigate the path to retirement security.

Source: Jpmorganfunds.com,, September 2015

Start the Roll-In Revolution

Abstract: To help your participants navigate the murky waters of consolidating old 401k accounts, consider conducting a roll-in campaign. Orchestrating such a campaign doesn't have to be an elaborate task. All you need is a good rollover form and a captive audience.

Source: Ssga.com, September 2015

Do Retirement Plan Sponsors Need a Policy for Education?

Abstract: Retirement plan sponsors need a strategy for education, but should plan sponsors also adopt an education policy statement that outlines their goals and methods for educating retirement plan participants?

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2015

Generational Differences Regarding Retirement

Abstract: This publication serves as a handy checklist for plan sponsors to better understand the behaviors, attitudes and communication preferences each demographic group has when it comes to retirement planning. Suggested communication points are included that plan sponsors might incorporate into participant materials and meetings.

Source: Nagdca.org, August 2015

401k Education: Giving Employees a Voice

Abstract: An eleven page overview of how employers can design a retirement plan communication program that will help meet the needs of their employees.

Source: Surveygizmo.com, August 2015

Strategies to Help DC Plan Participants Improve Financial Wellness and Achieve a Secure Retirement

Abstract: The time has come to adopt and implement proven features and solutions to help defined contribution plan participants achieve improved financial wellness and enjoy greater financial security in their retirement years. Paper outlines three strategies employers can adopt to accomplish this.

Source: Xerox.com, May 2015

Best Practices for Creating an End-to-End Education Strategy

Abstract: Research suggest that plan sponsors are grappling with a conflict between the belief that they provide valuable participant education and the recognition that too many employees are not making informed decisions about their retirement. A deeper understanding behind this disconnect may be the first step in developing a more effective participant education approach.

Source: Pnc.com, April 2015

Updating Communications to Retirement Plan Participants

Abstract: Retirement plan sponsors should revisit their communications strategies to keep up with participants' needs and advancing technology. With each effort to engage retirement plan participants, plan sponsors should ask, What is it we're trying to communicate; do we have a clear call to action; what do we want to measure; and to what end?

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2015

Improvement in 401k Education Can Boost Retirement Outcome

Abstract: Study results of a comprehensive national survey revealing that while plan participants are satisfied with their 401ks, a lack of understanding of basic investment concepts likely contributes to lower plan engagement and less successful retirement outcomes. Reviews what's working and not working.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Amping up DC Participant Outcomes Through Financial Wellness Initiatives

Abstract: This article explores how financial wellness initiatives and automatic features may interact in DC plans and the potential for financial wellness initiatives to boost participants in plans with auto features.

Source: Iscebs.org, April 2015

Rethinking Participant Education - Creating Independent Investors

Abstract: An advisor's bottom line or sales strategy should never be the driving force behind participant education; the needs of the participant should always take the main stage. Participant education should empower participants and give them the tools and information they need to successfully plan and save for retirement, but how?

Source: Ekonbenefits.com, March 2015

Engaging the Next Generations in Retirement Savings

Abstract: The challenge in addressing the savings deficit is complicated by the fact that employee education and communications strategies used by plan sponsors and consultants in the past to draw employees into the plan are not likely to resonate with Gen X and Gen Y. This white paper identifies some distinguishing characteristics of Gen X and Gen Y and suggests strategies that plan sponsors may want to adopt to engage younger workers in retirement savings today so they can achieve retirement readiness in the years to come.

Source: Calamos.com, March 2015

What Plan Providers Should Bring to Communications

Abstract: Retirement plan sponsors wanting to step up participant communications should make sure their providers are in tune with the latest trends.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2015

Gender-Specific Retirement Education Fills Void

Abstract: Employers have a critical role to play in helping women save for retirement, and research suggests women are open to receiving information from their employers and more likely to take advantage of investment tools, programs and education when they're offered.

Source: Benefitnews.com, January 2015

Why All 401k Employee Education Will Soon Be Online

Abstract: Many experts believe that 401k employee education, in its current form, does not work. Writer believes that it is just a matter of time until all employee education migrates to the Internet and provides eight reasons.

Source: Benefitnews.com, January 2015

A Guide to Communications/Participant Education

Abstract: DC plans are most successful when participants understand their choices and are empowered to take action. As a plan sponsor, you must transform complexity into simplicity, and fear into action. Yet, you are faced with many communications challenges; because participants crave simplicity, but DC plans are inherently complex. Though communication can be difficult, the benefits offered by a successful communication program outweigh the challenges.

Source: Nagdca.org, December 2014

Retirement Communications: Emerging and Future Trends

Abstract: Four important trends are emerging as providers rise to meet the challenge of delivering more personalized, contextual and interactive communications to plan participants -- segmentation, channel optimization, data integration and management, and metrics.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, November 2014

Three Ways to Increase Employee Participation in Your 401k Plan

Abstract: Helping educate your employees about the benefits of a 401k plan, and in the process debunking common plan myths, can go a long way towards getting more employees to enroll. But there are other ways you can help increase participation too. Article takes a brief look at three of them.

Source: Mossadams.com, October 2014

Low Grades for Benefits Education

Abstract: With a new survey finding only a third of employees happy with the level of benefits education provided by their employers, experts offer ways HR leaders can better inform their workforce about making the best benefits choices for their needs.

Source: Hreonline.com, September 2014

White Labeling DC Plan Investments May Offer Advantages

Abstract: Among approximately 75 large employers, nearly one-quarter (24%) are currently using a white label approach to naming defined contribution plan investment options, Aon Hewitt finds.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2014

Embracing Social Media and Mobile Technology in 401k Communications

Abstract: The participation in social media and the use of mobile technology among 401k plan participants has increased exponentially. Although traditional benefits communication vehicles have not yet become obsolete, plan sponsors need to take a multi channel approach to benefit communications by factoring in social media and mobile technologies. Article provides some insight.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2014

Improving Retirement Plan Participant Decisions

Abstract: As a plan sponsor and fiduciary, part of your responsibility is to help your participants make better choices when it comes to their plan investments. This article reviews some of the benefits of preventing participant mistakes, what the most common mistakes are, and some possible solutions.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2014

Does Participant Education Actually Help Participants?

Abstract: Does educating participants on savings behaviors and investments have an actual, measurable effect that can drive better retirement outcomes? Does it encourage employees in a sponsored retirement plan to save more, and does it help them learn more about investments and other aspects of the plan, or is it a waste of time? A survey of advisers and providers shows lack of consensus in the industry on these questions and others surrounding employee financial education efforts.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2014

Financial Knowledge and 401k Investment Performance

Abstract: Financial knowledge is critical to ones retirement security, finds a new study showing that 401k plan participants who scored higher on a test of their financial knowledge earned an additional 1.3 percentage points of investment returns annually on their retirement accounts.

Source: Nber.org, July 2014

Communication Campaigns Drive Adoption and Engagement

Abstract: Studies have linked the perception of workplace benefits with satisfaction and retention. But "without solid communication efforts, employees may not understand or value even the best and most generous benefits plans," said Mary Schafer, vice president of benefits and talent outsourcing at payroll provider ADP. The best messaging is "short and sweet, using simple and memorable language," she noted. "Don't get caught up in alphabet soup. That gets confusing fast" to employees.

Source: Shrm.org, July 2014

Retirement Plan Communications: Compliance or Greatness?

Abstract: If you want your retirement plan to be great, you need to work at it. Identify needs and develop a thoughtful communications program to address them. Seek feedback from employees, measure improvements, and keep at it. Don't be afraid to seek professional help, as specialized skill sets can make a big difference in effectiveness.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2014

The Digital Frontier: A Crucial Element in Engaging Participants

Abstract: In the past, plan sponsors placed most of their attention on plan level details, including investment options, fees and other features. Now, sponsors are growing more concerned about participant engagement as it pertains to their own retirement planning. But, how does one achieve increased engagement? It is one thing to hold live orientations during open enrollment, but holding them often enough that they actually drive engagement can be cost prohibitive and negatively impact productivity within the workplace. Enter the digital participant experience.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2014

Is 401k Education Really Educational?

Abstract: The 401k education can act has an additional foundation to help ease the nerves in volatile markets and to reinforce the need for continued savings. A broad financial education program can also get at the root of the problem of why your employees likely are not saving adequately for their retirement.

Source: 401kadvisor.us, June 2014

Retirement Plan Education -- Take It to the Next Level

Abstract: Workplace retirement plan education has resonated more with the already engaged than the average employee. It is time for employers to do the hard work of educating the most difficult to teach segments of their population. This next level of retirement planning education will take some HR retirement plan professionals out of their comfort zone because it requires that they too increase their knowledge about retirement planning.

Source: Shrm.org, May 2014

Why 401k Investor Education Doesn't Work -- And How to Change That

Abstract: You go to get the oil changed in your car. You wait a few minutes, and finally the guy with the name patch on his shirt saunters up and throws a grease-covered manual at you and says, "Here. Do it yourself." That's a bit like what's happening to plan participants these days. Here's your 401k and individual retirement account, a few pie charts, a menu of investments and good luck to you. Author suggests financial education is simply not working. Here's why, and how we can fix it.

Source: Usnews.com, April 2014

Creating Results With Benefits Communication -- Frequently Asked Questions

Abstract: It is more important than ever that employers not only provide programs that support employees' health and financial security, but also invest in educating people and supporting them to make good decisions. Benefits account for almost 30% of total compensation spending. An effective communication program helps your company make the most of its investment.

Source: Benzcommunications.com, April 2014

How to Reach Participants and Boost Engagement

Abstract: Participants are eager for guidance on saving and investing for retirement and 67% of them expect their employer to play a role in providing it. Although many sponsors offer formal advice programs, other outreach efforts can be even more powerful, particularly when they take into account both how and where participants like to receive information. Plan sponsors and others are exploring communications strategies and channels to engage participants more fully.

Source: Ssga.com, January 2014

Rethinking Defined Contribution Communication and Education

Abstract: How can plan sponsors do a better job of reaching employees, communicating the advantages of a DC plan or any employee benefits program? Knowing how employees think about their benefits and what triggers them to learn more is crucial to effective communication. Recognizing what vocabulary employees understand and how they organize their thinking is critically important. This paper explores how to better engage participants through communication and education and create more positive retirement savings outcomes.

Source: Dciia.org, December 2013

Secrets of the Highly Effective Retirement Savers

Abstract: How Americans feel about the process of saving for retirement has a direct effect on their actions and success as savers. That is one of the key findings of BlackRock's annual Retirement Survey, released today, which revealed that the most successful retirement savers have certain psychological and emotional attitudes related to the actual process of saving that drive them to put more money away for retirement.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, November 2013

Coming Soon From a 401k Plan Sponsor Near You: A New and Improved Focus on Participant Education

Abstract: There's a new policy statement debate that sounds strikingly similar to the IPS debate. It's consistent with the current evolution going on in the 401k arena -- and it might just give employees a better chance to meet their retirement goals. It's called the Education Policy Statement (EPS).

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, October 2013

Sample Education Policy Statement

Abstract: A 401k plan Education Policy Statement contains high level objectives and describes potential methodology for achieving those objectives. It is intended to assist the plan sponsor with implementing, monitoring and evaluating a proactive participant education program.

Source: Abgil.com, October 2013

Reinventing Retirement Education in the Workplace

Abstract: Retirement education in the workplace is entering a new stage where smart automatic features play a prominent role and where every aspect of communications is being transformed by the web and mobile devices. As a result, retirement education is becoming more focused on helping workers take action and make wise decisions at key points in their lives.

Source: Vanguard.com, September 2013

PepsiCo Uses Data-driven Approach to Retirement Education

Abstract: Educating employees about opportunities through an employer-sponsored retirement plan still proves a difficult task. Chad Ryan, director of retirement plans for PepsiCo, has taken a committed and data-driven approach to helping PepsiCo's 100,000 U.S. employees retire securely.

Source: Benefitnews.com, September 2013

Over Half of Employers Use Social Media for Internal Communications, Survey Reveals

Abstract: According to the survey from Towers Watson, 56 percent of employers currently use various social media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives to build community. Social media tools can be effective in creating a sense of community and employee engagement, but an employer's efforts must be tailored to the particular needs of the organization.

Source: Bna.com, June 2013

How Employers Can Foster Retirement Savings

Abstract: 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

The Massive Failure of 401k Education

Abstract: 401ks aren't perfect; but not broken. It's the 401k operators -- employees -- who lack the understanding and motivation to use them successfully. Unless 401k education is fixed, 401k's will continue to provide too little retirement income to too many Americans. 401k education started wrong and changed little in 30 years. We need adult-education experts to help fix it.

Source: Dennisackley.com, April 2013

Three Ways Employers Can Improve Benefits Communication

Abstract: 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

Directory of Retirement Education and Communication Firms

Abstract: 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 2013.

Targeting Generational Issues in Retirement Education

Abstract: 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

Eight Ways to Make Your Participation Education Plan Rock

Abstract: 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

How Can Employers Encourage Young Workers to Save for Retirement?

Abstract: 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

401k Education: Is Experience the Only Good Teacher?

Abstract: 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

The Four Critical Elements of a Successful 401k Plan Education Program

Abstract: 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

Strategies to Get Nonnative Speakers Into 401k Plans

Abstract: 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.

How to Increase Employee Participation

Abstract: 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.

Internet Resources for Better Employee Investing

Abstract: 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.

401khelpcenter.com, LLC is not the author of the material referenced in this digest unless specifically noted. The material referenced was created, published, maintained, or otherwise posted by institutions or organizations independent of 401khelpcenter.com, LLC. 401khelpcenter.com, LLC does not endorse, approve, certify, or control this material and does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, or timeliness of the material. Use of any information obtained from this material is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficacy, and timeliness. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by 401khelpcenter.com, LLC.

About | Glossary | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact Us

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.