Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    401k Retirement Plan Education Strategies for 2017

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Jan 17, 2017 8:00:00 AM

    401k ATC.jpgThe start of the new year is a good time to plan out your retirement plan education strategies for the upcoming year. Some considerations for a successful education plan are:

    Information accessibility

    We live in an environment of technology. Individuals want to have access to information 24/7. It is important to work with outside vendors to ensure that you are providing information in the most efficient manner possible. Keep data concise and easy to access. Allow for information via many different means, such as email, text, opt out option, intranet and mail.

    Perform an employee survey

    Get input from employees on areas of concern they have for retirement. This may include what help they may need in planning for retirement, or how they would prefer communication to begin. 

    Structure communication to needs of groups

    Plan sponsors have a multitude of information available to them from their 401k plan vendors. It is important to spend the time in data mining the information to better structure the communication to align with the needs of specific groups. Some key categorizations of these specific groups include:

    • Individuals not participating
    • Individuals who have not changed their deferral percentages in the last two years
    • Individuals by age

    Reviewing key segments will provide a more personalized message and allow for improved participation. 

    Be proactive in your outreach

    A plan sponsor can help their employees by reviewing certain factors to help the employee save more for retirement. Key factors that can assist with the targeted campaigns are:

    • Identifying those individuals who are over age 50 and are not taking advantage of the catchup provision
    • Identifying those that did not contribute enough to take the full employer match
    • Identifying individuals with a concentration in one investment or perhaps all investments

    By contacting these individuals and better educating them on the benefits of the catch up provision, the additional company contribution, and/or providing access to an investment advisor, the plan sponsor can help the employee save more for retirement.

    A strong education plan will be invaluable to employees and participants in a retirement plan. For further information, contact Michelle Buckley at mbuckley@meadenmoore.com or 216-928-5379.

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    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    Michelle Buckley

    Written by Michelle Buckley

    Michelle Buckley is a Vice President in Meaden & Moore’s Assurance Services Group with 23 years of public accounting experience.

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