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Retirement preparation starts with employee communication

By: Richard Alvarez, Regional Sales Director, North Central Region

If you haven’t already seen the stats about Americans’ preparedness for retirement, brace yourself, because they’re pretty alarming. It’s estimated that nearly half (45 percent) have zero savings for retirement and less than a quarter of people are “very confident” they will have enough money for retirement.1 Needless to say, it’s not a rosy outlook. Fortunately, employers can help get employees prepared for retirement through voluntary benefits enrollment.

The value of one-on-one

One of the biggest obstacles to retirement preparedness is the simple fact that people aren’t thinking about it or don’t know how to approach retirement planning. In fact, many employees who do participate in their company’s 401(k) are leaving money on the table as 1 in 4 do not save enough to receive their full company match.2 That’s where a voluntary benefits enrollment with one-on-one communication comes in. Trained communication professionals can engage employees on topics such as 401(k) participation or retirement readiness education during enrollment to help get them on track.

Furthermore, this type of communication fits in perfectly with information about their benefits and the entire picture of an individual’s financial wellness. It’s the perfect time to have the conversation. Oftentimes, this can be addressed directly through a total compensation statement to provide a complete picture of the employee’s benefits and pay. And, when using trained benefits communication experts, communication can be delivered with maximum effectiveness and without taxing an employer’s resources.

Results of one-on-one communication

Time and time again, this approach has proven to be effective for employer groups we work with. Roughly 90 percent of employees who enroll one-on-one with an insurance representative express high levels of satisfaction with enrollment.3

Beyond satisfying employees, one-on-one communication has delivered results when it comes to retirement planning. Our one-on-one communication partners have seen:

  • An average of 78% increased participation in retirement plan participation
  • A 66% increase in retirement plan contributions
  • Nearly half of employees enrolled in a life insurance plan with long-term care coverage

The results, in many ways speak for themselves. But, for an American population where roughly 70 percent have less than $1,000 in savings, it’s about much more than just boosting benefits participation, it’s much needed education for these individuals’ futures.4 offering voluntary with one-on-one communication gives employees the education they need as well as supplemental voluntary protection to make sure they are protected for today and tomorrow.

1 “10 scary retirement statistics”. BenefitsPRO. Aug. 2015.
2 Employees missing out on $24B in employer matches. CNBC. May 12, 2015.
3 Trustmark Independent Employee Survey Conducted by The Connell Group. April, 2015.
4 GOBanking Rates Survey, 2015.