Helping 401(k) Participants Achieve Successful Outcomes
While 2012 was a landmark year for 401(k) plans with the new fee disclosure requirements going into effect, the annual Deloitte 401(k) Survey revealed that the top-of-mind issue for plan sponsors in 2012 was education, not regulation. In fact, 84 percent of plan sponsors identified improved participant education as a focus area for their plans.
The 2013 Top Five Global Employer Rewards Survey from Deloitte Consulting LLP seems to indicate that participant education is important, reporting that 66 percent of employees in the Americas rated "my ability to afford retirement" as their top personal challenge. As many U.S. workers may rely primarily on 401(k) plans to fund their retirement, the survey sought to understand how plan sponsors felt their plans were doing in meeting the retirement income challenge for their employees. Only 12 percent of employers felt that most of their employees are, or will be, financially prepared for retirement. So, even with a slowly improving economy, there is still a long road to retirement savings that lies ahead.
An Education Policy Statement Can Help
While most 401(k) plans have an investment policy statement (IPS), education policy statements (EPS) are uncommon. An area that has grown in importance with plan sponsors since the global market meltdown of 2008 is the need for meaningful continuing education for plan participants.
Like an IPS, an EPS can help plan sponsors develop an education process. Benefits of an EPS include:
- Supporting strategic initiatives — employee attraction and retention, plan ROI
- Providing a basis for standards, prudent practices and procedures, which can help drive successful outcomes
- Facilitating communication among stakeholders
- Offering a meaningful basis for benchmarking, documenting and measuring results
- Enhancing participant awareness of the plan
The result will be a tangible process for implementing a comprehensive employee education program and a means to evaluate its effectiveness in achieving the desired results.
For more information about education policy statements or plan benchmarking services, please contact Tim Swartley at 215-721-2453 or email.
Securities and insurance products are offered through Univest Investments, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC, a licensed subsidiary of Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania. They are not FDIC insured, are not a deposit of or bank guaranteed, and are subject to risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested. Consult a tax advisor regarding what may be best for your personal situation.
When it comes to retirement, everyone's situation is unique. Depending on your stage in life, you will probably have different questions and concerns. In order to create a strategy designed to meet your retirement needs, your current situation needs to be evaluated. This is where our retirement assessment can help. Visit www.univest.net/retirementready to complete the assessment to gain perspective on your retirement plan.