Cut Out Confusion with Better Retirement Plan Communication

Cut Out Confusion with Better Retirement Plan Communication

Millennials are so far from retirement the last thing they are thinking about is learning how their 401(k) works. And Baby Boomers are so close to retiring it’s hard for them to visualize the plan they agreed to 20 years ago without panic. One surefire way to remove the tension? Better communication. You’re able to cut out confusion with better retirement plan communication. It may be difficult for some employees to understand why they qualify for some benefits and not others, but when you take the time to thoroughly explain each facet of their retirement plan, they’ll thank you.

Watch your language

Unless you’re running a team of lawyers (and possibly even then), you need to cut out the legalese. Of course on official documents, you need to include the legal jargon when it comes to compliance regulations, but that isn’t necessary when you’re explaining the plan to your team. For example, 76% of Millennials are discussing saving, investing and planning for retirement with family and friends. Use the familiar language to discuss your retirement plans, so Millennials are able to make the best decisions for themselves.

76% of Millennials are talking retirement savings. You should too!

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Know current and future trends

Why is it so important to know what’s trending in the benefits world? Aside from the potential risk of slightly higher employee turnover, your employees will ask you questions. Why don’t I qualify? Why doesn’t the company offer benefits? Your employees need to understand, at least the basics, what you offer and why you offer it. If you feel adjustments need to be made, or you get an overwhelming number of employees asking the same question, maybe it’s time to reconsider the retirement plans you offer.

As you begin to acquire a new generation of employees, their expectations and preparedness to plan for retirement will differ. You need to be aware of these differences in order to update benefits and communicate retirement plans effectively. Currently, 68% of employees have access to a 401(k) or similar plan, although Gen X (74%) are more likely to have access to a plan while Millennials (62%) are least likely.

You can adjust it

Regardless of the details in the retirement plan of your choosing, you can, in fact, change the way you talk about the benefits depending on the generation and trending options. Let’s look at some ways you can target the way you discuss and channel recruitment plans:

1. Life-stage communication: More than just a generationally diverse workforce, employees will be at different stages in their professional career, so it’s critical to their keen understanding of their performance plan that you earmark the way you communicate about retirement.

2. Channel optimization: Instead of just sticking to the printed handbook of employee benefits (retirement plans included) create a communication strategy that includes multiple channels from social media to email in addition to print.

3. Data integration: Use data and analytics to determine how the retirement communication plan should look in the future by measuring participant and plan data.

4. Metrics management: Although retirement providers often focus on retirement outcomes as the primary metric of success, equal focus should be placed on delivering the reasonable, sustainable positive outcomes.

Despite the variances in workforce generations, there are strategic ways you can cut out confusion with better retirement plan communication. Always minimize the legalese in employee-friendly documentation; use language that’s easily relatable to your employees. Understanding future trends is critical to stay competitive in the talent market as well as being able to answer questions your employees may have regarding the plan you chose for your team.

Always remember, you can adjust the way you talk about the retirement plans you offer so you and your team are clear on expectations and deliverables. Need more employee benefits guidance? Get started with The Olson Group to see how we can help!

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Eric Abts

Eric has over 8 years of experience working with retirement plans, securities, and as an adviser for individuals. Helping clients maximize their financial well-being has always been a passion for him. He presently holds his Series 7 and 66 securities licenses and is registered as a licensed agent in the states of NE, IA, and KS. He also holds the certified designation of Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist through the College of Financial Planning. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Small Business Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is a registered notary in the State of Nebraska.

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