Will Your Employees Be Ready for Retirement? (And Why You Should Care)

Many business owners and company leadership teams believe simply offering a retirement plan as part of their benefits program is sufficient in helping employees prepare for retirement. While this is a step in the right direction, there is much more that goes into fostering retirement readiness and ensuring your plan is being used effectively. Most employees aren’t going to naturally feel comfortable jumping into your plan, and may need more education and guidance. This education can have a positive impact for your organization. In fact, enhancing your employee’s retirement readiness may play a bigger role in your company’s success than you might have imagined.

Having a retirement plan your current and potential employees can feel confident in can play a big part in both recruiting and retention of your company’s best assets—its people. According to a recent Towers Watson Retirement Attitudes Survey, between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of workers under 40 who agreed a good retirement plan program was a deciding factor in accepting a new job jumped from 28 percent to 63 percent.

Confidence in the stability of their financial future doesn’t just affect your employees’ likelihood of remaining with your company; it can also directly impact how well your employees perform at their jobs. In a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 83 percent of HR professionals stated that personal financial problems had an impact on worker performance, affecting employees’ ability to focus on their daily tasks (47 percent) and increasing general stress levels (46 percent).

Regardless of your industry, company size or number of employees, running a retirement plan that works for all parties involved can affect your bottom line on more than one level. Here are a few things you can get started on today to strengthen your company’s retirement plan program:

Improve Awareness of the Program

From internal meetings led by your advisor to posters and collateral throughout your workplace, keeping employees informed about your company’s retirement plan program is the first step to having a program that works. Be sure to let new hires know when they will be eligible to enroll and ensure that they have the support they need once they are ready to start contributing. Think of your retirement program as a new product or service line that you would like each of your employees to be extremely familiar with.

Provide Employee Education and Individual Counsel

As a plan sponsor and employer you should never give employees advice on how to allocate their funds within their plan, so bringing an independent retirement plan advisor on board is crucial to any employee education efforts. An experienced advisor will sit with each of your employees to go over their options and help them design a path towards retirement they can feel confident in, which can relieve stress and help them become an even better asset to your company.

Make it Easy to Enroll

When it comes to retirement plan enrollment, simplifying the process will not only relieve stress from plan sponsors, but it’s also likely to improve your participation rate. By ensuring your employees know exactly what is available to them and who to turn to for guidance on enrolling, you are creating a clearly defined path for their enrollment and ultimate retirement readiness.

Building an efficient and high performing retirement plan program is not a three-step process, but the above tips are a great starting point. To learn more about strengthening the retirement program you are offering your employees, we encourage you to contact one of our retirement plan advisors to help steer you in the direction of a smooth and stress-free retirement for your employees.

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