Don't Miss

401k Plan Communications Innovative Winning Methods

401k Plan Communications Innovative Winning Methods

401k plan communications became the center of attention as the 401kTV Plan Communications Panel convened during the 401kTV GENIE Awards held at the Park Lane Hotel in New York City.  Immediately following the 401kTV GENIE Communications Panel, Category Finalist and 401k Plan Communications Category Winner, Certified 401k Professional, Ms. Jane Hagen, Senior Vice President and Director of Retirement Plans with TRI-STAR Trust Bank met with 401kTV Correspondent, Frank Licari.  Ms. Hagen is responsible for approximately $500 million of qualified plan assets within her Michigan-based organization. During the 401k plan communications interview, Jane discussed two of the methods her organization uses to engage and communicate with plan participants.  These communication techniques have been responsible for significantly raising participation rates while making it fun to plan participants to save for retirement!  Learn how Ms. Hagen accomplishes this within her organization.

Full Transcript Here

Frank Licari:
Frank Licari here at the 401kTV Genie Awards.

Frank Licari:
First of all, I want to say congratulations on being a finalist here.

Jane Hagen:
Thank you.

Frank Licari:
Tell us your name and the role you play in your organization.

Jane Hagen:
Great. I’m Jane Hagen from Tri-Star Trust Bank. Tri-Star is a trusted investment bank in the state of Michigan and we’re about 1.5 billion and a third of that is in retirement plans and that’s the portion that I manage.

Frank Licari:
We have a prop in the hand, I’m assuming that has something to do with how you got here. So give us a little insight on what you did to get you here.

Jane Hagen:
At Tri-Star, we try to make it entertaining, fun for participants in their 401k annual meetings. So every year we use a theme and our theme this year is all about playing The Game of Life. We actually take The Game of Life with us as our prop.

Frank Licari:
The actual game?

Jane Hagen:
The actual game. Every time. People right away start looking at it like, “what are we gonna do here?” We talk to them. We’re going to go through The Game of Life because we’re all going through The Game of Life every day. Along with that, we use candy, every single year. This year’s theme is on M & M’s and it says create yourself a magnificent, marvelous retirement. M & M’s goes along with The Game of Life.

Frank Licari:
Got you. A little play on words there.

Jane Hagen:
Exactly. Well, it’s amazing what candy does. I mean people just like free food. So employees come to meetings because they know they’re going to get candy. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and every year we use a different theme and a different candy bar. I told all the participants in there today if they want to list the candy bars, I’d be happy to give it to them. But candy, even participants now come up at the end of the meet, “Hey I have your theme for next year.”

Jane Hagen:
So it’s great. But we try to do our educational as just very simple, really talk about all areas of life because it’s not just the 401k. I mean they need to save for education for their kids, they need to make sure they’re looking out for their health insurance, for longterm care, whatever it may be, their whole financial world. So we try to encompass everything into it.

Frank Licari:
And we’re all kids at heart. So anytime you’re giving people candy, they’re going to be around.

Jane Hagen:
Absolutely.

Frank Licari:
What kind of results are you seeing from this?

Jane Hagen:
Along with using the candy, every other year we use gap analysis from the trial software and every other year when we do those, we do those via paper for every participant, every single plan. It’s very, very labor-intensive. But it works because when we do that, on the last page of the gap analysis, we show what it would cost them if they went up from 2% of where they’re at today. So say they’re deferring five, we take them to seven, it’s going to cost them $22. So I say, “Where would you spend $22, $11 last week you didn’t need to?” Well, I get a lot of different reasons for that, but it’s a win-win. So when we do those gap analysis every other year, we see a 50% increase in all of our participants across the board.

Frank Licari:
Wow, 50%?

Jane Hagen:
50% of it will increase because we also take a one-page form and we’ll say, “Okay, print your name, sign your name.” And they have to check the box of what they’re going to increase. They don’t have to do 2% but what we do is we highlight the line 2% and because we highlight it, it’s the power of suggestion. At the end of the day, these participants just want help, want to know that somebody cares, and want somebody to tell them what to do.

Frank Licari:
Exactly. That’s like the suggested donation on the form. You always pick that one. It’s always the one in the middle.

Jane Hagen:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Frank Licari:
And strategic.

Jane Hagen:
It works. It works.

Frank Licari:
Very good. Well, congratulations.

Jane Hagen:
Thank you.

Frank Licari:
What do you think of the Genie Awards so far?

Jane Hagen:
I think it’s great. I love how many people are here and the format and so forth.

Frank Licari:
Yeah, it’s a good group.

Jane Hagen:
It is.

Frank Licari:
Do I get candy?

Jane Hagen:
You do.

Frank Licari:
All right.

Jane Hagen:
Thank you.

Frank Licari:
This is great. Thank you. Appreciate it.

x

Check Also

401ktv Genie Awards

401kTV GENIE Award Nominations Still Being Submitted

401kTV GENIE Award Nominations Still Being Submitted 401kTV GENIE Award Nominations are still being accepted for the December 5th Program at the Gleacher Center located at University of Chicago. 403b Plan Sponsors and & 401k Plan Sponsors can be nominated ...