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401k Plan Communications Panel Big Success at 401kTV GENIE Awards

401k Plan Communications

401k Plan Communications Panel a Big Success During 401kTV GENIE Awards

401k Plan Communications was a strong session at the 401kTV GENIE Awards in New York City at the Park Lane Hotel last week.  401k plan communications have been an important component of 401k plans since the early 1980s.  The topic of 401k plan communications and exactly how Advisors and service providers communicate with plan participants has morphed into unique strategies and some high impact tools being delivered today.

The 401kTV GENIE Awards Communication session featured industry professionals Edward Dressel, RetireReady Solutions, Courtney Gladden, Chepeknik Financial and Jane Hagen, TriStar Trust Bank, on the Panel which was moderated by Aaron Schumm of Vestwell.

Ms. Gladden opened the panel discussion with a fresh theme of connecting with 401kplan participants through a dining experience!  The Chepenik Financial unique strategy is to make “talking about your 401k plan” an experience, instead of just forcing employees to attend a meeting on finances.  And just how is that accomplished?  The mantra at their 401k meetings becomes “Let’s Taco-bout your Retirement!”  Trepidation over “what chart or graph is an advisor going to force me to view and discuss” becomes “What would you like on your Taco, while we taco-bout your Retirement”   Sound unusual? You bet it is. Perhaps a bit corny? Yes, it is. But the strategy of serving-up tacos in exchange for a bit of time with the plan participants has paid dividends, primarily to the plan participants. The Taco-truck that rolls-up to the job site or the employee parking lot has changed the way participants think about and discuss retirement savings.  Ms. Gladden shared their experience of increases in plan participation, increases in the rate of investment, and overall increased satisfaction with the plan among plan participants.  Ms. Gladden concluded by expressing one of the lines they sometimes use when working with plan participants – “Lettuce freshen up your future, or you may be living la Vida broke-a.”

Next on the panel were the combined efforts of Ms. Hagen and Mr. Dressel. Although neither had planned a joint presentation their conversation appeared to be poetry-in-motion as Ms. Hagen described how she used very specific tools during annual meetings with plan participants. She shared with the 401kTV audience how those meetings were scheduled, how she prepared, and the impressive results achieved within multiple retirement plans over the years.

To Ms. Hagen’s surprise – and to Mr. Dressel’s as well – Ms. Hagen had been using, for years, reports that were being prepared by Mr. Dressel’s firm, RetireReady Solutions!  There could not have been a bigger “ah-ha” moment than when they each realized with whom who they were sharing the panel.  RetireReady Solutions is an innovative retirement software solution with a proven track record – validated by Ms. Hagen – that is used by many retirement plan advisors to engage participants, improve 401k plan communications and drive measurable results.

The Co-winners of the NYC 401kTV GENIE Communications Award are Jane Hagen of TriStar Trust Bank and Edward Dressel of RetireReady Solutions.

If plan sponsors and retirement plan advisors are interested in engaging plan participants and motivating them along a path of retirement readiness, the 401kTV GENIE Awards last week was the place to be!

Retirement plan sponsors and retirement plan advisors should mark their calendars for the upcoming Midwest 401kTV Genie Awards.  The program is scheduled for downtown Chicago, Gleacher Center, at the University of Chicago on Thursday, December 5th.  401kTV will continue to highlight 401k plan communication strategies over the coming weeks.

Steff Chalk

Steff Chalk

Managing Editor at 401kTV
Steff C. Chalk is Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University, a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. Steff also serves as Executive Director of The Plan Sponsor University and is current faculty of The Retirement Adviser University.
Steff Chalk
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