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Financial Wellness Technology and Education for 401k Plans

Financial Wellness Technology and Education for 401k Plans

Financial Wellness Technology can make a big difference for 401k plans of all sizes.  It is not sufficient to just offer financial wellness technology as an employee benefit.  There needs to be an ongoing education as well. Financial wellness technology can be enhanced through education. At the conclusion of a Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) Fiduciary Education Program held at a Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii, TPSU Founder, and CEO, Fred Barstein spoke with Melissa, Director of Human Resources at her organization. Melissa has statewide responsibility for the communications of her company’s benefit programs.  She uses technology in a multi-prong approach toward communicating with 401k savings plan participants across the state. Learn how Melissa implements technology to best communicate company benefits.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
Fred Barstein with 401K TV here in beautiful Honolulu where we just completed a TPSU program. And I am here with Melissa. Welcome, Melissa.

Melissa:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Melissa:
Yes.

Fred Barstein:
Thank you. So today you talked about the importance of education and wellness, and why is that important to you in your 401K?

Melissa:
Sure. So we have a lot of employees that are spread throughout the Hawaiian islands, and they don’t always have the opportunity to have HR with them helping to support and advise them. So we were thinking it would be really helpful to have webinars and other education programs or systems that could help increase their financial knowledge and maybe add to their contributions or just understand it more.

Fred Barstein:
Right. And so, have you done anything yet, or you’re still looking at what you want to do?

Melissa:
Yeah. So I’m relatively new in the HR director role in my organization. I do think they’ve done about one education class a year in the past, but I don’t think they’ve had a lot of participation. So we think about maybe incentivizing it in some way to get more turnout.

Fred Barstein:
Right, to do more turnout. And you did say you wanted to maybe use some of the auto features. What are you looking at?

Melissa:
So we don’t currently have auto enroll as part of our plan. We do have good participation, about 70% participation.

Fred Barstein:
That’s pretty good, yeah.

Melissa:
And I think part of that’s because we do offer and match. But we’re thinking about maybe auto-enroll, or maybe the step process. We have a lot of people that have been with us for a while, so we think that may be helpful too.

Fred Barstein:
Maybe re-enrollment as well as auto-enrolment.

Melissa:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. And so, along with auto-enrollment, anything else you learned today that you may want to try to take back?

Melissa:
Yeah. I learned a lot today. Luckily, I work for a wonderful organization that has great advisors, so they’re pretty on the ball, but I definitely think just adding that financial wellness and education would be really important for our employees.

Fred Barstein:
Well, good. Well, thanks for your time today.

Melissa:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
And thank you for watching 401K TV. Stay tuned.

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