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Financial Wellness Total Rewards Programs Go a Step Beyond

Financial Wellness total rewards programs go a step beyond traditional financial wellness programs. Retirement plan advisor partners can be strong advocates when attempting to manage recordkeepers, investment managers and custodians for your company 401k plan.  At the conclusion of a Fiduciary Education Session, conducted at Rice University, Houston, Texas with Mr. Fred Barstein, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), visited with Susan, a Director of Human Resources with approximately 310 employees, at a firm headquartered in the greater Houston area.  They discussed the benefit of using a Total Rewards benefit on top of a Financial Wellness program.  Their benefit program looks to build the total health and wellness of the employees.  The program attaches a physical reward to the health and financial wellness of an employee.

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Fred Barstein with 401KTV here on campus at Rice University where we just completed a TPSU program. I’m here with Susan. Welcome Susan.


Okay if we ask you a few questions?


Very good, thank you. Before we do let our audience know a little bit about yourself.

I’m the director of human resources for my company. We have about 310 employees and I’ve been there for about five years.

One of the things you talked about that I felt was really interesting is you have a wellness program. A lot of companies have wellness programs.

We do.

You have a sort of different twist to it. Tell us about your wellness program.

We expanded it into what’s called a total rewards program. We wanted to accentuate the wellness part but we also wanted to bring in other type of rewards programs that we had into one combined effort. Our wellness program not only includes wellness challenges for our employees to participate in, in fact like this quarter because of all the festivities over the holidays, is the biggest loser program, so we do things like that.

Also we wanted to bring in the financial aspect. We’re helping our employees focus on looking at their 401K on a regular basis and giving them points for doing that. Our program is combined where if they participate in something like that and we have our advisor who can record who’s gone into the website, who’s looked at their 401K, and even if they don’t change it at least they’ve looked at it.

What do the points get them?

The points get them, they total up, and they can go out to the website and purchase all kinds of items. They can purchase clothing and jewelry and sports equipment and everything else. I bought my husband a chainsaw because he wanted one.

Using your bonus points?

Using my bonus points and it showed up at our door. It was really nice. He was surprised.

What’s the result? Have you seen more engagement?

We have. The employees were used to getting something that was more monetary. At first they were like, “No, I really wanted the 20 bucks instead.” But now that they’ve gotten used to the program and they see individuals that have utilized it and what kind of prizes they’re getting they’re much more excited about it.

We actually talk about it at safety meetings and things like that when someone gets rewards for service rewards, how long they’ve been with the company, their birthday rewards, things like that. It all totals up.

Final question. A couple of takeaways for you that you may want to try to do when you go back?

One of the things I want to do is we’ve been trying to follow your program for the best 401K. The one thing we haven’t done is stretched out that match. Currently we go dollar for dollar for the first 6%, which is nice, but I’d really like to get it to the 12%. If I can …

50% at 12?

If I can get the committee to go for that we’ll definitely do it.

That’s great. Thanks for your time.

Thank you.

Thank you for watching 401KTV. Stay tuned.


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