Leveraging Retirement Benefits for Financial Wellness
Leveraging retirement benefits is not a new concept. However, leveraging retirement benefits with all employee benefits to create a culture of financial wellness is a new way to think about benefits. In this weekly Fred Talk, Fred Barstein, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), speaks on the topic of leveraging retirement benefits and the service providers of all employee benefits in the interest of creating the strongest total benefit package possible. Leveraging retirement benefits as well as the retirement service providers – such as the retirement plan advisor, the recordkeeper and the benefit broker and other employee benefits can create a total financial wellness environment. This prudent use of partnering with service providers can foster an environment where employees receive additional benefits such as student debt reduction assistance and health savings accounts.
Full Transcript Here
Greetings, welcome to this week’s version of Fred Talk. My name is Fred Barstein, I am the CEO and founder of 401kTV, and today I want to talk about the convergence of retirement planning with other benefits. So, employees more and more are relying on and have been relying on the employer for healthcare. That’s moved to retirement planning, but it’s also now including financial education, advice, and wellness.
Remember that retirement planning is more than just the 401(k). It’s about planning for the future, which is retirement while dealing with the past, debt, and handling the present, which is current bills. And there’s a convergence going on between all of those, benefits, healthcare, and financial wellness, and the question is “Why now?” And the answer is technology. Technology is now available to help employers to determine from payroll systems, healthcare and recordkeeping, what employees may need to help them to determine what is the right benefit, what is the right retirement solution for them, and what kind of education do they need, depending on the problems they’re dealing with? In the future, we’ll be able to also incorporate outside assets and accounts that that individual employee might have.
So why is that important to you as an advisor or a plan sponsor? It’s because you want to make sure that the benefit dollars and the benefit planning, whether you’re paying for it or not, is being used wisely. Secondly, you want to make sure that your employees are leveraging those benefits wisely. And finally, you want to make sure you’re leveraging your record keeper, your health care provider, your benefit broker, your plan advisor, to help your employees with retirement planning and benefits, both. You’re paying for them to do that, and if they’re not doing that and all they’re doing is, on the plan side, for example, telling you which funds they should have or have not, and only talking about fees and fiduciaries, you’re not getting your money’s worth. You really need an advisor that can help you holistically.
So what are some simple next steps that you can take? You should learn more about data analytics, either from your record keeper or from a fintech company who can help you to analyze the benefits that you have and how people are using them or not using them. Secondly, there are a lot of financial wellness tools, and how technology is enabling all of that in conjunction with your advisor. Thirdly, if you have a high deductible healthcare plan, you may want to include HSAs, which is really the first bridge between retirement planning and healthcare.
And finally, there’s a lot of innovations going on out there, a lot through technology, helping younger employees, millennials, deal with student debt. You know, they can maybe leverage some technology to allow them to maybe get a … Take advantage of the match, even though they can’t afford to pay and defer into the 401(k) plan because they have to pay for student debt. So as a plan sponsor and an advisor, you really want to see how can this convergence of retirement and benefits help, and what you should be doing to stay ahead of that to help your company and your employees. Thanks for watching Fred Talk, stay tuned for more.
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