New Financial Wellness Program Has 401k Plan Sponsor “Ecstatic”
The benefits manager at a 3,000-employee company attending a TPSU program held at Thunderbird School of Global Management in the Phoenix area explains the new financial wellness program her company rolled out along with her high expectations.
In charge of both the 401k and health plan, the benefit manager decided to expand their wellness program to meet the financial needs of employees. To get people excited and engaged, the company uses a comprehensive communication program which includes incentives like gift cards as well as gamification to try to make the program fun.
They start with a survey to determine what areas the financial wellness program should focus on such as debt management or creating an emergency fund. The survey is updated periodically to determine if employees are participating and if their needs have changed.
Beyond excited, the benefits manager is “ecstatic”.
With the shift from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) plans like 401ks and 403bs, employees are now looking and even expecting to get financial guidance and education at work. Companies struggle and even chafe at that role but the reality is that employees that are not stressed about financial issues are likely to be more productive. Further, they are more likely to be able to retire when they want to resulting in a healthier company with lower salary and benefit costs as well as younger workers that see opportunities to progress in their careers.
There’s a lot of buzz around financial wellness but the challenge is to show ROI before the excitement fades.
Also learned at TPSU was how revenue sharing works, a popular and sometimes disturbing discussion about indirect fees, as well as the 401kTV video about a simple program an HR professional used called “left on the table” to show employees how much money they lost
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