The No. 1 Priority for 401k Plan Sponsors: Survey

Developing and effectively disseminating retirement saving education material an ongoing concern

401k, retirement, financial wellnessIt's a key to participant success.

Despite competing concerns such as fiduciary and administrative responsibilities, participant education is the number one priority of retirement plan sponsors, according to a new survey from OneAmerica.

The company surveyed 1,019 sponsors over a three-month period, and when it came to top concerns, it found that fiduciary responsibilities (57 percent) and administrative tasks (45 percent) were high on the list.

But when it came to plan priorities, 69 percent of sponsors listed “providing participation education” as No. 1, followed by improving participation rates at 67 percent.

“Our survey affirmed the issues that sponsors say keep them up at night, and as their advocate, we want sponsors to achieve their retirement plan priorities,” Pat Foley, OneAmerica president of Individual Insurance and Retirement Services, said in a statement. “We make our educational content relevant and motivating, and most importantly, easy to share, by deploying ready-to-use educational materials.”

Foley was referring to OneAmerica’s “One Day is Today” program, which is a “comprehensive curriculum that provides sponsors with seamless participant education and communication assistance.”

Regarding the channels used by sponsors to disseminate resources to participants, the survey looked at the “value of materials and the modes in which they are being delivered.”

“Email is seen as the most valuable mode of delivery, with 25 percent ranking it most important,” the survey concluded. “Posters, flyers and postcards (18 percent) and meeting guides are also seen as very important by many.”

More than 80 percent of survey respondents represented plan sponsors with retirement plans under $9.9 million, and of those, 61 percent described themselves as for-profit, while 39 percent described themselves as nonprofit.

The majority of plan sponsors that participated in the survey work were in the health care, manufacturing and finance industries, in that order.


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