Retirement Security Week Adopts (Timely) Behavioral Finance Theme

Thaler Nobel win will only help with awareness

401k, retirement, participants,Retirement readiness is sorely lacking.

Not exactly news—the majority of Americans are ill-prepared for retirement, something the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators is looking to address.

To further its objective of “helping working Americans obtain retirement security,” the advocacy organization is championing 2017 National Retirement Security Week, October 15-21, where it will offer a free, ready-to-use communications campaign for plan sponsors.

The “Your Whole Story” campaign, which can be used by public and private plan sponsors, is designed to “engage employees in a discussion about their overall financial decision-making, with an emphasis on their retirement savings decisions.”

It was created by the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants, using a process grounded in behavioral finance and “human-centered design “to generate higher levels of engagement and behavior change, something particularly newsworthy given the announcement of Richard Thaler’s Nobel prize on Monday.

And it’s far from abstract; test use on County of Los Angeles employees in 2016 resulted in a 25 percent increase in plan participation and a 48 percent increase in savings rates, according to the organizations.

“NAGDCA’s goal in facilitating the creation of National Retirement Security Week was to create a grassroots movement for societal change around retirement,” Polly Scott, NAGDCA executive board member, and former president said in a statement. “‘Your Whole Story’ is a campaign using best practices and behaviorally effective methods to engage participants in becoming aware of their role in preparing for retirement.”

“Communications can be a huge lever for change when done in a way that shifts the focus to the individual and their needs,” added NARPP President Laurie Rowley. “‘Your Whole Story’ engages people in a conversation about their own life and goals, without using fear and scare tactics that have been proven to turn off employees from taking the actions necessary to secure their financial future,”.

The “Your Whole Story” campaign is a suite of materials that can be accessed, used generically or customized, and implemented in digital or printed form by plan sponsors to use with their employees, and employees can share with family and friends.

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