Critical questions for plan sponsors: Are employees receiving advice specific to their situation?

A recent study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans shows that by instituting a financial education and advice campaign, 42 percent of employees have a better understanding of the benefit, allowing them to make the most of it and become more satisfied and productive employees. Education can also have a bottom line impact to a company’s profitability. With a better understanding of their financial future, employees are often relieved of some financial stress, thus in the day-to-day they can be more productive at their job.

Typically, companies host an advisor to offer group education sessions where he or she discusses general topics like diversification, asset allocation or budgeting. In this setting, a presenter is usually discussing averages: on average, if you are at this age or stage of your life you should do X, Y, or Z. However, very few people in any given room actually are average. So, it’s ideal to offer employees the opportunity to speak individually with an advisor to discuss their personal situations. This opportunity allows them to receive more specific advice about how to reach their unique goals and objectives.

Individualized advice enables employees to understand the options available, thereby maximizing contribution and participation rates. The best way to get specific advice and customized advice to employees is to work with an advisor that’s willing to do so!