Improving Financial Wellness Through Employee Education


Background In 2013, Blue Prairie Group (“BPG”) was asked by one of its retained clients – a large, Illinois-based insurance provider – to implement a financial wellness program for its plan participants. The company consists of a mostly white-collar workforce of 215 employees, geographically distributed between two Illinois locations. The goal of the financial wellness program was to engage employees and get them to save more for a secure retirement, using retirement planning software called Retiremap.

Process

The financial wellness program was implemented in three phases:

Phase 1 – “Plan for Your Future” iPad Workshops

In Phase 1, groups of participants were given iPads with the Retiremap software preloaded. In 20 minutes, participants were able to create an account, enter information about their personal finances, and answer questions about what their goals were once in retirement. The next day, the participant was sent a customized Retiremap report that showed them whether or not they are on track for retirement.

Phase 2 – One-on-One Meetings with BPG Advisors

In Phase 2, participants were given the opportunity to meet one-one-one with a BPG wealth management advisor. The advisor was able to utilize the data provided by the employee during the iPad workshop, which allowed them to spend the bulk of the time discussing the individual’s specific situation and allowed for a more impactful meeting.

Phase 3 – Ongoing Participant Communication

Phase 3 consisted of frequent, targeted communications aimed at participants to ensure that they continue to save for retirement. These communications could be reminder emails, relevant articles from the Financial Planning Association®, or webinars that discuss how to budget and save.

Results

  • 61% of employees signed up for the group iPad workshops.
  • 42% of the workshop attendees decided to increase their deferral rate by an average of 5.7 percent.
  • 47% of workshop attendees requested a one-on-one meeting with a BPG advisor.
  • 15% of workshop attendees expressed interest in auto-escalating their savings rate.
  • 98% of workshop attendees said they felt more engaged with the 401(k) plan after the workshop.
  • 97% of workshop attendees felt the new financial wellness program was an excellent addition to the benefits package.