Trust Point’s retirement plan
education builds better employees and stronger businesses
The Trust Point team sees it all the time—the expression of relief on the faces of employees after they meet to discuss retirement plan details and options. Trust Point’s Retirement Plan Services team provides comprehensive retirement plan solutions for hundreds of companies spanning a wide range of sizes and industries. Complimentary financial education, delivered to both entire company teams and in one-on-one sessions, is a major part of Trust Point’s retirement plan offerings. It’s an extra step that can make a big difference for employees, creating peace of mind, improving productivity and ultimately leading to better individual and company-wide financial wellness. If an employee has an opportunity to sit down and walk through their situation they have a better understanding of how they are doing at achieving their goals. Trust Point wants to help plan participants know where they stand and then helps them put
a plan in place that can help relieve a lot of stress.
Each year, assurance, tax and consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) conducts an Employee Financial Wellness Survey. The 2020 survey, conducted just before the COVID-19 pandemic began, found that 58 percent of employees admit to being stressed about their finances. Half of those stressed employees say finances have been a distraction at work, compared with just 16 percent of non-stressed employees. In fact, the survey found, financial matters are the top cause of stress at work. Employees are looking for financial guidance on things like spending prioritization, paying bills, and handling creditors. These issues can take a toll on company morale and productivity, and are likely more pronounced during the uncertainty created by the pandemic. For example, there might be confusion about how the CARES Act—which waives the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes from qualified retirement accounts—applies to them. The answer is not universal—it is up to employers to adopt the provisions. There is a clear opportunity here for employers to lend a hand and ease some of the stress employees are experiencing. Clear communication and ongoing financial education and guidance from Trust Point can be a key solution.
The Path to Financial Wellness
Trust Point encourages ongoing plan education for all of its retirement plan customers. First, it’s important to note that each customer’s plan is developed to meet their specific needs. Each plan is also designated a Trust Point relationship manager as the main contact to help streamline communication and relationship development. Once a plan is in place, Trust Point leads a kickoff meeting to explain to participants how it works, the features and benefits, and the associated fees. Following that meeting, Trust Point staff is available for one-on-one meetings with participants to help them enroll and answer more specific questions. That’s just the start. The team meets with plan sponsors annually for a plan review meeting where a number of things are discussed including what their employees are interested in based on questions that are being brought up to the employee directly or questions they ask when call directly to a Trust Point representative. In addition, they look at participation, average plan balances, overall assets in the funds, and based on the data recommendations may be made for specific education topics that Trust Point can present. Trust Point offers a menu of education options, ranging from “401(k)Investment Basics” to “How to Have the Retirement of Your Dreams.” Customers can select from the menu or set up a customized education plan. Engagement is important, and Trust Point makes its educational sessions fun with a variety of formats, including 401(k) bingo, a game that brings fun and prizes for participants. Employees are engaged because they all want to win. It’s a good way for them to learn more about their plan and be more prepared for retirement. Those games also help create a comfortable environment in which employees can open up about financial topics without feeling they are alone in their challenges. One-on-one meetings also occur ongoing as needed, with Trust Point helping participants tailor their plans to meet their retirement goals. Education has continued during the pandemic, with video conference sessions available. Trust Point also offers webinars, an online financial resource center, and online account management.
It goes without saying that employees enrolled in a plan will be better prepared for retirement. While participation rates for the 401(k) plans have steadily been rising due in part to automatic enrollment, it’s still not uncommon for businesses to experience low participation without the education like Trust Point provides. After one recent plan kickoff session and a round of one-on-one meetings at a large business, plan participation jumped from under 16 percent to nearly 96 percent. Big increases in participation are common among clients that switch to Trust Point. And once they’re enrolled, they will likely stay enrolled, without financial worries or distractions. Trust Point’s financial educational sessions are important and make a difference in participation rates which is not just a benefit to the employer. When employees participate in group education sessions or better yet, in one-on-one meetings with Trust Point, it alleviates some of their financial concerns and helps reduce their stress.
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