last post I explained how moving from dollar based salary reduction agreements (SRAs) to percentage based ones can increase participant retirement accounts. There are a number of small things that employers can do to increase the amount of money being contributed or the number of participants contributing. While a single vendor relationship combined with auto-enroll and auto-escalate would be the best route, this isn't the reality in many 403(b) plans, so coming up with simple ways to increase enrollment or contribution levels is important.
Recently, a client of mine embarked on a campaign to increase the amount of contributions from existing participants. The employers they worked with still had dollar based SRAs, but they worked with the compliance administrator to arrange for the existing participants to increase contributions without filling out a new SRA. Essentially they just needed to respond to a letter they were sent asking if they wanted to increase. It was a simple letter and had a simple way to respond and led to a $18,000 monthly increase in contributions after just one campaign, an average of $250 per person, per month.
It was just a simple nudge, but had a large impact, over $200,000 in additional contributions will be made to participant accounts each year thanks to an easy and cheap mailing.
What ideas do you have to increase participation and or contributions? Send them my way and I'll post.
Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MPAS, AIF