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Customized Plan Education

Sponsored by MFS Investment Management

In light of the recent completion of PSCA’s Annual Signature Award competition recognizing retirement plan education and communication campaigns, we wondered how prevalent customized campaigns such as those submitted to program are. Forty-two percent of respondents stated they provide general/stock information from their recordkeeper, 37 percent stated they provide a little of both customized and stock information, and 21 percent provide fully customized education to participants. Comments follow.

(And be sure to attend PSCA’s National Conference May 3-5 to hear the winners of the 2023 Signature Awards announced and highlights of their programs).

  • Certain campaigns are completely customized. Others are "off the shelf" products from our record keeper and they allow us to do some level of customization.
  • Communication materials are a joint effort between the plan administrator and the record keeper.
  • Communications are often designed to target specific groups (women, new employees, near retirement, etc.)
  • Customized for enrollment guides but other material is stock. Need more customization.
  • Customized materials leave less gray areas and provide specific answers to common questions
  • Customized to our plan.
  • Doesn't seem to make a difference - either they read it or they don't
  • If and when we move to our own individual retirement plan we will work with our TPA to customize the educational and campaign materials for our employees.
  • If anything is customized it is an email from HR that may have a mix of record keeper advisor information and other 401(k) information from the company such as the fact that we are adding a new feature to a plan and i have attached a PDF brochure and here is a link to a short video from the recordkeeper.
  • It depends on the situation (e.g., new hire - customized; nudge to add beneficiary - stock)
  • It is helpful to educate participants.
  • It's based upon age and how the funds are invested.
  • Our members prefer general materials overall and those that want additional information get individual consultation with the plan administrator.
  • Our recordkeeper charges a fee for any custom materials, all stock materials are free
  • TPA provides for each campaign.
  • We customize regular communications by group (state employees, public school employees, state troopers, etc.) and run different campaigns to target specific employee groups (by age, gender, work location, benefit structure, contribution amount, etc.).
  • We have a customized lesson about our plan for new hires; after that we use general material from our recordkeeper.
  • We have varying levels of participation and they customize accordingly
  • We use a local group to provide basic financial information, onsite, to supplement the recordkeepers online sources.
  • We use both what the recordkeeper provides and also produce customized campaigns. We do a lot of targeted communications, using our plan analytics to direct the targets.
  • We use stock material for general information and customize educational meetings specific to our plan.
  • While the materials are general information, the participant has the option to enroll in a program called Managed Advice and can get personalized information through them.  This is with the recordkeeper.  Additionally, we have contracted with a financial platform to provide general financial advice and again, they can reach out and subscribe to more specific/tailored advice.
  • Wish we got more from the recordkeeper but accounting runs the 401(k) and employee communication is a low priority for them.
  • Work with Metlife Financial Wellness to pull together
  • Would love to provide but cost is a factor