Plan Design Resources

Preparing Employees Today for Retirement Tomorrow

A healthy retirement plan prepares employees for a successful retirement. As an employer, you play a crucial role in motivating employees to save more at every opportunity. Encouraging retirement readiness begins with a focus on the following key factors:
Identify Plan Goals and Objectives

By aligning plan strategies with your values and mission, you can offer a successful retirement plan. Plans should provide an incentive that encourages employees to save more, lower entry barriers so employees can engage effortlessly and include an investment menu that is easy to understand and navigate.

Measure retirement plan success by three key factors:

  • 90% employee participation
  • 15% minimum contribution between the employer and employee
  • 90% of employees invested appropriately

Consider your role as not only the administrator of your retirement plan but as a steward of the plan. With that in mind, assess and rate your retirement plan by utilizing our Retirement Plan Scorecard.

Engage Employees Through Plan Design and Automatic Features

You can increase employee engagement and plan participation by implementing an employer match. Matching employee dollars is the top motivator for employee savings and instills distinct ownership to keep employees on track.

Incorporating automatic features such as automatic enrollment, auto-escalation and re-enrollment into your retirement plan can jump-start plan health and individual success. Automatic features allow inertia to work for your employees instead of against them. For example, automatic enrollment incorporates retirement savings as a built-in plan feature — meaning employees must make the mindful decision to opt-out of saving for retirement. This simple design feature can have a profound impact on the retirement savings and future of your employees.

Focus on Driving Employee Participation

Promoting retirement awareness among employees encourages them to make the most of their plan. Help employees start early and contribute consistently by removing obstacles in decision-making by offering a quick-enroll option, such as the Retirement Enrollment Tool.

Additionally, utilizing educational resources and making the most of communication periods — like annual review season and open enrollment — can foster a culture of saving and drive participation.

One simple yet effective strategy is encouraging employees to save as a percentage rather than a dollar amount while making annual increases as they work towards 15%.

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Track Progress and Success

Designing a strong retirement plan is the first step, but checking in periodically on plan progress and employee engagement is also important to ensure staff members are on track toward their goals. You may find that certain plan design features work better for your organization than others, so don’t be afraid to make minor plan adjustments along the way.

GuideStone can work with you and your organization in assessing your plan’s health. Integrating payroll fees with your retirement plan allows GuideStone to provide an overall plan wellness assessment.