Consider this: Every day 10,000 Americans turn 65.1 Why is this significant? For a long time, 65 was considered the “normal retirement age.” While full retirement—or the age when Americans are eligible to receive their full Social Security benefit—has increased to 66 or 67 (depending on the year you were born), 65 is still a number many people use to make assumptions about retirement readiness.
Now consider this: By 2030—only eight years from now—every single living American born between 1946 to 1964 will be older than 65.2 This means that all baby boomers—over 20% of the U.S. population—will be eligible to retire or will be retired. That’s a whole lot of people who will be making decisions about what to do with their retirement savings! Especially those who have been managing their own savings through workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s, 403(b)s, or supplemental 457 plans.
Fortunately, members of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) have spent a lot of time thinking about this and have developed considerations for employers who are adding retirement income solutions, services, or tools to their DC plans. (These offerings can be collectively referred to as a retirement tier.) But no matter what the offering, the most critical element is getting people to understand, consider, and use any of the retirement tier options available to them.
As part of this effort to help plan sponsors explore, adopt, and communicate about retirement tier solutions, we were delighted to contribute to a new framework, Engaging Participants in the Retirement Tier. The piece includes plan design tips, like reevaluating your investment policy statement; applying a list of questions to ask your vendors, that includes how they can support you; establishing how to determine the messaging and best methods to reach people; and using trackable metrics, so you can evaluate the efficacy of your engagement strategy.
1. 2020 Census Will Help Policymakers Prepare for the Incoming Wave of Aging Boomers, America Counts staff, United States Census Bureau, December 10, 2019.
Megan Yost, SVP Engagement Strategist, is a recognized thought leader in benefits communications, particularly in the areas of retirement, financial wellness, and employee engagement.