Originally posted by Mike Nesper on June 16, 2015 on ebn.benefitnews.com.
Workforce demographics are changing as more millennials are entering and the baby boomers are retiring. That path to retirement is also changing ??? defined benefit plans are a solution of the past, leaving defined contribution plans as the major retirement vehicle.
The problem is millennials aren???t contributing enough to their 401(k) plans. ???There is a crisis,??? Tim Slavin, senior vice president of defined contribution at Broadridge, said recently between sessions at the SPARK Institute???s national conference in Washington, D.C. ???Millennials better hurry up and get in a 401(k).???
So what???s the best way to make that happen?
Make it convenient. ???We live in the concierge society,??? said Debbie Brown, vice president of marketing at Broadridge.
A good way to disseminate retirement information to millennials is via electronic tools like Dropbox, Slavin said. This way, employees can view statements on their time. Sending alerts in emails doesn???t work well, he said, because if not opened immediately, most people forget about them. ???It???s not come to us, but we???re gonna go to you,??? he said.
Ensuring tools and communication are easy to understand is key, Brown said. ???Keep it simple. Make it work everywhere,??? she said.
Millennials want information upfront before having a face-to-face conversation about retirement, Slavin said. ???They want to get engaged,??? he said, and once they are, millennials commit.
Automatic enrollment is a good tool to increase participation among younger workers, Slavin said. ???There???s significant traction there,??? he said. ???The biggest issue is apathy.??? That???s why auto enrollment should be paired with auto escalation, Slavin said.
For millennials, saving for retirement can be difficult ??? DB plans are no longer supplementing DC plans, wage growth is stagnant and many have student loan debt. Still, achieving retirement goals can be accomplished, Slavin said, but employees need to start contributing to their plan as soon as they enter the workforce.
While younger workers might take some time to realize what???s needed to retire, Slavin is confident they???ll come around. ???Millennials are smart,??? he said. ???They???ll catch on.???