KnowHow Archive

Plan Sponsor Guide Participant Guide

The Right Things To Do

I have always thought it was interesting that we bemoan the negatives of participant inertia (or sometimes try to turn that negative into a positive via "automatic" solutions)—except when it manifests itself during times of market turmoil.

At those times, it is the rare industry pundit who does not applaud the "wisdom" and calm shown by participants. It is that one time when "doing nothing" is not a problem to be solved, but an indication of prudence.
"This time" may be different, of course—and the call center inquiries may well suggest that participants are making an active decision to stay put, though it seems to me more likely that those inclined to make a change simply are not sure what to do. Human beings may, like an object at rest, tend to remain so—but with this much turmoil still going on after all this time, in my experience, people feel better if they can actually do something.
This month's KnowHow outlines a few basic steps that can help your participants take action—without creating problems for themselves down the road. As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions. —Nevin E. Adams, JD