June 7, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - At the 2012 PLANSPONSOR National Conference, plan sponsor panelists shared their retirement plan success tactics, such as mandatory enrollment meetings and personalized communication.
Roger Buchtman, controller at Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp., said his company requires employees to attend annual open enrollment meetings for its 401(k) plan, and those who opt out must complete an acknowledgment form. “Our ultimate goal is 100% participation,” Buchtman said. “We know we may never get there but that’s what we try to achieve.”
The company has 95% participation, including full-time and part-time employees—part-timers make up about 8% of the company’s work force. The company match is 50% up to 7% of base salary, and the plan also offers profit sharing at 2% of earnings.
Buchtman said the mandatory annual enrollment meetings are important for targeting those who may have reduced or stopped their contributions because of the economy or other financial issues. The company also targets employees over age 50.
Aimee Lowry, benefits division chief of the Fairfax County government in Virginia, said it is important for employees to have individualized retirement readiness goals because different age groups have different needs. “We are challenged by an evolving work force,” she said.
For instance, the younger work force is more transient than older generations and therefore may have several retirement plans throughout their lives.