October 18, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., as part of its efforts to mark National Save for Retirement Week, has launched a new educational program to encourage participation in defined contribution retirement plans.
A news release said the program provides tools to fit different learning styles and a personalized salary deferral illustration tool to help participants understand the value of saving over the long term.The “Your Retirement. Plan for Life” program and its educational tools are being made available to participants in 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans with The Hartford and are also available to all new retirement plan sponsors and participants who sign up with The Hartford.
The deferral illustrator is available to help retirement plan participants and non-participants determine how much of their income to defer. The tool illustrates the effect of different salary deferral percentages on a participant’s take-home pay, taxes, and potential for long-term retirement savings. The illustrator also indicates the cost of waiting even a single year to begin contributing to the plan, in terms of lost savings potential.
According to the announcement, employers can make fundamental investment education available to their employees, including a risk tolerance questionnaire and an asset allocation overview, as well as Brainshark presentations, articles and calculators.
Also available are special initiatives to target specific groups of employees:
- Younger workers ages 18-29 who are less likely to participate in a retirement plan,
- Older workers who are age 50 or older who are eligible to increase their retirement plan contributions as they step up their preparations for retirement, and
- Existing plan participants of all ages who can increase their contributions or consider rebalancing their investment portfolios.
The Hartford said it can assist employers in creating an annual education-communications plan to target different employee audiences based on demographics such as age, plan participation status or life cycle. The educational program can be delivered in multiple locations through multiple media, no matter the number of employees or how many assets the plan has, and at the end of each year, results can be measured against established objectives.