American Express Retirement Services to Expand Distribution Education

September 13, 2004 ( - Recent retirees may be getting house calls from American Express Retirement Services if their former employers are using the company's distribution education service.

In a press release, American Express announced that it is expanding the company’s distribution education service program for 401(k) retirement plans, now including outbound and follow-up calls to better educate participants upon retirement. The company claims that it is having an effect; premature cash withdrawals are down 5% since the program was implemented.

On top of simply providing a series-7 licensed Retirement Specialist via a toll-free number, American Express now is proactively calling recent retirees to further educate them on their plan details.

“We’ve used a personal contact feature on a limited basis in the past and received an extremely positive reception from participants,” said Rusty Field, vice president of American Express Financial Education and Planning Services, in a press release Monday. “They quickly recognize that this type of personal interaction helps draw special attention to the choices they face during such an important transition, and are grateful for clear information about the tax implications and other impacts of their decisions.”

The program, according to the release, is the result of a large investment in technology, tools, process design and staff estimated at $4.5 million.