Participants Say Statements Should Be Short, Simple

December 20, 2000 ( - Forget the bells and whistles - participants in a nationwide survey said they want their 401(k) statements to be short, colorless and to the point.

T. Rowe Price recently conducted a national study of 21 retirement plan sponsors and participants representing 230,000 workers and retirees, and found that participants aren’t interested in the “fluff” and extra expense associated with some statements.

Participant focus groups yielded the following perspectives:

  • Color is a turn-off, perceived as a wasteful expense.
  • Statements should be streamlined.
  • The more paper, the more waste. Investors prefer two-sided copies.
  • Personalization is paramount.
  • No flyers, no junk, no clutter. Statements only, please.
  • Investors like having the option of online statements but prefer hard copies delivered by first class mail.

– Nevin Adams