As a licensed financial adviser, I have spent much of the last 20 years working directly with plan sponsors. Over this time, I have noticed the main goal of the plan sponsors has transitioned from increasing plan participation to helping the participants reach their tangible goals of having enough to retire. And just as the goal has changed so has the message of how to help the participants reach their goal.

In my earlier days I took the direct route of telling people that starting their contribution as early as possible and contributing 10-15% would get them to the sandy beaches of their choice upon their retirement. “10 Reasons to Increase Your Contribution Rate Today” and “How Compounding Can Be Your New Best Friend” were common themes in the communication I helped prepare for plan sponsors. And I’ve watched benefit teams spend their time following the three most popular statistics for their plans: participation, deferral rates and balance leakage to measure the success of their program.

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