Re­tire­ment plans wor­thy of recog­ni­tion

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Business - JULIE JA­SON

Are you proud of your re­tire­ment plan at work? Do you feel it is wor­thy of recog­ni­tion?

Kerry Ryan, the di­rec­tor of em­ployee ben­e­fits for Bos­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter, a non­profit hos­pi­tal of­fer­ing a 403( b) to 9,000 par­tic­i­pants, sees her plan that way.

Ryan ex­plained: “We pro­vide a hub of fi­nan­cial well­ness ser­vices that of­fer as­sis­tance through­out our em­ploy­ees’ ca­reers, for both sim­ple and com­plex needs. We don’t be­lieve that there is a ‘ one size fits all’ ap­proach to sup­port­ing em­ploy­ees for re­tire­ment readi­ness.”

Ed­u­ca­tion is tai­lored to where em­ploy­ees are in their ca­reers and how close they are to re­tire­ment. When em­ploy­ees are ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment, the com­pany holds a five­week re­tire­ment readi­ness cam­paign.

“We de­velop cus­tom and rel­e­vant mes­sag­ing for our var­i­ous em­ployee groups and are al­ways look­ing for ad­di­tional sup­port pro­grams to ad­dress our em­ploy­ees’ unique fi­nan­cial needs,” said Ryan. “All of our ac­tions are de­signed to re­move bar­ri­ers and cre­ate the frame­work to en­able peo­ple to have suc­cess­ful re­tire­ments.”

An­other be­liever is Danna Robin­son, com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager at Har­ris Teeter Su­per­mar­kets Inc., a su­per­mar­ket chain head­quar­tered in Matthews, North Carolina, with more than 30,000 em­ploy­ees.

As Robin­son ex­plained: “At Har­ris Teeter, we are proud to em­ploy as­so­ciates who are ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing an in­cred­i­ble place for our customers to shop. In turn, our com­pany is com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing an in­cred­i­ble place for our val- ued as­so­ciates to work, and we hope our as­so­ciates rec­og­nize this com­mit­ment through the ben­e­fit plans of­fered.”

Fur­ther, “Har­ris Teeter en­cour­ages all of its as­so­ciates to par­tic­i­pate in re­tire­ment sav­ings, and the com­pany in­vests in a com­pre­hen­sive ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram to share the im­por­tance of sav­ing. This pro­gram in­cludes com­mu­ni­ca­tion through break room posters and train­ing videos. As a sup­ple­ment to this ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram, Har­ris Teeter also part­nered with T. Rowe Price in the cre­ation of an ex­clu­sive video which per­son­al­izes the as­so­ciate ex­pe­ri­ence, ex­plains the par­tic­i­pant’s re­tire­ment sav­ings progress, and mo­ti­vates par­tic­i­pants to take ac­tion to im­prove their re­tire­ment out­look.”

There is a com­mon thread that ties Ryan and Robin­son. They both rep­re­sent com­pa­nies that won Plan Spon­sor of the Year Awards for 2018.

Bos­ton Med­i­cal was rec­og­nized in the non­profit DC cat­e­gory ( over $ 100 mil­lion), along with North­well Health of Lake Suc­cess, N. Y., and TriHealth of Cincin­nati.

Har­ris Teeter was in the cor­po­rate 401( k) greater than $ 800 mil­lion cat­e­gory, along with Hu­mana Inc. of Louisville, Ken­tucky, and Kim­ley- Horn and As­so­ciates Inc. of Raleigh, N. C.

If you be­lieve your com­pany “shows a com­mit­ment to ( its) par­tic­i­pants’ fi­nan­cial health and re­tire­ment suc­cess,” here is what you can do about it right now ( be­fore Nov. 7, 2018): Visit tinyurl. com/ ydg­mjwwl to nom­i­nate your com­pany for the 2019 award. Fi­nal­ists will be an­nounced in Jan­uary 2019. Win­ners will be no­ti­fied in March 2019.

The nom­i­nees will need to com­plete an on­line form that asks for de­tails about the re­tire­ment plan. Their ap­pli­ca­tions will be com­pared with those of other nom­i­nees in nine cat­ego- ries based on size and type of plan.

Ali­son Cooke Mintzer, global edi­tor- in- chief of PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISER, en­cour­ages par­tic­i­pa­tion: “Our Plan Spon­sor Award helps val­i­date the good work plan spon­sors do to help their em­ploy­ees achieve a suc­cess­ful re­tire­ment.” PLANSPONSOR mag­a­zine is avail­able on­line at plansponsor. com.

Val­i­da­tion goes a long way. But that’s not all. Recog­ni­tion helps put em­pha­sis on what’s im­por­tant to em­ploy­ees: They know they have a good plan, one of the best among peers.

If you are un­happy with your plan, read­ing about award win­ners will give you am­mu­ni­tion for a dis­cus­sion with your em­ployer. Read their sto­ries at tinyurl. com/ yaa6zhjb.

By the way, I’m think­ing of spon­sor­ing an award to en­cour­age this type of ad­vo­cacy with those who are just start­ing their ca- reers. I’d like to know your thoughts. Would it be worth­while? Would com­pa­nies help pro­mote the award? Let me know by email­ing me at read­ers@ julie­ja­son. com.

If you will be in New York City, do come to a pre­sen­ta­tion I’m giv­ing on Nov. 7 at 7 p. m. at the 92nd Street Y. I will dis­cuss my lat­est book, “Re­tire Se­curely.” Reg­is­ter at 92y. org/ event/ re­tire- se­curely.

Julie Ja­son, JD, LLM, a per­sonal money man­ager ( Jack­son, Grant of Stamford) and au­thor, wel­comes your ques­tions/ com­ments ( read­ers@ julie­ja­son. com). Her awards in­clude the 2018 Clar­ion Award, sym­bol­iz­ing ex­cel­lence in clear, con­cise com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Her lat­est book, a cu­rated col­lec­tion of Julie’s col­umns, is “Re­tire Se­curely: In­sights on Money Man­age­ment From an Award- Win­ning Fi­nan­cial Colum­nist.” To hear Julie speak, visit www. julie­ja­son. com/ events.

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