Automatic enrollment with a balanced default fund isn’t by itself going to solve the retirement savings issues that many employee will be facing. It will help, but the real answer is for plan sponsors is improve the communication effort.

In an earlier post, I discussed in a general way that employee benefit communication should have
functionally oriented communication objectives: 

  • How to communicate flexible benefit plans
  • How to communicate savings and investment concepts for 401(k) plans
  • How to relate profit sharing plans to productivity and profitability
  • How to make employees better health care consumers and how to integrate wellness into health care plans to impact upon costs

Difficult enough by itself. But even more difficult if we are communicating with the many cultures that are represented in today’s workforce. One expert who knows about this is Melissa Burkhart, whose firm Futuro Solido USA addresses these issues for employers whose employees speak Spanish and other languages.

Melissa points out that many of these employees have strong and negative erroneous benefits about the U.S. financial system. In order to change their thinking and persuade them that retirement plans are, in fact, in their best interests, these beliefs must be addressed and clarified. In addition, Melissa says, there are strategies that can be used for conducting successful enrollment meetings.

Here is the link to the website for Melissa’s company, Futuro Solido USA which has videos you can view that help bring down the cultural and language barriers to successful communication.