How to Successfully Educate Your Employees on Taking Full Advantage of Their 401(k) Benefit

One of the most important responsibilities of being a fiduciary is ensuring your employees are receiving educational opportunities to learn more about their 401(k) benefit so that they can use it to its fullest potential. This task can sometimes be difficult, as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to implementing a successful educational program—everyone learns in a different way and prefers varying teaching methods.

At BerganKDV, education is at the root of our retirement plan solution services, and we work with clients every day to ensure they are properly and effectively educating their team members on how to optimize their retirement plan benefit. Here are some tactics we often recommend for an effective 401(k) education program:

  1. Make sure the language in your program and resources are easy to understand and that industry jargon is limited. That way participants can fully comprehend their benefit offering. Easily understandable terms are also key for disclosing any crucial information and fees associated with their plan options so that they can make the best decision for themselves.
  2. Provide ongoing educational opportunities throughout the year in a multitude of communication channels, whether that is short videos, flyers, group meetings, online resources, etc. Utilizing a variety of mediums helps cater to a larger audience so that most preferred learning styles are covered.
  3. In addition to diversifying your content approach, it’s also important to make sure the content itself covers a wide range of topics—from basic “getting started with your 401(k)” messaging to more specific topics that address your employees’ financial planning needs. These topics might include covering healthcare options for retirees, what income sources are available, etc.
  4. Offer planning tools that are easily accessible in-person or online. Providing tools that give participants the ability to learn what investing and saving tactics fit their unique financial future is empowering and helps participants know what options work best for them.
  5. Consider encouraging team members to use your educational program during working hours to show that your organization values their retirement planning and financial well-being.
  6. Regularly survey and monitor program engagement and modify if needed based on participant feedback. Again, no program is perfect, so being flexible and changing things up if employees aren’t responding to current educational opportunities is crucial to improving your program and increasing your participation rates.

By utilizing the above tactics, you can ensure you are doing your part as a fiduciary to provide the education and resources needed to boost participant engagement and optimize plan usage for your employees. If you would like to learn more about what other educational strategies and retirement plan services are out there, BerganKDV can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our retirement plan solutions and how they can benefit you and your employees. We also offer a free fee benchmark to fiduciaries so that you can see how your current plan stacks up to competitors. Request the complimentary benchmark here.


Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.

The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice. References to future returns are not promises or even estimates of actual returns a client portfolio may achieve. Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be relied upon as advice or interpreted as a recommendation.

The views expressed are those of BerganKDV Wealth Management. They are subject to change at any time. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other firm. Investment advisory services and fee-based planning offered through BerganKDV Wealth Management, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

CATEGORIES: 401k & Retirement
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