September 7 is National 401(k) Day: Time to bring retirement readiness into focus

The Plan Sponsor Council of America launched a special retirement education campaign to coincide with 401(k) Day next month. National 401(k) Day officially is September 9, the first Friday after Labor Day, although PSCA encourages companies to plan their campaigns to best fit into their corporate calendars.

The traditional September observance was chosen more than 25 years ago to signify workers beginning the week with an acknowledgment of labor and ending the week with a celebration of retirement. The holiday, launched in 1996 by PSCA, encourages companies to help their employees stay informed and knowledgeable about retirement planning and preparation.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Know Your Numbers,” which emphasizes the importance of bringing retirement readiness into focus by examining pre-retirees’ actual numbers. One of the free tools PSCA offers on its website in support of the campaign is a participant checklist that helps them organize important information they may need for retirement including current account numbers, investments, retirement savings, healthcare insurance, Medicare, taxes, Social Security projections, lifestyle expectations and legacy planning. Also available is a checklist for plan sponsors to evaluate the success of their plans that includes a breakdown of plan demographics, investment allocations, participant demographics and plan benchmarking.

“Having a good plan in place can be a competitive advantage in the talent market,” the plan sponsor checklist guide says. “Reviewing your plan’s numbers is essential in ensuring your participants are getting the most out of their plans.”

Free campaign-day tools, resources

In addition to the checklists, PSCA has developed a wide variety of free tools and materials for use by those who want to build their own 401(k) Day campaigns. The resources can be customized with a company logo, plan name and the contact information. Additional materials include email and internet banners, flyers and posters, and infographics designed to help participants understand the basics of retirement planning.

PSCA outlines a plan for those who want to create campaign-related events, including suggestions for conducting lunch-and-learns, webinars, a benefits fair or on-site presentations. To help organizers spread the word about their campaign events, PSCA also has provided a timeline for hanging posters, distributing flyers, and sending electronic invitations and reminders.

PSCA is inviting those who participate in 401(k) Day to share photos and content with hashtag #401kday on social media.

Kristen Beckman is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She previously was a writer and editor for ALM’s Retirement Advisor magazine and LifeHealthPro online channel. She also was a reporter for Business Insurance magazine covering workers compensation topics.

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