Marketing Employer-​Based Retirement Plans

Human resources management and financial services firms face a double challenge when it comes to promoting employer-​sponsored retirement plans. The firms must first convince the employer that the extra expense associated with the plan is worthwhile and then they must convince employees to participate. When designing marketing materials, it might help to share Employee Benefit Research Institute findings on this topic.

Top level data indicates the following:

  • Private-​Sector Firms Which Sponsor a Plan 52.7%
  • Employees Who Participate 42%
  • Public-​Sector Employers Which Sponsor a Plan 83.3%
  • Employees Who Participate 75.4%

Higher levels of employee participation are associated with:

  • Older employees
  • Highly paid employees
  • White employees
  • Male employees

In 2007, participation rates increased to 65.6 million employees, reversing declining participation rates in 2005–2006. While most employer-​sponsored plans mean extra company expense, some alternatives allow employers to limit contributions during low or no-​profit years. At the same time, partially funded company plans, especially those tied to profit-​sharing, may help firms attract and retain talent.   Marketing materials that clearly and simply spell out costs and benefits to employers and employees may help businesses that sell and administer plans to increase revenues.

[Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute Issue Brief, October 2008] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.