Participant outcomes: how companies can implement a healthy personal finance culture

  Many worry about outliving their retirement income — having enough to live comfortably for as long as they live.

One way to fight this discomfort, however, is to integrate a healthy personal financial culture at the workplace — a culture built on strong plan design, excellent employee participation and simple, consistent financial education.

All employers, for that matter, should have a vested interest in this too. For starters, offering a 401(k) plan doesn’t hurt in terms of attracting talent, and frankly, it’s a given in some industries. With pensions pretty much a thing of the past, having a good retirement plan like a 401(k) is essential for individuals.

And because of this necessity, companies – who are thrust into the role of plan sponsors – are charged with looking out for their employees. The use of a 3(21) fiduciary to provide guidance to the plan is a sound idea; a 3(21) fiduciary, by rule, must put the plan participants first and is free of conflicts of interest.

But even with a good plan in place, participants need to be educated on the best choices. And the best choice of all is to participate. According to recent Bureau of Labor statistics cited by CBS, only 53 percent of American workers took part in a workplace retirement plan. Their retirement will be anchored only by Social Security and whatever they have managed to save on their own. That’s why companies should see fit to build a healthy personal financial culture. The more employees save, the better they can feel about their futures, which can reduce stress on all.

Firms should work with a good retirement plan advisor on the proper plan design for their retirement plans. At Plexus Financial Services, we provide independent and objective advice on corporate retirement plan strategies. We collaborate with employers to ensure that those strategic objectives are met, while helping participants pursue their individual goals through their defined contribution, defined benefit and non-qualified plans. For more information, talk to a PFS professional by calling us at 847.307.6222 or contact us via the Web at


Aven Gladych, Paula. “3(21) fiduciaries more popular among plan sponsors,”, November 9, 2011.

Vernon, Steve. “Half of Americans aren’t in a retirement plan.” CBS Money Watch, October 27, 2014.